A Ferry Ride from the Other Side of the World. February 18, 2021. 9:18PM.
“Expansion of hope,” she said. “That’s what I feel.”
And after the call, I pull my knees to my chest and sit in complete silence in my living room.
Oh, how I wanted that feeling too. Badly. I’d pay three payments of $29.99 to experience that inside my soul.
I am growing and expanding and learning and shedding and welcoming anything positive and healthy and supportive and encouraging. Loving. Some days are better than others.
In all honesty, there is the fear of being optimistic in a world that beats you down. It is too disappointing to feel discouragement. The government is not coming to save me. The only person that can save me is myself. And I believe this is adulthood.
“It’s like losing your child-like innocence,” he said.
And I’d lost it.
When I was a child, the world was mine. Not to say that it isn’t now, but then it was fulfilling, exhilarating, and I could do anything, be anything. This was the space I existed in, a safe space with opportunity, access, and privileged tangibles like sleepovers and bikes on pavement in the middle of a southern street in America.
And I’d lost it.
Maybe it was staring at his gun in his holster, white supremacist fingers interwoven in and for a system that employed me. Maybe it was how it took me a year and a half to realize how lucky I was to make it back home. Maybe it was the live stream of white people storming the Capitol, knowing no one would face consequences. Maybe it was not being able to afford a lawyer because things I desperately desired like accountability and justice cost money and I had none.
So, when I became an adult, I put away childish things.
The low hum of the ferry vibrates as we depart.
I watch the waves from the second-floor lobby. I dream in manifestations of a universe in brilliant color and wake in a land far from my home. Stained square windows separating me from the outside world, sunlight in my brown eyes.
I welcome it in.
A small island in the distance is the destination of choice, where my mother’s side resides.
I still do not know what world I will build to call mine. My older cousins remind me who I am, wrap me in love, and security. I needed them when I was younger, but now is still more than enough.
I’d done things I was proud of, but I never stopped to take it in, to celebrate. To heal. I am young and just getting started, but I needed rest. I needed creative freedom, a break from overcoming. I wanted to tell my story without my voice shaking. To be lost in community. Sunlight and long walks and time away from blue light. Time to get lost in books and homework from therapy and everything in-between. I craved summer like melted ice cream cones, sunrays touching melanin, park laughter.
As the Pacific Northwest disappeared, I wondered, what’s next for me?
“Expansion of hope,” she says.
I take a deep breath.
Expansion of hope.