People come to New York with dreams
I came with nightmares.
Coming to America wasn’t all smiles and laughter and all those other soft and mushy things. It was more of crying, breaking and a lot of fear wrapped in confusion. There were a lot of breakdowns, a lot of burning bridges for the second time. A lot of doubt, a lot of drowning and a lot of starting from scratch.
The one thing I remember the most is thinking, ” why again?” this wasn’t the first time I had to start all over again. Each time a different culture, a different language, and different people. It’s hard getting use to something new. It’s hard to start from the bottom when you’re already there- but it’s a different kind of bottom. It’s hard building a base. So, I decided not to build one. We’re travelers in this world anyways so why build homes of bricks that will break. Why make a home, when we won’t stay here forever… right?
High school was hard. For the first three years I had no friends. I didn’t know how to make friends and I still don’t. So, I buried myself in books, in Harry Potter and in Percy Jackson and in any other book I could get my hands on, even if it was an encyclopedia about rocks. I would go to the school library, find an empty table, sit and just read (I wouldn’t even get lunch even if it meant having to stay hungry all day… One time I was about to pass out while being forced to do aerobics by my gym teacher. She sent me to the nurse, but I went home.)
I would read. Read in between classes, in gym, and in any other time I could squeeze into my schedule. I would finish a book a day. When I felt like no one was around to listen, I would pour out my feelings in a journal- that now makes me laugh every time I read it. But I hadn’t even realized how happy I was in my own little bubble. When the end of junior year hit, I started opening up more and I regret that, not because anything bad happened but because I felt like I would’ve been happier with my nose in books, living in magic realms with vampires and witches.
I lost my self in incomplete stories. In unfinished novels. In poems. In daydreams. But I realized that I was doing all that to avoid reality and the worst part was that it was working. I didn’t even realize how distant I had become from the world. All I knew about were mythical creatures, vampires, cruel kings and Demi-gods. I was even a good student in school. I would rather sit down and solve complex calculus equations than hang out with a bunch of teenagers. Not because I thought calculus was fun but because that was the only way to stop my anxiety.
But that nightmare got better once I started college, not that I had any friends in my first year, but I was comfortable sitting in the b1 library in between shelves, writing and reading. In my second year I started making friends in the MSA.
Thing have gotten better. Alhumdulillah. Just hope they stay like this…