Every morning and every evening I walk past this particular cemetery and I see the exact scene pictured below. I suppose cemeteries have always freaked me out, probably for one very simple reason, which is because of death. I'm afraid of it, as most humans are. I avoid the thoughts of it, I pretend it doesn't exist, I actively try to not associate myself with it (I never watch horror movies, even mystery stories haunt me with nightmares weeks after watching them). Walking past this cemetery doesn't make me necessarily confront death and what it means, but it makes me think about the concept much more than I used to.
About a month ago my oldest sister told me that within tarot cards, death doesn't always mean dying. It can also mean that things will change and they can never again be like they were before. Perhaps it's something inside yourself that changes so extremely that you wont be the same after. Just like death, change also scares me quite a bit. Though I crave change, and often fight my insecurities with every breath in my lungs, I am a creature of habit and comfort. But just because certain situations are comfortable, doesn't mean they are good.
I've taken small skips towards change over the last 4 years and I am still pushing back against the wind in order to slide one foot a bit forward. When I believe that I've made progress, the next moment will prove that I've made no change and I am still the little girl without a mouth. Even though this is frustrating, I know I am trying. I suppose in this way, I have been welcoming death for a very long time. Not the death of no longer living on this Earth, but the death of a part of me that I no longer want. There is that small girl inside me that scares me with her quiet stares, with her dry tears. Rudy Francisco described his former self as "an old sweater with itchy sleeves that I [Rudy] will some day grow out of" and I feel that those words are a reason that I know I'm doing alright. Because I was raised believing that there was something wrong with who I was. I was quiet and shy, without a voice to express my thoughts that would make me dig the nails on my fingertips into my palms. My anger would bubble like an overdue volcano inside my chest for years. Instead of feeling comfort around people to express my feelings, I could only feel their stares as they expected me to know myself better than a child ever could. Instead of teaching me to assess my thoughts in order to find words to describe them, they became frustrated with my furrowed brow. Just because I'm now old enough to "know better", that doesn't mean that the way I was brought up will just dissipate because I am now considered an adult. My fight in order to speak without crying and to say what I am thinking should be acknowledged by the people who were around when I would sit alone in my room for days. But instead, I am still asked the question, "So do you have any friends?". I will never be good enough for them.
But for myself, I am good enough. Because that little girl with the dead eyes doesn't visit me as much as she used to and I know that even though I have a long way to go, I've also come a long way. Though I'm afraid, I welcome change and I will not apologize to those who can't even see how far I've come. I will not linger on those who are too afraid to tell me that they see me. I know that they are still fighting their own demons, but at least I can acknowledge that they are there. Don't be afraid of the death of a part of you, because after the winter clears away the weeds, a garden can spring from the old Earth.