July 2017

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The Making of You by Helen

Don’t you see that it could be the making of you?
As you stand here now, flooded by the pressures of life
Wondering how you are going to survive
Gasping for breath amidst responsibilities,
decisions, work, bills,
Circular problems that have you going dizzy
Because they don’t stop rearing their ugly head over and over.
And it’s tiring, and it weighs you down

But it could be the making of you.
And you should “look on the bright side”
And it sounds proposteous
because you’ve looked on the bright side before
and it hasn’t made it any brighter or any lighter.

But you should know that, it is ‘making you’ whether you like it or not.
It’s making you into something –
for better or for worse.
Building in you resilience, everyday that you persevere
And it’s giving you wisdom
so that next time that circular problem comes around you’ll be that bit wiser,
That bit closer to solving it.

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Have I lived well? That’s the question I’m asking myself as I sift through these boxes, dusting off old photographs of people I haven’t seen in years, and birthday cards inscribed with messages, which boldly say we’ll forever be friends. The truth is we’re just not that close anymore.

Did I spend my time the right way? I ponder as I discard old essays which I don’t remember writing, and postcards and trinkets from countries I’m sure I’ve never visited; souvenirs of experiences which have no bearing on my own. I suppose they were once worth keeping but now they will be lining a black bag.

Is this what my life amounts to? I ask as I pull an ancient phone and a physics exercise book out of a warped brown box and I remember the way I flunked that exam. And I recall the fight I had over the phone causing my first relationship to crumble shortly after. A feeling of failure washes over me.

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