Her past sculpts who she is today, and for that, she is grateful


Sydney Race

A foggy, Monday morning picture I captured for a project in the seventh grade.

A typical night in the springtime, for me, doesn’t involve friends. I’m not the type to spend every waking hour with people or venture down new paths. That doesn’t suit me. We don’t suit each other. I’d rather not get my white shoes dirty, for the dirt on the winding path is mixing with the wet gravel, creating a lethal combination. 

There have been many paths I’ve had to cross this year, and sometimes, mine happens to cross another’s by coincidence. The lucky person to be walking the very landscape that holds many of their horrors and erotic fears are daring—they’re brave—and when our similar ways intersect one another, the collision will scar far beneath the epidermis. 

Not a sad scar, though. A scar that resonates with fulfilling memories and triggers flashbacks from the times I actually cracked my shell open and broke free. An instantaneous feeling of warmth was injected into my veins the moment my hands came into contact with the earth’s purities and its welcoming touch. I felt like a free spirit taking my first steps onto a foreign substance and not feeling any regret. 

I wandered down this path as far as my legs could bring me before they became too weak to carry on. The path was complex and hard to navigate. Its sudden sharp turns would knock me off track causing me to lose myself. After some time managing myself through the overgrown weeds and clusters of wildflowers, I was back on track. It was dark. Overhead, the canopy of leaves and branches cast shadows onto the path’s ground. I curse the canopy cast that was enough for me to stumble on my own two feet–more than I usually do. The strength of the sun not only helped me find my footing, but bled through the holes in the canopy. 

That no matter what we do in life, we’ll grow into strong beings, despite the past may trying to drown my pride. 

The walls are painted with my past and the impending distance holds my future. The walls are trees, and there to serve as reminders that we are all living, we all make mistakes. That no matter what we do in life, we’ll grow into strong beings, despite the past trying to drown my pride. 

I walk these paths every morning, every day, every afternoon, and every night. I walk the rocky road, not to revisit my past—been there, done that—, but rather to learn how it is to function outside my comfort zone. I’m dying to know what life is like beyond the paths, but the environment challenges me. I’m a shy introvert who knows nothing more than what’s beneath me, and over me, and to the right of me. 

When our paths so conveniently intersect at the right time, I’ll show all that I’ve learned, not just from the deep impact of the mark, but also with the lessons forced from the environment. Until then, I’m left where the path splits into two, nervous about whether or not I’ll make the right decision.