She was sad


Lauren Batterbee

A smiley face I found earlier this year by my car

She is happy. She’s heard good news a lot recently. She isn’t doubting her friends. She is enjoying her classes. 

Everything is how it is supposed to be. She laughs with her friends and smiles. A year ago, she was crying in her room while no one knew. They had their wonders, but she kept it hidden inside and laughed about it if they brought it up. Now, she hasn’t cried in months. The evil voice in her mind has been reduced. Trampled by the stress of being a senior, of becoming an adult, of the pressures she put on herself to be perfect. 

But she doesn’t think about those. She just feels happy. 

Some days, the doubts return: does she really know what happiness is? Or is she just distracted? Distracted from her inner thoughts that were never brought upon her by anyone but herself. She has learned to control her feelings and overpower it with homework and stress and auditions and thoughts of the future—maybe that’s her source of happiness. 

She is becoming whole again, and her tears are drying up. ”

She is happy. Laughing at the lunch table. Finding herself again from four years ago. The girl who was always on a sugar high, even though she barely had any sugar. The girl with no fears in the world. 

She is working towards that girl again. Whether she is finding the box that she locked her feelings in and tightened the lock this time or she is finally overcoming the feelings she doesn’t know what to call. She is becoming whole again, and her tears are drying up. 

Though she has been growing stronger, she still has rough days. She has days where she feels that everything is about to break. She feels that she will never become the girl she wants to be—the carefree adult show lives her job and keeps her child-like self close. 

Those days come out of nowhere, except the mirror she looks in. During a ballet class, she decides she sucks. Looking at a class she sees the grades she’s supposed to live up to. If she gets less than an A, she’s a failure. She almost broke down when she was questioning her exam grade.

But then she sees an outward facing smiley face. She sees a text from a friend she misses. She gets a hug from her mom and a silly joke from her dad. She talks to her friends and laughs again. She hears the songs she replays when she’s sad during her first hour, and she smiles. She remembers that her life is going well, and she is so close to her dreams. 

She is happy again, and even when the days get rough, she fights through them stronger than before.