I want to go to Wonderland

Every afternoon, I return to my home.

There’s nothing wrong with my humble abode, but I often find it repetitive. I come home at the same time every day; I perform the same after-school routine.

There are hiccups along the road: little bursts of joy and unexpectedness that I relish, but they’re rare.

My house is my sanctuary, and I love it. Yet, I find myself trapped in safety. I’m in a bubble; I can’t escape it. The layer of protection soothes my worries, but it can’t suppress my yearning for adventure.

I want to pop the bubble. I want to claw it, scratch it, and deflate it. I want it to burst, and I want the beams of sunshine that it filters to come through unsullied.

But, I can’t.

The bubble is too big, and I don’t possess any tool serrated enough to pierce its walls. Not yet.

So, for now, I am condemned to the operations of a small town.

My parents met in high school. My sister and her boyfriend did as well, and my brother and his girlfriend continued this pattern.

Will I?

I suppose I am sentenced to this way of life; I am expected to be the best. My sister is. She graduated with impressive grades and is going to medical school. My brother is. He passed with high marks as well and will pursue a career in engineering. Again, I am supposed to follow this pattern; there are footsteps leading me into the world of success, but I want to create my own path.

These footsteps that precede me are brilliant, even perfect, but my feet seem minuscule when I step into them. They lead me deeper into the center of the maze that I am trying to escape.

Currently, I am stepping carefully into my siblings’ footsteps; I work hard and push myself to excel in everything I do, but I don’t want to be forever banished to live inside this melancholy and monotonous bubble.

So, for now, I am condemned to the operations of a small town.”

I’ve started to tunnel through it this year, but I’ve only made a dent in the bubble’s dense walls.

I want to explore the world beyond the bubble — I always have.

As a young girl, I admired and fawned over the film Alice in Wonderland. Alice is simply curious, and she wants to understand the world around her. The difference between Alice and me is that I never got to go to Wonderland.

I’ve only ever seen it in my dreams.

I’ve seen images of it: a whimsical microcosm where possibilities are endless.

But, alas, the bubble won’t allow me to visit; whenever I try, it pushes me back and warns me not to try again.

For now, I must continue the pattern and pretend that my feet can fit in the footsteps of someone who is not me.

There are no bubbles in Wonderland, but I’ve never been.

Perhaps, one day, I’ll find the courage to rupture the bubble. Perhaps, one day, I’ll find my Wonderland.