The idyllic bare footed play in the garden, hanging-out at homes of neighbours, whether invited or not, our youth was about creating our own excitement. My siblings and I roamed the streets. We picked wild flowers and made up songs. Sometimes we escaped into the vast landscape, disappearing until dawn.
Rain, hail, or shine, we’d come home at the end of the day, exhausted, our faces dirty, our clothes torn and raggedy. Often with a tale to tell, or a tale we’d prefer to keep secret.
The present is forever, and I wasted so many precious moments, longing for the future. The future is finally here, and I find myself saying time flies, I’m longing for the past. Wanting to re-write history, re-live it in the hope to remember more and to do better.
Hindsight! I think about the things I could have changed. Saying a better good bye to my father for instance. Punching bullies in the face, saying I love you to my mother, in fact showing more love to people I cared about. Hugging and understanding my brother. Writing more letters, instead of being idol and lazy. Throwing myself in front of destructive bull-dozers, choosing to seek out books instead of lazily lolling about on our dry lawn, cloud gazing and dreaming of what will be.
Youth they say, is squandered on the young. If I were young again, I would not waste a single second.
I was determined to conquer the world, but I took too much heed of other people’s thoughts and opinions. I should have been confident and courageous and face people’s prejudices, confront their bullying behaviour, and those ferocious teachers with their nasty looks and canes.
Then when they see me stepping out to the beat of the drum, remembering the marches at our school assemblies, people would gasp and say, look at this fearless little girl, with personality and true-grit.
I had no malice, ill thoughts or ulterior motives, I had no hatred. But it would have been much better for me to be able to say…… “I am an innocent, an unworldly girl, but someone not to be messed with, therefore if you want to attack my brother, ridicule my foreign family or the little shack I live in, laugh at my ideas, my small imperfections, and my open emotions, then whatever the consequences you’ll be in for a fight”.
That should have been me. Because I prefer no regrets. I know now, the meek do not inherit the earth, this fallacy was created by people to fool and control us.