Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Blue Bow

by Celia Gonzalez

A beautiful bow sits upon my dresser. The royal blue ribbon compliments each individual bead on the tail of each side. It’s a bit worn out from the hundreds of times I have attached it to my hair. Like many things that seem to lose themselves, the once shiny surface has dulled. It’s been about 4 years since I’ve worn it. I haven’t had the courage to pick it up and pack it away into some box, to finally let go of this gut wrenching feeling and simply move on. Every time I go to pick it up, a cowardly feeling seeps through me in fear of coming to a realization that my life hasn’t changed. The only change in it was myself. I back away.

The bow was given to me by an older homeless woman (around the age of 55-60) in June, four summers ago. Her figure was small and a bit plump. Her eyes were the lightest shade of brown with a few wrinkles on the side. She looked tired, but not unhappy. A few days after I received this gift, a relieving secret came forward that left me questioning almost everything I have believed in since the day I was able to comprehend my surroundings. For some reason I’ve always surrounded myself with people who can only be happy when things are materialistic. I never agreed with this. Kind words from a complete stranger would be able to make my day become greater by the second. I had no idea this woman was homeless. This was a mind-blowing thing for me to process because not once did she mention it and not once did her face seem as if she was struggling financially. She went about her day giving out bows for free to simply see the smiling faces of the neighborhood girls, including mine.

Two months later and this woman was nowhere to be seen. I was devastated to know that no one within the community was able to contact her and find out if she was somewhere safe. Though I was never able to 100% sure figure out what had become of her, I came up with my own bitter conclusion; she lost her way. Something that seems to happen a lot in this generation is people allowing for other surroundings to take over and blind them into seeing what is really valuable in this world. Value doesn’t come in a materialist way, it sides along with what brings each individual soul genuine happiness. This form of value fluctuates between everyone on this earth. Everyone has their own form of happiness and everyone chooses to express it in their own way. However, how can a person express happiness if he or she cannot seem to find something in this world that will make them completely content with their life?

I’ve let myself go. The happiness that used to radiate from my body slipped away into a region of darkness that scares me. That cowardly feeling whenever I attempt to pack away this bow is tied to many fixable changes that I can resolve myself. So why don’t I do it? Our society has constructed these social norms that everyone is expected to follow. I fear the side eyes and comments others would make if I simply followed my inner voice and pursued what truly makes me happy. This cowardly feeling is a way for me to hide how ashamed I am of the way I have acted to myself for the past four years.

No more.

A woman with little to no money was able to find something in her life to give her a purpose, to continue to be happy. There was no need for anything materialistic; all that was needed was a genuine and clean soul to help her get through each day one at a time.

I cried moments after reading Annie Dillard’s “The Death of a Moth.” An immediate stream of tears brushed down my cheeks. I cried because I understood the hollow feeling she felt within the pit of her stomach. I cried because the feeling of emptiness that radiated within her body and the frustration that tagged along because it was near to impossible for her to discover what would make it go away, She writes, “What was my life about? Why was I living alone, when I am gregarious.”

The sorrowful words Dillard shares helps me understand how feeling dead inside causes you to lose relations with everybody and everything. She felt alone even though she was surrounded by those who loved and cared for her. I could never complain about the friends and family that God has blessed me with and I wish to never have them taken away from me. Their support is shown with whatever decision I chose to uptake whether their agreement is there or not. The selfish question of why I feel so alone and empty runs through the back of my mind every night that it causes me to become tired, physically and emotionally. I have found my answer and I have achieved it through one of the simplest tasks a human can do; genuine happiness fails to favor in my direction because I am too scared to recognize that I have allowed this cruel generation to impact my decisions.

No longer will I allow for others to influence my own happiness in life. I want to accomplish this for myself first, but I do not want to stop there. I refuse to let anymore of my loved ones feel ashamed of the things that bring them joy. The only way to continue speaking out is through writing. Every detail that causes an irking feeling to me is to be written down. Once I am able to write my inner thoughts down on paper, perhaps I will be able to express these emotions with other people so they don’t make the same mistake I made. With writing comes true inner expression and purpose, and this will be the key for me to finally achieve my happiness.

What clothes you wear or what car you drive has no importance if you still can’t manage to find happiness. This recognition of finally understanding that I have changed is the first step into packing away the beaded, royal blue bow into a box that will finally be able to make me happy with what I am choosing to do with my life.

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