At some point, you reach an age where you figure things out.
The thing is, you figure out all the wrong things.
You figure out that all those kids you thought were your friends in kindergarten-
yeah, they never actually liked you.
You figure out that all those times you were teased, and the stinging words made you cry-
yeah, that was bullying.
You figure out that all those anti-bullying classes you sat in-
yeah, they were useless.
Because you were stuck in the back of the room, day dreaming about a better day.
And while you're making all these revelations
The others don't know these things.
Because you're looking in the wrong direction.
They're looking to high school, and college, and to becoming doctors and lawyers and actors and singers.
Because while you were looking back on the past, everyone else is looking onto the future.
They never figure out that they were bullies.
They never figure out that they tore you into shreds.
They never figure out that they made kids lose heart and soul and mind, and all that's left
consuming like wildfire, crushing and pulverizing hope and happiness into ash.
They never figured out what you did, that there was something wrong about how things were turning out. What was this thing the adults called "status quo"? If the world followed on a revolving history book, you should have been at the top of your game, coming up with the seeds that would eventually grow into the theory of relativity, a best-selling book.
But you figured out that it was a lie.
History does not repeat itself.
Each era is different, and you figured out that this one is turned upside down, and there is something sickening about the way we crush and nurture and destroy and coddle our diagnoses, our guinea pigs and lab rats that swallow the medication to push away all that they have figured out, as if we don't want them to grow. We stunt growth and imagination, despite the fact that you figured out that we have only survived as long as we have on those two factors.
You figured out that people are like paper.
People are like paper. They begin fresh, and end differently. They may have similar marks, sure, and they may seem similar, but no paper is exactly alike.
People are like paper, they are fragile, and can be crumpled and torn or float away.
People are like paper, because they can begin blank and enticing, and end with imagination and branches creating a free flowing new idea that inspires some and intrigues others and infuriates the occasional.
People are like paper, they can be built into something fantastic, a paper airplane, or can be joined with others to create a model or a figurine or a letter or a script or a book.
And you figured out, that while you can look into the past, and you can look into the future, speculating on how a piece of paper began and ended is pointless.
Sonder- n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own- populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness- an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you'll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lightened window at dusk.
And when you figure out sonder, you figure out that everyone else, the bullies and the victims the parents and the passersby and the friends and the families and the neighbors and the leaders and the teachers- they've figured all this all out before.
And then you figure out that you're not alone.