Lost (by Lee), a short story by Lee. Date added: 2007-07-07. Times viewed: 1219.
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- Intro: A young woman's struggle
- Sometimes it feels like she's losing it. She wakes up in the morning and feels like she has to sit and think about where it is. Not knowing if she left it in her childhood just before she fell pregnant at 16 and lost "the character forming teenage years", or whether she lost it when she realised that she had to constantly find ways to put food on the table. It comes and goes like a tornado spinning through a town leaving destruction and confusion in its wake. Maybe she could have lost it when she had to make a decision about what she wanted to do with her life. What do I want to be when I leave school? Am I going to college and university? Now that you have a child you need to get a job, now that you have a child to look after, what are you going to do?
It has taken her by surprise quite a few times. One day she is sufficiently happy and finds herself laughing with ease and not feeling like it's forced to arise from deep within. Other times she have to make a concerted effort to drag herself out of bed in the morning.
You would be forgiven for thinking that she is in her forties, at that point in her life where she is on a thin line, balancing between life beginning and a mid life crisis. But no, she is twenty nine, a single parent and terrified of where her life is going.
You hear so many people say that your twenties is one of the hardest points in life. Hard because you are studying and making decisions such as what job and career path do you want to take? I want to travel but to where? I'm thinking of living with my boyfriend, but am I too young? She wishes that her twenties were like that, that all she had to worry about was those things, but reality is different.
Each day it seems gets harder and not knowing where it is adds to the strain. She tries so hard to make something of herself but feels like she is constantly running towards a goal, but not getting any closer. She often stands on her balcony as the sun rises above the tower blocks and wonders what is going to happen to her and her daughter. She has no savings, no job, lives in a council flat that is much to be desired. The worry engulfs her like a dark cloud moving its way across a sunny sky. Her stomach churns at these thoughts. She feels sick, she feels like a failure.
For so many years she has "chopped and changed" much to the disgust of her family and friends. "What is she doing now?" she hears them say. "Not another job, not another course". For so long she has fought against the disapproving looks, thoughts and whispers and felt in her heart that she will find what she really wants to do, and the "chopping and changing" is a good thing. Giving her skills and life experiences. But now. Who is she kidding? For the last 13 years she has tried new things, learnt new skills. For what? To still be poor, struggling and worrying where the next Â£1 is going to come from. She is starting to think that everyone is right, that she is a failure and the "chopping and changing" has all been a waste of time.She doesn't know what she wants anymore, feels like she is slipping into a deep dark hole, with sides so smooth there is no way of getting out.
She has her positive moments, where she sucks it up and grabs the bull by the horns. She has the strength and confidence to push on through and knows that she will be a success. She wants for so much. A family with a husband who loves her, a good relationship with her daughter, maybe even more children, the house with the small garden that she can look at and moan that she has to mow the lawn. But something, something keeps going missing, keeps dragging her back down to a place she hates and can't seem to shake. It gets harder and harder each day to deal with, and the worst thing is no one really understands. Friends try to be understanding and offer advice, her partner tries sometimes to listen and tell her she is wrong, but deep down they know they don't really understand. Inside she is screaming and feels like the walls are closing in and she is suffocating, can't breathe, can't see can't deal with this endless confusion.
Everything in her life seems to be flawed or damaged in some way. her relationship with her daughter is far from good. Yes she is a good mother, in the sense of making sure food is on the table, that her daughter has clothes and shoes, that her daughter gets to socialise with friends and has treats now and then. But the most important thing that her daughter needs seems to be the hardest thing she can give. She loves her daughter, the unconditional love that a baby has for their mother from the moment that they are born, but to her it's not enough. She doesn't hug and smother her daughter with kisses, she argues constantly with her and seems to show anger more times than not. The bond they should have is not there, and it kills her inside. Friends say that she is a good Mum and needs to stop being silly, but they don't really understand.
Why does the past have to have such an effect on peoples lives? For her it seems to keep rising up and biting her in the ass. Relationships with the opposite sex have been awful and when a good one comes along it is spoiled because of it. All she wants is love, real love and honesty. A man that will always tell her the truth, have no secrets. Look after her, and not in a materialistic way. Come on this is the 21st century. She can look after herself. Even though a bunch of flowers wouldn't go a miss now and again I suppose. She wants a man to really understand who she is. Someone to look after her when she is down, not have double standards (hard to get I know). She wants to be able to relax and know that when she does, the world won't fall apart. Feminists everywhere cringe as they read this, but she feels that you can be an independent strong woman and still have a man in your life. It's allowed.
Where is it? She is sure she had it yesterday. She woke up in the morning and made herself a steaming hot cup of tea. It was there then, she was sure it was. It happens just like that, it seems at the same time every year. Maybe this will be a constant reoccurrence until she finds out what really makes her happy, until she finds it again and can hold on to it.
She woke up and stood on her balcony watching the sunrise above the tower blocks. She waited to see if it had returned.
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