I have to admit. A part of me died.
When I had to leave that South American man and that new sexual experience that was free of shame, fear, full of a new tier of adulthood, a new window of life... I died.
When I left a world of baila and reggaeton, where I enjoyed glasses and bottles of wine whenever I wanted without being accosted... swimming with my hair woven into 20 inch braids with full confidence that they would dry as I laid out in the sun... I died.
When I had to leave the places of that life and that plane of experience and exploring, where I was closer to myself than I had ever been...where I had felt the highest highs and the lowest lows...where I tried my hand at meditation, at stillness, at being... I died.
When I left that world for this one, a nation full of leaders and a people devoid of morals...a nation of global epicenters, greed, ignorance, unrest, racial disparity, and the hypocritical clamor of “freedom” that sets this paradox of a nation apart... I died.
Here I fight for life. The air doesn’t come easy to me. I choke it down unpurified, clogged with blood, screams, torture, smoke, smog. I choke it down and swallow. And accept and adapt.
And my golden skin lies hidden underneath long sleeves. My eyes lie sunken into my face full of sleep but devoid of rest, of peace.
My mind races, makes patterns, searches for solutions in a world where that does not lie solely up to me.
But today I realized what gives. And it’s because a part of me has died. All those months ago I laid her to rest so that I could survive here. Here where my theoretical death pales in comparison to the bodily death of hundreds of thousands and the emotional death of all who mourn for them. I wonder what will be left alive, untouched.
In the back of my head and in my heart, I hope the world I left remains wondrous.
Even that world was fraught with disturbing history and a reality of inequalities. But I can stomach those more than those of this land. There I can escape. I understand that as my privilege.
So we leave little bodies scattered all over the place: the deaths of our former selves.