When people think of surprises, they often think pleasant surprises. It’s often something big like a birthday party or a small thing like learning something amazing in Physics class. In my family, the feeling of surprise too often applies to angry, intimidating outbursts. These explosions encompass defensiveness, frustration, pride, stubbornness, and admonishment.
I know my grandpa is old, and I know that I should appreciate my aunt for helping us out while my parents are overseas. But I’m tired. I’m tired of getting lectured at, being reminded of how much of a waste of space I am. Every adult in my family treats me like I should be glad they are even talking to me, like everything they do for me is a favor. They tell me to thank them, and I do reluctantly, because something about their demands are off. I don’t follow their orders or show them respect out of appreciation, I show it out of obligation. I’m tired of being obligated to act this way and that, or being praised or criticized for everything I do.
That’s why I value solitude so much. I want to move far away where they can’t visit me by car, where they can only simper polite hellos over the phone. There, I will roam the town alone in bliss, because when I’m alone, I am free.
“Trying hard to reach out
But when I tried to speak out
Felt like no one could hear me
Wanted to belong here
But something felt so wrong here
So I prayed I could break away” — Kelly Clarkson (“Breakaway”)