When I was a young child, I used to sit by the window in my room for hours. I used to sit by the window with my pillow and lose myself in its view. I lost myself in the view and the dreams that it inspired.
Every session in the window started out with an light observation of nature. Directly outside my window was a tall breadfruit tree. Ackee and salt fish with breadfruit is my favorite meal so I always looked at the tree in anticipation of the fruit blooming.
On the right of the breadfruit tree was my neighbors house. The most notable thing about the house was the dog who’s memory still haunts me to do this day. The dog’s name was ‘Sawny’ and I distinctly remember him chasing me down one day after I teased him. I guess I should have known better. While I realized the error of my ways at some point during my teenage years, my fear of dogs still exists to this day.
On the left of the breadfruit tree was chicken coups, a gutter and the graves of my ancestors. Of all of these, the gutter was my favorite because I would take my toy cars and play in it very often. When it rained, it was also really fascinating to watch the water ricochet through the passageway and into the gully.
I spent more than a decade in this window dreaming about a better life. A life in which I wasn’t a loner and where people liked me. A life where I was living a dream instead of dreaming of a better one. If I’m being honest, a part of me despised my time at the window because it was a constant reminder of my loneliness.
The window was my solace, my safe place. The place that felt the most comfortable to me, my authentic place. The place where I felt seen by myself and where there was no judgement. The window was where I was authentically me and no one else. My dreams reflected a broken perspective on life but at least I was still me.
I eventually got the life I dreamed of when I was in college. I was popular, successful, had ‘friends’ and a plethora of women that were attracted to me. I had what I dreamt of as a child and I thought it would feel good but it didn’t. I felt empty and lost. I was insecure and paranoid. I was miserable but I looked like I was happy. I even managed to convince myself that there wasn’t a missing piece. I was able to convince myself but my actions revealed the true state of my soul.
I am naturally an introvert but my college years were extroverted. I constantly wondered if I was who I said I was because I wanted to be or if I was only who I was because of what others wanted me to be. My college years were spent people pleasing and wondering if I was doing enough for other people to like me. My college years were spent overextending myself to live my window pane dreams even though those dreams would rob me of me.
It took years of therapy, multiple traumatic relationships and a spiritual reckoning for me to finally come to terms with the truth about myself. It took all of that to look under the hood and be honest with myself about where I was. It was after all of this that I started the journey of not only confronting my true self but learning how to love him as well. I’m still on this journey and I have a long way to good but I am loving me.
I am learning to love all of myself and to keep showing up as my authentic self wherever I go. I am learning that not everyone will like me and that not everyone should. I am learning that rejection is a part of life and that life is full of disappointments. There is a lot of things in life that I need to leave to God but there are also a lot of things that I need to do as an individual to be steady in the storm.
Now some of you might be wondering how my time at the window comes in and I’ll let you in on my revelation now. As I start to love myself more and confront the parts of myself that keep me in a destructive cycle, I find myself drifting back to the peace I felt in the window.
I used to think of my time at the window as an era of abandonment and loneliness but that was scythe era where I was the most authentic. That was the era when my mind wondered unencumbered by the thoughts and judgements of others. It’s when I was free to dream and when I felt peace.
Today you can find me at your nearest park or lake. You can find me wherever the wind is blowing and the birds are chirping. Or you can find me in my car in some random parking lot with my feet on the dash and a book in my hands. You can find me there as I’m searching for the little boy that I left at the window all those years ago. The authentic little boy who didn’t know he had a solid foundation between the window frames.