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Monday, 24 December 2012

Dry eyes


         When I entered my teens, the world seemed a dark, grim place. 26/11 happened on my fourteenth birthday. Or maybe my fourteenth birthday happened on 26/11. Either way, it upset me very much for a very long time. I grew morbid. Rationally, I knew there was no connection. And, I suppose, if you thought about it and searched hard enough, you'd probably find bad and good things that happened on every single day of the year. But it still hurt. Especially because I didn't find out till the next day (thankfully) and I was so utterly happy on that day. My classmates had noticed I'd seemed gloomy and thrown me a surprise party. I was touched, and oh, so pleased. I hadn't even thought they'd noticed. It was a perfect day. But when I found out, it stained everything backwards, and I knew that for the rest of my life, 26th November would no longer be just my own, happy day, but something else as well. I woke up to the horrors of the world that year. They were everywhere: in the newspapers, on TV, on the streets, in books, in my thoughts. I cried and cried and cried. I think I shed a tear for every iota of happiness I'd ever felt.

But I've changed.

       I still read the newspapers, and they're the same.  The horrors are still the same. I feel a pang, maybe two.

But my eyes are dry.

Why? Have I become desensitized? Have my tears run dry? Have I adapted, and so the things that hurt me hurt me no more? Have I distanced myself, so these things no longer seem real? Have I accepted these things? Should I accept them? And does the fact that I don't cry anymore mean I'm not empathetic anymore?

I've thought about it and decided that the world needs all the happiness it can get. If that seems a little presumptuous, let me put it another way - I need all the happiness I can get. I don't think there's anything wrong with being happy. I think I've come to accept that there are things I cannot change - or cannot change yet. And if I cannot change it, there is no point in morbidly obsessing over it and making myself miserable when it serves no purpose. I no longer feel guilty, because I am not guilty, and because I am not happy despite someone else's pain. I am happy that I am not causing someone pain and happy that if I can help, I help. I am glad to be happy. I am glad I have dry eyes. Glad because they have not always been so, that they have the ability to feel so deeply and sympathize so well. I am proud that my eyes were wet; I am proud that they are now dry.