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Where Do We Go Now

by Kristina Cakova


Have you ever wondered where did all the time go?

My grandma loves using this phrase while looking through my old childhood photos. It wasn’t until now though, that I have truly grasped the meaning of this wordplay.


When we are fifteen we wish to finally be older enough to be able to go places without permission, to have an occasional drink, to go to bars or to drive a car alone to our friend’s house.


Once we turn eighteen, we experience all these things. We are unaware of the few careless moments we have left while we dive into so-called adulthood, without a mere realisation of our dying childhood.


Then we blink twice and we wake up in our twenties, with ghosts welcoming us at the table. Say hi to newly-wed responsibilities. Say hi to taxes and endless apartment hunts. Greet your new best friend: balancing university, work, fun and sanity.






“inner childs”


they say 20s are for

finding ourselves,

they say 20s are for

showing one's progress.

but what they fail to tell is,

how painful these years are.

healing from childhood demons,

while navigating adulthood monsters.


blown away by responsibilities,

in search to avoid being someone’s liabilities,

we thrive to make it on our own,

in a world which doomed our inner childs.

with our hearts aching to be loved,

yet taking pills to cease the noise,

that our brain refuses to stop.


capitalism haunts us in dreamland,

reminding of things we never had.

waking up from morning to morning,

just to discover.

everything we strived for,

has left us deaf.


However, after some time, we get used to the spiral, realising we left our toys behind and put on BIG GIRL shoes. At this point, discovering therapy is a blessing in disguise. We learn how to love ourselves unconditionally in all shapes and sizes, while healing from generational trauma. But most importantly, we open our hearts to emotions that were hidden for too long because we were told they made us vulnerable and weak.


“pain”


to let feelings flow inside

is to feel pain unimaginable to human kind.

one buries it within,

one drowns it in drinks,

but one can’t always carry it beside.

stay, hold,

close your eyes,

to open the body to ache

experienced only by brave ones.

because at the end of the tunnel,

there’s still light,

in the lake of hope and love.






Twenties truly are magical and positively challenging, though, from what I have learnt, they also tend to be very blue. We have to say so many farewells in order to explore ourselves, to see what the world offers us. But what happens when we feel stuck in between? As in, stuck in a peaceful parking lot where you have waved goodbye to your childhood, found slight balance in a never-stopping, busy world. Yet, we don’t know whether all we want is stability and consistency with a spice of occasional adventure or to reincarnate into our 18-year-old bodies to experience it all again. Mainly because we’re scared of the so-often-referred-to-as-tedious but steady future.


“gen z”


disconnected from the world,

blankly staring into screens

that provide us with no more than addiction.

searching for validation of strangers

who never met us,

telling us to k*ll ourselves,

telling us we don’t matter.


i wonder where all the kindness went,

vanished from the earth

banished from people’s hearts.

when did we become so selfish?

so self-absorbed, so money-driven,

attention-seeking, empty caskets.


i miss strangers’s smiles,

with no dishonest intentions,

with no twisted impressions.

just simple acts of affection.


i hope there's more of us,

dreamers of brighter days,

waiting for humanity to rise up again.


Such a parking lot holds onto many “what ifs”. Even though we could say: “let’s live right now and here for the moment”, it’s okay for our hearts to yearn for answers and possible outcomes. A beautiful book by Matt Haig called Midnight Library captures the struggle of regrets, and THE “what ifs”. Each decision in our lives delivers different results, bringing us closer to distinct endings. Not to say there are good or wrong choices, because ultimately there are only choices we do or do not regret making. Opportunities we could take, but for some reason we didn’t.


"point”


what’s the point,

of having clothes we want,

of travelling where we want,

of going to schools we want.

if ultimately the things we cry for,

are right in front of us,

waiting to be seen,

past all the trivialities.

to be enjoyed,

to be loved

and to breathe for.


What if we reached out to the person we truly liked? What if we booked the trip to Canada? What if we took the freelance job full of uncertainties? What if we shared our art with audiences?

Well, we will never know until we try. The peaceful and stable lifestyle offers so much comfort. It’s a warm blanket over our everyday life, until one day we realise we have missed on chances we dreamed of taking, yet felt too comfortable and scared to do so.





“regrets”


are the things we wish

we did differently

ours to regret?


are people we wish

we ended up staying with

people who actually exist?


or is it all

a flower of fantasy

deceiving our minds,

that there’s a better life,

all seen

with pink blinds.


in one I could have

stayed with you,

in the other

wouldn’t remember

who you are.


but in this one

at least I know

I tried.


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