When is it time to stop?
Text By Vanessa Silva Miranda
Image by Karl ‘Shakur’ Ndieli

I bowed and bent but didn’t break. I writhed and winced but didn’t fall. I was torn apart and lost track but didn’t give in. I twisted and shouted. I scraped the flesh on my knees but didn’t care for the marks. I tossed and turned my soul in search. I shrilled my bones against the walls. I fought and battled, but I never stopped.

And the reason is simple, I couldn’t.

I poured my soul into the world with every written word. I fought the monsters and the darkness with every page filled with long, never-ending stories. Why didn’t I stop? Why didn’t I decide to be content with what I already had? The reason is simple, I couldn’t. I tried to be quieter, softer, simpler. I vowed to shut my mouth, my ears and close my eyes to everything happening around me. I looked for ways to be less given, less trusting, less naïve. I forced myself not to care, not to hope, not to seek what seemed to be impossible for so long. Even when I detached myself, even when I felt disembodied, even when I felt disconnected, inside me there was this voice, this desire whispering…’One more time, just one more time baby. One more time against the wall. One more time with all the hard work’. Maybe when we belong somewhere, when we are destined to something this voice is our guide. It guided me here, where I am now. Destiny took its sweet time with me but I didn’t give in. I’m here, I’m here now…’breath, you made it…relax, you made it’. When everything seems to become a little overwhelming, when the tears come rolling down, when my body begs me to stay quiet, I think back on those four years and how everything changed in a few days. I remember that I’m here, I made it. Just because I never gave up.

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