In fifth grade, in the school lab where classmates were afraid to prick their fingers for an exercise that I now understand to be questionable, I pricked mine. Like young vampires hungry for a single drop, boys and girls flocked to get a donation. I was pleased in a strange way – strange because I was never the sort to really care if people wanted me to be part of their clique. If someone wanted to be my friend, then fine. In college, I had my share of several true friends. We were a mix of guys and girls, rich and poor, cheerful and jaded, but we all had one thing in common: a love for the arts and computers. We were animation students.
In high school though, when things were a little bit lonely, a prick of a finger can turn into art. Droplets of blood became a miniature painting of a rose. They asked if I was alright. I was fine, really. I discovered that physical pain is better – easier to endure, at least – than emotional pain.
As a mother giving birth, pain was glorious and necessary. It gave life to a wailing infant, alive and hungry for more about living. A shot of Vicodin was still a bonus, though.
As a mother, however, pain has become equal to fear. There is the fear of leaving somebody behind, someone precious and beautiful. Youth can make you embrace risks but experience teaches caution. Caution is boring but wise.
Life is a relationship with pain. We all have to go through not just surgeries and physical wounds but also heartbreaks and disappointments. We just have to understand when to endure pain and when to overcome it.