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My Hard Hat

5/18/23

Every single day, I put on a hard hat. My world seems like a construction site at times. A lot of background noise, and crashing. Around every corner, I see a caution sign. Nowhere is safe and I need to, “proceed with caution” in order to survive. So, I choose to protect myself from whatever is around that corner. The hard hat protects me from the glass that cuts me. It protects me from the rocks that hit me in the face out of nowhere. And, it protects me from the lingering dust that may just find its way in and suffocate me.

If my hard hat is protecting me, why would I need to take it off? The chaos that surrounds me is something I’ve created. If I created it, why can’t I just control it? There are only a couple different options:

a) I put on more protection… a hazmat suit. If I put on this hazmat suit, will the glass, rocks, and dust settle to the surface? Will I be able to see clearly, or will I continue to see the void that is all encompassing. Will I become someone who is always bracing for impact and scared of the world? Closed off from others, including myself. But honestly, that seems safer than option b.

b) I could take off the hard hat, I suppose. But, I don't think I would make it out alive. I would get cut, bruised, and eventually suffocate. The construction site is just too big. Unless I run through it, there is no way out. Getting through it will take time… a little too much time. There are way too many obstacles to overcome.

This hard hat is made of so many different things, but most of all, it is built from a lot of pain. It is trying to protect me (you guessed it) from more pain. This pain can come from people, or dare I say lack of people. Maybe a place, or a thing. Some of these people, places and things, built up a lot of pain, while some only built up a little. These painful puzzle pieces create the hard hate.

Part of me wants to continue to build up that hard hat. I’m scared it will fall off my head by mistake. The more weight I add, the less lively it will fall off. I’m self aware enough to know that building it up, will just set me back. But I don’t mind, because I’m not sure what taking my hard hat off would lead to. Isn’t something that protects me, supposed to keep me safe? Ironically, it also hurts me. How is it that something can protect me and hurt me at the same time?

Weirdly enough, I forget that this hard hat even exists sometimes. I don’t think about it. Until it gets so heavy, I have to. The pain becomes unbearable for a little while. Until the next day, though. When I choose to put it back on. When will I stop putting it back on every…single…day? I don’t think I will.



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