The last few months I thought about it, dreamed about it. Every pro and con, every senario; I was so close, so close to doing it. Ready to taste that freedom on the other side... But as I braced myself for that first step, my brother ran up and took the plunge. Slowly he finds himself nearing the other side, and here I am, pacing back and forth at the water's edge. Contemplating, wondering, fearing that I could not handle it, as my sibling starts to drown and save himself over and over and over again. He never stops trying, never gives up, never lets those harsh words influence his actions. Why can I not be that brave? Why do I always give in to these words, these thoughts, these opinions that reach out and grab me like hands; pulling me away from the edge of the water I so desperately wanted to cross. Was it for my safety? Were they worried I would drown and be lost forever in the sea of uncertainty, swallowed whole by the unknown? Or do they keep me for themselves? Creating the illusion of safety and comfort, so I would stay behind? This hold they have, this power looming over me, it never goes away; even when I am alone, it haunts my thoughts, and dare I say...destroys my dreams? I know they do not want me to take the plunge, but I am ready. Ready to test the water, ready to attempt the journey to the other side; because I know that is where my life will really begin. They know I am ready; they know I want it so badly. Maybe that is why they are trying harder than ever to make me stay.That is why the hands, the words, begin to turn into chains. Desperate to keep me, they wrap around my chest, constricting my breath as I struggle, again, towards that edge; They weigh down every limb as I inch closer and closer. And as I approach, I realize why they keep me, why they are so afraid to let me go, as my brother had done before me. Their words, in any form, cannot cross the sea! The control disappears at the edge, it can no longer decide the fate of its victims. Now I know why I must cross, why the freedom to be myself is only on the other side. I accept that I will never be what they want; I can only be me and that is all I could ever try be: me, myself, and I. The ones who control the words are not enemies. They overprotect, underestimate their offspring. They know the darkness of the water from experience leaving their own shore. But they forget that every child must cross the sea to find themselves. They are afraid to let go because they are not ready to watch me drown; afraid because they can no longer venture into the water to help, to console, to protect. If I make it though, they will be more at ease with the others to follow. They will know that it is okay to let them venture out into the unknown. And when mine reach their edge, I will be there with guiding hand and cautioned words; because I will too know the darkness of the water, but also the confidence that each one will reach the shore on their own.