There was darkness all around me. It embraced me like a coat, but instead of giving me warmth, it got colder the tighter it was to my body. How did I get there? I had no idea. I was all alone. There was no sound, there was just nothing. It felt as if someone took my eyesight. I was wandering around, trying to find the exit. I could not. I was walking a circle. I sat down, trying to breathe, trying to focus. There were these memories from a past that felt like another lifetime. I thought of colors, brightness and something that I could not remember when I felt it the last time. The darkness made me see more clearly after a while. Something was taken away from me, something that was way more important than my eyesight, and I wanted it back. My greatest fear was that I forgot I ever had this feeling, that I forgot it really existed, and was no fairytale. I cannot remember the last time I had it, but I still remember that I liked it, and I did not want to forget how happiness felt like.
When I started working, it felt the whole world changed. Was it still the same I grew up in? Back in school I was listening to the teachers, learning what they taught me. But they did not prepare me for this. I wondered if I could work. I had never done this before. What if I was unable to do it right? My co-workers would probably laugh at me and talking behind my back just like my fellow students did evertime I said something wrong in class. I could not run to my parents anymore. It did not change a thing in school, and it would not at work. My Mom told me that she had doubts, too. It was normal. Everything new is scary at first, because it is unknown. No one can predict the future. We learn by trying. Only not trying will lead to failure. The more doubts I have about myself, the less I try and the more dissatisfied I will be.
My parents were no longer holding my hand, I was no child anymore, but they still were by my side. I worked, and I started to like it. It was different than school, it was exhausting. I could not see my friends each day anymore. The weekends were the days I looked forward to. As a kid, every day was new, full of miracles and possibilities. A year seemed endless. A single day had so much to offer. I could easily get excited. A new magazine, a new CD, going to the mall, or the zoo, seeing the big world with kids’ eyes is wonderful. I saw all the beauty, all the good. And then I grew up. Facing reality is to deal with issues, like which insurance to take, how to pay bills, etc. There was no place for fun, for dreams, for creativity. I had to work. All day. Be a grown up.
As a kid I loved telling stories. I was listening to my friends, putting everything they liked in one story and telling them that was the greatest joy. Making them laugh, seeing their smiles made me happy. When I played with my dolls, I created a backstory for every one. Every doll had not only a name, but her own personality. As a teenager I wrote stories. I used characters of my favorite TV shows and gave them unique adventures. I even put characters from different shows together. I loved that. But when I started working I was too exhausted at the end of each day, I stopped writing. It took a while, until I realized how much I missed it.
My former co-worker Katrin was unlike others. She was colorful. She loved cartoons, video games, and her Cookie Monster tattoo. She dyed her hair differently, in all colors of the rainbow. And she once started talking about Sheldon. I had no idea who that guy was, but she was so excited about this TV show and that character, that everyday she was talking about it. Sheldon said this, Sheldon did that. I had never seen anyone talking so passionately about a specific character. I got curious. I needed to know what was so special about him. Truth is, when I watched my very first episode of The Big Bang Theory, I did not like it much. But the more I thought about it, there could not have been a better first one for me to see, because it was exactly how I felt back then. I just could not see it, did not want to see it, because it confronted me with my life, with what made me unhappy.
I was like Penny. I felt as a failure. Nothing in my life seemed to work the way I wanted, planned, hoped. Anyway, I was not ready to give up my dreams. She got distracted by this video game, I got distracted by this show. I have never read why it was named like that, as the guys never talked about the actual theory. But I figured out that the show came like out of nowhere, expanding in my life, and somehow it feels it has always been there. Penny just moved in next door in the pilot episode. She came like out of nowhere, expanding in the guys’ lives and now they cannot imagine their lives without each other anymore. What I learned from the show, after all these years, is that we are who we are because of the people we are with. No one is perfect. Everyone struggles now and then, everyone has issues, insecurities, but only a few are strong enough to admit them, or even talk about them.
People tend to be jealous. They see only the good in others, and the bad in themselves. Everyone wants to pretend to be perfect. But no one is. Like my Mom said, life is a constant change. And everything new is scary at first. Yes, I did feel lost. It was a huge change, and I felt less prepared than I actually was. As a kid I felt protected by my parents, so I was not sure if I could do anything on my own. But I could. And choosing that workplace made me meet Katrin. And she did not give up talking about Big Bang, and one day, she gave me her first season DVD, saying: watch it and like it. And I did. It took a while to realize what I liked about the show. It brought something back that I lost somehow: happiness. I was able to smile again, there was some relief that other people struggle, too.
I wanted to know all about the production and the writing. I remembered how much fun writing once was for me. I loved to bring joy to people, made them laugh. I started to watch interviews with the cast and writers on YouTube. Well, at least the first few videos, the rest was just Jim. I did not notice it at first, but listening to him made me realize who I was when I was about to forget it. The more I listened to him, the more I could relate, and it has not changed, even six and half years later. What I most love about him is his excitement. When he speaks about acting, about Todd, about the Houston Rockets, about the news people, there is always this sparkle in his eyes. He made me realize that even as an adult I can be excited. I can be passionate. I can have dreams. I can still see the beauty, the good, just like a child. Maybe not everyone understands me, maybe they judge me, but maybe they only wish to allow themselves being excited when often enough the world seems like a dark, cold place.
I have been there. And I do not want to go back. I do not want to live in entire blackness, sadness. I might be grown up because of my age, but deep inside my heart, I never want to actually grow up. Not when it means to give up who I am. I do not want to adapt. I do not want to be how others want me to be. I want to be me and being accepted for who I am. I want to show my colors, focus not only on the bad. I know it is okay to love, I know it is okay to show it. I can still write, I can still be creative. No more hiding, pretending, lying to myself. I do not want to lose my happiness, my excitement, me ever again. I do not only have to work, or try to be perfect. I do not want to pretend to be someone I am not. I might be more like Sheldon that I was aware of. Now I can see it. I am me, and forever will be, a grown up child.