January 16, 2019

Do we ever really know how anybody else feels?

Sarah Orr


This story wrote itself for the most part, with help from Sylvia Plath. Maybe because this type of story is never too far from the truth for most people. Broken homes come in all shapes and sizes; someone else might have had a worse time, but that doesn’t make our feelings any less valid. The piece isn’t a reflection of my own experience, but rather a reflection on the idea that even as we all search for the perfect family, it doesn’t really exist. Everyone has their own struggles and we can never know the full picture of someone else’s story.

This story is told from the perspective of a child who doesn’t see or understand the extent of the problems faced by others around her. We have no way of knowing what anyone else is thinking. Even if they tell us, they could be lying. The only person we ever really know is ourselves. We are ourselves forever, we don’t get to be anyone else. That is terrifying, but I wanted this story to highlight that even when we think we don’t want to be ourselves anymore, there is always something we will miss. When we think there is nothing worth living for, we will always be leaving something or someone behind. Even in divorce, or death, we need to look for the good. There will always be a better day soon, so there’s no need to give up.