Every Ship Needs a Sailor

By Beata Gunawan. Beata is 14 and from Jakarta, Indonesia.

I want you to try and imagine a ship. Then imagine you, a human. What similarities between you and the ship do you see? I see that both humans and ships are made up of so many parts. If even the smallest part is taken away from them, they’re not the same anymore. They might still function, and in the case of the human, still smile, but not as well as they used to.

New ships break too. They get tossed around in bad weather, strong winds, and huge, clashing waves; they crash against large rocks, get stuck in the middle of the ocean, and flip over. And one day, a certain rock manages to hit the ship on a certain spot, and it just gives out and crashes on a beach somewhere.

Humans are the same way. We are made of emotions and thoughts, ideas and memories. We want to go out and discover the world. We want to share our ideas with people who need them. We simply want the world to be a happy place, but obstacles stand in our way, especially when we’re teenagers. People look down on us because we’re young, we don’t get to be ourselves, and sometimes, we have to suppress our emotions, because that’s what we are taught, that showing emotions is a sign of weakness.

And one day, we feel like we can’t take it anymore. We start to cut our wrists, we start to think of ways we could die, we start to do things we never knew we would do. We end up being broken to pieces, and it seems like we will never be whole again.

One day, a man was about to go fishing when he noticed the wreck on the beach. He knew so little about ships. But he looked around the ship nevertheless. He found that it looked new, despite being broken. So he called his friends who knew about ships, and they fixed it together. A lot of effort and time was put into it, but when it was finished, the man was satisfied with how the ship looked now. Only one thing remained, testing the ship on actual waters. The man, along with his friends, drove the ship to test it, and they celebrated when they found that the ship could sail well.

Humans are the same way! I can’t stress this enough, all we need is someone to pour time and effort into us, to love us. Someone who could put all our pieces back together, even if it means their hands bleed from picking these pieces up. These people could be your friends, your family, or even a random stranger you meet on the train.

They may know nothing about mental illnesses, they may not even know you, but if you let the right sailor into your life, you could be sailing the smoothest sail of your life. You could be you again. Your scars may remain, and the nightmares may still haunt you, but you can be you again.

You’re growing, you’re gaining experience, you’re sailing. There may be people who get off and get on your ship, but you’ll find that there are people who never get leave, who stick to you, even on stormy days, trying to keep you on course.

And one day you realize, you’re you again. Completely you. Even the biggest rocks can’t break you. None of the strongest winds can sway you. You are whole again, and this time, nothing, absolutely nothing, can take you down.

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