It's a question that we ask regularly from a young age. The thing is, we start saying it as curious toddlers wanting to know more about the world. When we grow up, it can become a bit darker: "why me?", "why not me?", "why did this happen?", "why do people do that?".
Last night, I found myself in tears asking "why?". I had read an article about a teenager who had been bullied so relentlessly that she killed herself in front of her family. I started to wonder why people push others so viciously - are they simply ignorant to the pain they're causing? Or is it darker - did they get the outcome they wanted when this beautiful young lady died?
A couple of weeks ago, I made a long, rambling post on Facebook. Recently I've been remembering elements of my childhood which had previously been an empty compartment in my mind. That night I'd remembered one of my more severe experiences of bullying, and I wanted to write it down to help me remember it. Even now, the memory causes me to break out in a cold sweat.
Long story short, it had consisted of a group of girls constantly prodding at me with taunts and insults to see if I'd react. Eventually, I did react, and I snapped at them, one in particular. Later that day, this girl and a lot of her friends, some of whom I knew, most of them I didn't know, followed me as I walked to get my bus home. They laughed and shouted, pulled my earphones out of my ears, and at one point surrounded me.
I walked away physically unscathed, but it wasn't long after that day that I ended up dropping out of school. I was tired. I didn't want to deal with those girls anymore. I didn't realise those girls would follow me through life.
Of course, they don't literally follow me, but their personalities do. Every year I find myself face to face with someone who is equality as vicious. That said, this year has been a good year. I'm doing what I love, and through that, I'm meeting new people who are on the same wavelength as me.
Yet despite all of this, I still find myself wondering why people like that exist. I wish I had the answer. I wish I could hug every person who has been on the receiving end of people like that.
I wish I could have hugged young Brandy Vela. Her life mattered just as much as anyone else's. My heart aches for her loved ones who didn't get to see how her life progressed. I cry for those who saw her life end. I have no words other than "why?".