Saturday morning fog
This morning, I woke early after a whole day of sleep catch up. Recently, with my work and uni-study load I’ve been utterly bombarded by responsibility and schedule and my natural instinct is to withdraw into myself in order to escape.
During one of these sessions of introspection, I recalled one of my past relationships and the perception of who I was at the beginning to who I became at the end. This perception is not my own because even though I recognise that who I am is not a static entity, those around me aren’t aware of this internal discourse and can only judge me on how I act and behave.
I recall a long beach stroll once, early on in a new relationship where I was telling my girlfriend of how I got to where I am today and why I was me, why my outlook was unique. She listened to my story, perhaps somewhat embellished to make me look better, after all we are necessarily the heroic protagonists of our own story. But I recall her amazement of who I was and how despite the odds, I’d ended up with my particular outlook on life. Her words stuck with me because they seemed not disingenuous, but rather exaggerated.
She told me that I should become a motivational speaker.
Looking back, I know that she was affected by my history and my refusal to give into the demons of the past. Yet they were there, even then I could feel them tugging away at the bits of my soul. And 5 years later, when the relationship ended, they had somehow dominion over my thoughts, where as once they only held whispers.
Somehow, the relationship that I’d craved for so long as being my salvation had actually condemned me. The infection that my demons represented had grown, festered and eventually burst inside me, polluting me with self-hatred and loathing. Where once, I strove to seize the day and every opportunity with zeal and hope, I now looked at everything with a taint of bitterness and cynicism.
It took a long time to crawl out of that hole, and I don’t believe for a second that I’m totally out (I probably never will be). However, I have learnt to recognise and distinguish my own voice from that of the despair. I also know how much easier and desirable it is to listen to that comforting voice.
Why would it be so desirable?
Because to have hope is also to risk that hope being destroyed. It is a risk of failure, of things being worse than that of the now. Yet to entertain the opposite and dwell in despair is comforting and safe because there is no hope of disappointment. All you feel is your own sense of worthlessness and inability, but the prospect of unrecognised potential is there. It is still hoping, but without the risk of hope, without the risk of loss because you won’t ever risk anything by actually hoping.
This year, I will have completed so much. Yet I feel the journey hasn’t been anywhere near as good as it could have been because I didn’t risk enough, I didn’t hope for anything strong enough and therefore let opportunities that could have been mine slide past me. So though I have these victories, they are still filled with regret and therefore have been poisoned in a way.
Being in a constant state of watch against oneself is exhausting and this is another reason why just giving in to despair is so alluring as it offers a respite from the battle. I still haven’t managed to work out a solution against this. I will still inevitably slip into these reveres and states from time to time. I thought the solution lay in trying to mitigate and limit the damage, but that hasn’t worked very well the past year.
I feel myself changing as my graduation date gets closer, a somewhat sense of peace is settling in over me. However, in this peace there is restlessness of so much time being wasted. How many hours of my life has been spent in the pursuit of avoidance.
There are some things we just can’t avoid and I need to make myself believe that and hope I can overcome it.