These words have been 3 years in the making…I’m still not sure that they are all here.
My intention here is to build a series of chapters that string together the past few years of life’s lessons. I’ve spent a significant amount of time alone, on purpose, clawing at myself from the inside out. Clawing. An Imam Al-Ghazali quote can help sum up the past few years, “Never have I dealt with anything more difficult than my own soul.” Right. Never. That shit will terrify you – but I had to force myself to face…myself. It’s been a relentless hobby now. And I’m fucking tired. So here I am; it’s time I start to make sense of the madness I’ve seen within. Get it out. Put it somewhere else, so I can see it outside of myself. And god, I hope by the time I get it all out it, in words on these pages, makes more sense than it does now.
As any great self-discovery journey begins, it begins at a unique low point that shakes you up; rattles off the dust that settled on your version of reality. A mental earthquake. A selfish flood of intrapersonal emotions. If you’re smart you’ll allow yourself to break down and ask yourself some big questions:
Who am I? No, really WHO AM I? Do I feel like I’m being myself? Have I ever decided who ‘myself’ is? What am I supposed to be doing about it? Who do I declare it to? Am I worth more or less than I thought I was? Am I doing this wrong? Am I doing this right? And how in the hell am I supposed to know the difference?
And it’s not always a singular moment in time, nothing ever truly is. You can have a break down over any length of time! For most people ‘it’ happens sometime between 25 – 31. Which is ‘a thing’ in both eastern and western society. Western society calls it your quarter life crisis. Eastern schools of thought that follow astrology actually pinpoint it as a shift in your stars called, Saturn Return, where Saturn returns to the same place in the sky that it was when you were born. I now believe this range of time to basically be a reliving of your most awkward teen years, all over again. Just this time you’re an adult and you thought you knew how to handle yourself better. Neat.
This new beginning came after I spent 6 months trying to get out of a 3 year toxic relationship that shattered my heart, and along with it my sense of self that I had so beautifully mapped out onto him. I got my version of reality all sorts of tangled in someone else. So. I was a bit emotionally drained and exhausted to begin with going into this transitional phase… Wait, wait, wait. I forgot, I had also gotten let go from my last 2 jobs in the past 4 years. For someone that graduated college with honors, 2 majors, 3 internships, built websites, planned events, learned graphic design on the side – that wasn’t suppose to be part of my life story, like ever. But then again neither was giving so much of myself to someone that gave so little back for sooo long. So really – I was completely drained and exhausted and at a loss for where my ‘self-worth’ had evaporated to. And that’s not what I consider the beginning – that’s to give you an idea of my functioning baseline…just before the beginning. That’s also not an explanation to extract pity only to give relatability; go ahead, let it all sink it because it get’s interesting from here on out. I have this visual of that downward spiral where all possible emotions are being torn out of me and left outside my body, shriveling up like dying fish out of water.
So, I’m surviving by emotionally going numb, trying to gain some sense of stability and remap my life on my own. All alone. Holding on tight. Learning to be okay on my own.
AND THEN BAM, I get laid off from my 3rd job.
This, just a few months following the tail end of ‘the big bad breakup’. As one could predict, the urge to call back in the former ‘dude’ for support, was near impossible to shake. I needed help more than I ever had. I needed a person more than I had ever needed a person. What was happening to everything I thought I was? I laid on my floor one night (which I’ve learned is a weirdly important thing to do sometimes) with all the feelings going numb around me – at.a.lost. to what I was going to do, who I was, how I got there, etc, etc, etc.
The universe was all, ‘No stability for you this year, sucker.
Let’s watch you get through this too – happy 24th birthday – good luck.’
I could not go back to where I just came from with him, and without a job, a lost sense of self, I couldn’t see my future either. All I could do was lay there with my thoughts. That’s what I had left, thoughts. We all know how terrifying those can be all on their own anyway…you’re quarantined with only your self judgment.
Life, you son of a bitch. This wasn’t a detour, or an alternative route. This was driving you to a dessert, where you’re alone, and your emotional car breaks down. I was put in a place where I had to refuse the urge to look backwards for help, and was forced to realize that I can’t see my future version of life either; and therefore are left with only the moment you’re in. That.is.it. Right there. No going back, and blinding only letting time take you forward. Nothing to predict about the future. Nothing to assume could happen next in life. That is where it began. That is where you begin to have the very important opportunity to sit all alone, with yourself, and truly be in the moment.
…to be continued…