There are so many beautiful, brutal, exquisitely illuminating human experiences playing out all over the world every single moment.
Sometimes I imagine them, and wonder if they’re real.
Sometimes I wonder if all our imaginings are simply us being offered a glimpse of another’s reality. Another being; another time; another world. Would that be more or less extraordinary? Is our gift, our skill, measured by our ability to build up out of the abyss, or to say what we see with deftness and clarity, as we peer through the portal we’ve happened upon?
I don’t know, and I don’t think I need to, but I like to imagine what could be true.
I grew up into a person who believed very strongly in self-sufficiency. In every sense. It was not only what I sought to achieve, but also something I believed was necessary for me to achieve in order to become worthy.
I don’t think it was just an unreasonable ideal I was chasing to validate myself. I think it was also, maybe mostly, a defence mechanism.
In more recent years, I have been more ideologically inclined toward interdependence. Being off the grid started to seem selfish and short sighted. The easy way out and the road to nowhere. True self-sufficiency started to look not only illusory, but also just theoretically suboptimal. Being part of a bigger, better whole now seems, for me, to be the only logical route to a good life.
The problem is I am bad at interdependence. I am constantly, unintentionally, dropping off the grid. If I could keep believing that was where I am supposed to be, things would be easier for me. But I don’t. So they’re not.
If I didn’t need anyone, I wouldn’t need them to forgive me. If nobody needed me, I wouldn’t let them down. I wasn’t just chasing self-sufficiency to become worthy; I was running away from my inherent unworthiness. But it’s not until you face these things that you realise they were never really true to begin with. The only way I’m going to accept my actual worth is to keep doing stuff badly and being forgiven.
Which is not my preference, quite frankly – I prefer to be flawless.
I’ve been diverting a lot of my time and energy to working on my novel lately. I had thought, around Christmas, that I would commit to posting every day in the new year, as a way of honouring my faithfulness to writing. But then it dawned on me that my novel draft was written, and I got excited to type and revise it. And then I found out there was a novel writing contest whose deadline was yesterday, and I got excited to prepare a submission. And then I submitted, and got excited about typing and revising again.
I’ve still had lots of ideas emerge that I’d like to post about, but the novel train simply has more momentum right now. As much as I love click-clacking my words into this particular box, I don’t have any notion of where, in particular, it could take me. Meanwhile, my novel, I think, may have legs, and a destination in mind.
Immersing myself in writing in the way I have been these past few weeks has been an exaltation. At a level rivalled only by one other point of light in my life.
It’s a relief to find that exaltation in an activity that is not tied to somebody else. To be free to indulge in the majesty of it – the divinity of it – without worrying it creates a burden upon another. To be able to fully invest myself in the power of it, not needing to hold back for anybody’s sake. I have been waiting for this for a long time. Yet it was right there all along. Glaringly obvious, surely, to anyone with half a brain cell.
It gives me hope that there are other forms of exaltation waiting for me. Forms that will open and welcome me, inviting me to give myself to them in reckless abandon. It gives me hope that my life will, in fact, deliver to me all the things I have been dreaming of.
That is quite an incredible feat, and not something I expected in the first half of January 2022. But there we are.
Sometimes, I look in the mirror and think FUCKING HELL, I’M FUCKING GORGEOUS! The world should be expressing endless gratitude for the privilege of gazing upon my fucking splendour, so magnificent is my visage!
Then, other times, I let out an involuntary vocalisation as I am physically accosted by my own tired, grey appearance. I wouldn’t say I recoil in horror, exactly, but I’m somewhere in that region. My reflection is jolting. I look amusingly bad.
The other day, though, I thought if I were an animal, I’d be a Tibetan wolf. And then I thought no, that’s the wrong animal. And then I googled it. And then I thought if I were an animal, I’d be a Tibetan fox.