There are so many things that can be described into words, yet the tidal waves of emotions act as blockades to your creative process. The struggle of communication has truly kept people’s attention at bay, only forcing an even wider wedge in between. Yet what can one do, when he or she is the source of the problem? Further self-loathing, quicken the dampness of your self-esteem? Or distancing, only to further your solitude?
There are so many things one can express, yet once put forth, presented into tangible, distinct sounds that one could be held accountable for, he or she feels guilty for expressing too much, for weighing down another with their burden.
I’ve always had a lot of what ifs on my mind, particularly thoughts of harm, distress, regret, self-pity and existence. What if I hadn’t expressed at all? What if I couldn’t speak, and could only break down internally without anyone knowing, so no one would be harmed? What if I never went to the therapist? What if I did not have the capacity to feel self-pity? …What if there was a parallel world where one could travel to, create an identity that holds no connection to anyone, and live a life that is not even remotely related to the life he or she were living at present?
For a moment, I thought I was on the road to recovery (and I’m sure I still am) but sometimes it is hard to believe when something as long as a phrase or as short as a word can call forth the gods of the bitter tidal waves, or the spirits full of hostility and menace. Perhaps this vulnerability is part of this journey towards a better mental health. Or maybe the anxiety caused by the encounters of these raging waters is a crucial experience in seeing the painted horizon stretched before one. Possibilities that may have been there all along, but were never ventured until now.
But not this evening, for I am still drowning within this wave, infuriated by an abundance of emotions.
The tingle dancing on your tongue as you sip on the Pink Kiss martini. Light, yet playful. A flirtatious sensation that pleasures your senses. A soft, conversational buzz surrounds you as you indulge in the advances of your one-time companion; Solitude is alone tonight.
Words were being unfriendly at first. It was as if they had ropes and chains with them, right within their hands, awaiting for the perfect opportunity to tie you down with all their might. The ropes were tight, stretched, ready to wind themselves around their prey. Yet within a crucial moment and the right appearance of a phrase, they shatter into frozen fragments of ultimately nothingness. Colours poured through our voices, painting our conversation with a variety of hues. Our sounds resonated in complete synchronization, throwing the once stagnant air into full motion. It was as if nothing could stop this explosion of an exchange, not even time.
My physical form never moved so freely in such a confined space before. It carried itself in waves, starting from the bottom as it naturally pushes up in a matter of seconds. Under the strobe lights, my heavy, exhausted body succumbed to the illusion of zero gravity. Hands waved everywhere, feet walked on air. The presence of perspiration became a mere triviality.
I was motioning towards him, hoping to catch him before he leaves. He was glancing, as if willing to be caught. Timing is key, however. I exchanged my contact information with another instead. Standing there, with another’s name and email address in hand, an invisible but nonetheless overwhelming void opens within me. The revelation of losing the opportunity to keep a great friend hits. I guess I missed my chance, but I try to remain optimistic about the future.
Being away from your hometown widens your perspective on a lot of things and noticing the details that you’ve never noticed during those long days of meticulous routine work, tiresome attempts of surviving social situations, and finding identity. After coming back for merely three weeks, it has only reinforced the belief that there are people, people like me or my siblings, who just don’t find their hometown a suitable place to grow up in. It’s extremely challenging to find your own identity and come to any compromise with yourself in a city that puts so much emphasis on superficiality, not to mention their condescending methods of homogenizing culture. Diversity is close to non-existent.
Once you take your first steps into the futuristic looking airport, which can be considered as a tourist attraction in itself, you’re received by the smiles of negativity, the hugs of pessimism, the greetings of cynicism. Your senses are numbed by the air, which is – to my surprise – not polluted by an overwhelming blast of car exhaust but of hopelessness. Physically, the environment is beautiful in the sense that you will know it will economically thrive in the upcoming years and that it will be remembered as the technologically advanced “heaven”, but it is merely a cover, a facade to bury the hollowness of people’s lives. Of course, I am not saying that their lives don’t have meaning. It’s just that once you see the sourness of their “neutral” expressions – as in seeing how gravity does take a toll on their faces that even facelifts can’t bring it up – you’ll figure that there are probably some things that aren’t working out for them all the time…or they just find minimal value in what they do on a daily basis.
I must admit, I was initially unsettled and unnerved by the tsunami of negativity, pressured by the continuous gawks and discouraged by the casual but constant comments on my appearance. I was angry at one point at how superficial people can be around here. But fuck it. Let them judge all they want because it only shows who they are and limit their abilities to actually grow into compassionate human beings.
It’s been awhile since I cried. Therefore, I must honor this moment with an outlet of all my negative emotions. Let the tears wash away the self-hatred, the discontent towards the world. Cry for the lost, the injured, the deceased, the misfortune, the injustice.
And then let it pass. Tomorrow’s another day.
Sometimes I can’t help but compare my current surroundings to the one I grew up in as a child. Things here are so peaceful, yet still retain that buzz of a city, bustling with working people every day. You close your eyes and listen intently to those leaves blowing above you while feeling the gentle touch of those wisps of your hair. The soul within you doesn’t seem to stir to anything, not even to the distant sirens or that barking dog down the street.
Yet it is hard to imagine one, being in their teens, would understand the concept of reconnection with that essence within an individual. Perhaps we are still in the daze of life around us, dancing so vividly with colors. We spend the energy on the spinning, twirling, focusing on our physical movements and failing to realize that our physical are influenced by our mental self. It, being the soul, becomes a lonely one, basking in the ambiance of solitude.
Whatever happens then?
You close your eyes again, this time in a place without a single sound, no sound but the steady rhythm of your own breathing. Vibrant images of what you saw earlier today linger in your mind; they don’t seem to settle, only pacing back and forth restlessly. Don’t think, suppress the urge to recall and recollect. Think, concentrate nothing but your long, pulsing breaths…sense the musicality in the rhythm, those steady beats of which can only be produced by you. As you cushion yourself in the trance of your own breaths, you feel weightless and eventually, at peace.
Your cellphone rings. Your eyes shoot open and without fail, they aim for the confirmation of a “linear” measurement that dictates our sense of time: the clock. Who knew it had already been 15 minutes.
Where can you go when there is a mist before you?
Where can you hide when there is the sea of unknown terror under your feet?
Where can you relieve those thousands of boulders sitting upon your chest?
What can you do when you’re on the edge of the skyscraper, ready to dive into the endless land of pins and needles?
You run, faster and stronger than ever towards no destination but a deserted land of nothingness. Trying to feel the strips of wind slapping against your skin, you sprint. Yet why does it feel so heavy, so tiresome, so empty?
There is no habitable place ahead, not even the slightest mirage visible. You keep running.
It’s been awhile since my last encounter with a person whose passion for learning is so intensely genuine. As I listen to her talk about things – just general topics about essentially anything – I can see her passion towards pursuing knowledge and her will to inspire others to do the same. It’s safe to say that my respect for her has grown quite profoundly since the last time we met.
Whether it may be the logistics of or a theory behind a subject, we learn something everyday. It is always our pleasure to be taught something and in return, we share what we know as well. It may seem obvious to many but it’s what improves us as human beings and as a society. Ultimately, it’s what makes the world go around.
Love education, love knowledge, but most importantly, love wisdom.