(TRIGGER WARNING: This post talks extensively about death, and briefly about suicide. Be careful out there, folks.)
- Art by Jaison Cianelli (see more of his stuff here)
- 11:28 A.M.
- Mood: irritable (hey there, PMS).
You know how blog posts are actually supposed to read in a very “blog-post-y” way? It’s not gonna be like that today.
Instead, let’s have a little life talk, reader. Take a walk with me through my weird-ass stream of consciousness, and we’ll look at why I’m freaking out about how life works right now. Even if you didn’t want to, you’re here now, so I’m dragging you with me.
My boyfriend and I talked about death yesterday. He admitted that it was something that he thinks about compulsively, once or more per day. You can imagine that this worried me a GREAT deal when I heard it. But, he clarified that he thought about death’s inevitability, not suicide. We went on to talk about how our lives are just comprised of 9-to-5 jobs, going to school, getting married, having a family, and then dying somewhere in between or after all of that. We talked about our stances on death; how he switches from feeling despair and acceptance towards it, and how I simply try not to think about it because it makes me uncomfortable. What we had more in common on this topic is that we both have some troubles about the fact that we both know that we don’t have always. We don’t have forever. We have until our lives call for an end.
On top of this, I’ve been Redditing at work today (how professional!), and I ended up running into a discussion about a list of movies that gave people an existential crisis (here’s the link to that thread). Of course, reading through the different movie plots that were the source of these people’s anguish towards life wouldn’t help the feelings I was already experiencing. So, you wanna know what I did? I read through a lot of those damned movie plots, and sunk further into worrying about life and time.
You wanna know what I’m afraid of? Continuing to spend my life in such a great amount of guilt, anxiety, painful self-awareness and caring about what people think that I miss out on what life really has to offer. If I do, I’ll continuously worry that my choices aren’t my own because I want to do things so that I don’t look bad in the eyes of others. I’ll stay worried that what I want is wrong. I’ll continue to stay in my head and pay extra attention to the weird, cringey ways that I say things, act, think, move, and even breathe, and I’ll critique myself every step of the way. I’ll be afraid to speak up because I’ll be afraid my thoughts won’t make sense out loud. I’ll be afraid to step outside of my comfort zone in fear of falling flat. I’ll continue to always second-guess what I know, even if it turns out to be right. I’ll go to work in a job that hardly pays, and I’ll go to school and be motivated by the fear of failing. Though, all I actually want is to just not have to say, “I’m going to work. I love you, and I’ll see you soon.” to my boyfriend and leave his house on the most beautiful, sunny, serene mornings, when I could be spending those mornings loving on him. I’ll continue coming back to my home city after seeing my boyfriend and being met with chaotic and imagined expectations (“I have to go to work right now. I’m running late. Then, after work, I have to make sure I get in some time to run, even if I don’t feel like it. Then, I have to run an errand for a friend. Then, I have to make sure I get in some time with other friends so they don’t feel abandoned. Then, I have to make time for my dad so that he doesn’t feel abandoned. Then, I have to go home and make time for my sister and my two nephews, and make sure it doesn’t look like I’m abandoning them.”) What if I don’t have the time I need to get a handle on these things?
I’ve always had a fear of things I’m not able to control. That’s why I’m afraid of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, vomiting, and death (what an odd combination of things, right?). It’s recently come to my attention that I’m now struggling with another thing I’m not able to control: time. It’s passing, it’s always passing. I didn’t think my next semester in college was coming up so soon, but it’s next month. My sister and nephew, who I’ve spent most of my life with, will be moving come the end of the year. My new nephew will be going with them, and I won’t grow up with him the way I grew up with my older nephew.
I feel I’m not ready for it. I’m not ready for more of the commitments that life is about to give me. I’m not ready for change, and I’m not ready for death’s inevitability. I’m not ready to think about how limited my time truly is with the most important people I have in my life. I’m not ready to make my own decisions and make my own life, I feel. I don’t like any of it, and I don’t feel I could adequately handle any of it. It makes me uncomfortable, and I want to pretend these things don’t exist.
The thing about life and death, though, is that neither one of them will wait for me to be ready. They’re not sparing me or searching for my comfort. Those are such ugly, despairing things to say and think about. But, out of all of the whirring thoughts in my mind, those are logical truths that I cannot get past. Nothing will wait for me to be ready. So, if I’m never ready, should I wait? Should I wait to live my life until I feel I can make it something better and more balanced? Surely, I’ll make all the wrong choices if I don’t wait to make the right ones.
But, if life isn’t waiting for me, why should I have to wait for it?
So, without further ado, I have to act in spite of absolutely everything I’ve talked about in this post. If I’ve still got a little more umph in me, I have no choice. Reader, you have no idea how much I just want to sit and be paralyzed in my own anxiety right now. As I’m typing this at my desk at work, and I want to be away from everyone, and I don’t want to be anything (meaning, I want to be my own person, and not feel the need to entertain anyone else’s idea of me). But, it’s not like I can stop time.
I just have to become comfortable with the fact that I’ll never be ready for life, and still use that to my advantage.
Death doesn’t mean I don’t have my life now. Time doesn’t mean I have no control over mine.
I’ll never stop being afraid, mind you. But, I’ve gotta do something with the “umph” I’ve still got.