I think it’s going to be a long, long time til touchdown brings me ‘round again to find I’m not the girl they think I am at home…Time is not a luxury. It is the most expendable asset there is for humankind. We spend our minutes quickly and without regard.
I have made peace with leaving some things unlived. I have no need to chase a silly old bucket of adventures because focusing on the big things makes it easier to miss the little bits along the way. The smaller pieces are the essence of us.My little bits have been harder to find as of late. Is it because I’m dwindling in the eyes of the world or am I too afraid to let the world see me anymore? What’s left of me. My life has become so viewable that there’s nothing left for myself. I feel like an empty well – pennies landing at the bottom of my soul with a dull thump. I’ve become so used to having these conversations with myself, I’ve forgotten to need other voices.
We tend to talk to ourselves when there’s nobody around to listen.What I forget – besides everything – is that most people are often afraid to be heard. Silence is easier. When my voice becomes an echo, it carries my fears as it comes back around. I become afraid that others no longer want to hear what I have to say. Perhaps this is a consequence of the times; everyone has a platform, it’s common to feel obsolete. Their silence, however, left me quite alone in a time I needed least to be.
Something has been gnawing inside of me like a gutter rat trying to escape daylight. It scuttles in futility until it dies, leaving the foul odor of a neglected death. The cause of death: loneliness. I have this great fear that the events of this past year – my two near physical deaths eclipsing my metaphorical one - have burrowed into my marriage and left us staring at each other across the grave. Inherently, I think we’re going to be okay – that we just need some space to process it all – but it’s still frightening. Love never really dies, but it can change, and we all know I don’t do well with change. He has taken on the roles vacated by others, because they failed to show up. This has changed our dynamics a bit.Yesterday, I had this amazing conversation with someone. It was 32 years ago that I first heard Bob talking to me from the television. I was 16 years old; angry, imprisoned, mired in eating disorders and wanting to hide in the darkest places of the universe. I was sometimes able to lose myself in funny things, and stand-up comedy became a haven for me. They were the bravest people I ever saw, standing there all alone talking to us about very real things. Bob was different. He wanted us to think. Every word he slung was a challenge. His sarcasm was an art form, his disdain of humanity had an odd allure, and it penetrated at a time I was unreachable. When I look back at how I came to harness my inner power – my darkness, my questioning (even questionable) nature, my dry wit and penetrating pause – I can trace it back to someone who never knew his role.
So, I got to sit down and have a conversation with Bob. Being awkwardly me, I didn’t know at first what to do with that. I’ve become this person who has no filter whatsoever, so there’s a fear in what I’m capable of saying. As we talked about anything and all, there was a sense of being understood for the first time in a very long while. I didn’t have to defend my oddities. I could simply and unabashedly be me. It’s not a secret me, but it was a me who’d been cut out and amputated too. So there I was talking to this stranger, only he’d been in my life forever. At one point I expressed my fear of seeming like some crazed groupie, but Bob seemed okay with it. It wasn’t that I was star-struck. It was connecting with someone from my past. Someone who never knew that he knew me.Then I found my bravery. “You helped shape who I am today.” That’s a thought I have occasionally expressed in my writing to very few, but have never said out loud to anyone.
Life is meant to be lived out loud.Someone penetrated at a time that I’ve been unreachable. I have allowed my loneliness to become a wall. I miss me. And I miss who I was when I trusted others. I came away feeling unafraid to sit down and have this conversation with myself. It isn’t a magic that dropped out of the sky. It’s going to take time and some work to trust again. Bob may forget our conversation as something insignificant though I hope it was a pleasant way to spend an hour. I will likely forget everything said because it’s what I’m prone to do. In writing this letter to myself, I’m adding to my collection of little bits that are gathered in notes and essays and books and sometimes in the memory of others.
I am afraid that my trust in others was a delusion; that I wanted so badly to not die a neglected death that I believed something that never was. I have learned to share the deepest, dirtiest parts of me to anyone from a distance, but now can’t trust anyone within a stone’s throw.My minutes are being tossed into that empty well and landing with a dull thump. I don’t know how to come back from where I am. I’ve done it before but I was another me then. My unwanted survivalist instinct is shadowing me. It’s telling me that this isn’t how I want to go.
And my biggest fear is not being ready to go.I miss the earth so much, I miss my life. It’s lonely out in space on such a timeless flight…
Lyrics: Rocket Man / Elton John
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