I’m struggling with reality.
Not in the sense that I’m hallucinating or thinking I’m Marie Antoinette or that my cat is telling me to build it so that they will come. I’m not hearing voices, however much I’ll admit to listening very intently for them on occasion.
No, I’m not crazy. Although, wouldn’t that be cooler and easier, I think.
But even still, I’m struggling. Perhaps it’s more with perspective than reality, but the two seem desperately intertwined right now.
I am the moment in which I stand.
I have the ability to suck the marrow from a moment until it is lying empty and lifeless at my feet. I prowl through life in search of the next moment to feed off of, devouring each one completely in an effort to sustain myself.
And I have clearly been watching too many vampire stories.
And yet, the analogy fits.
It’s a blessing and a curse. It’s the reason I can write about an emotion with fierce clarity, because I can completely lose myself in it until I’ve discovered every nuance and subtlety. It’s the reason I laugh harder than most, because the humor of a fleeting second seeps into my toes and fills me up until I’m overflowing.
It’s the reason I can cry for hours, at a death or at a movie.
And it’s the reason I’m so terribly lost right now.
I don’t know what is real.
I know that I have been heartbroken. I know that I have been empty. I know that I have felt despair and anger and resentment and fear. I know I have felt shame. I know that I have felt a desperate desire for more, as well as an overwhelming guilt for my discontent.
And yet, too, I have felt peace. I have felt serenity and calm. I have felt love and connectedness and security. I have felt the sweet relief of being loved and a surge of pride and respect.
And while I know there are times when the dichotomy can exist simultaneously in one life, I sense that if one is truly more real than the other, then that reality must be the one that guides me.
I have no idea what the next right thing is.
I look to my values and my truths for instruction, but even they cannot be trusted right now. Do I believe them out of guilt? Do I value them out of obligation and responsibility and an entire world telling me what I should? Is it fear of disappointment and loss and failure that I’m clinging to?
I can’t tell.
Or rather, I don’t trust myself to tell. Because what I can tell in this moment is hopelessly tied to this moment.
I’m searching for an anchor, for someone who can see beyond the boat to the ocean and the shore and tell me where I’m at in this big, bad sea.
But there is no neutral anchor. There is no dead weight to quietly sink into the sand without an inclination towards one tide or another.
You are swayed by the shore, because your feet are firmly planted on it and you believe firmly in the happiness it brings.
You are swayed by the open water, because it’s where you’ve found the freedom of being alive.
You are afraid of the rocks, because you know the destruction they bring.
And you, you cannot fathom being lost at sea. Because you have always known your way and your vessel is always exactly what it should be before you untie from the dock – if you ever untie at all.
So I drift alone out here, knowing that all the maps I’m pouring over were written by someone with their own destination in mind. Knowing only that it must be my compass that guides me – but having absolutely no clue where North and South lie.
Except that compasses and North and South are, in the real world, permanent. They are universal and unchanging.
And there is no compass or North or South to connect my right to yours.
What do you want?
What do you believe?
What will make you happy?
And all I know for sure is that I haven’t got a clue.