“although history should not become a straitjacket, which overwhelms and binds, neither should it be forgotten”
– Toni Morrison, The Art of Fiction No. 134
Once, years ago, I made the conscious decision to leave my home behind in pursuit of something new. I met incredible people and could have never imagined the series of events it would set in motion. As I reflect on this moment, no longer as a follower but a leader in my field, I find satisfaction reminiscing the moments, the people, the decisions both made by me and for me that brought me here.
At the beginning of this story, I met an incredible couple who would later become my mentors. For four years I would experience moments of uncertainty, I would doubt in my ability as a leader and as a mentor to others. I would not understand the repercussions of certain decisions and I would not be able to comprehend how to stand up for the people I was intended to protect. Stuck between carrying out the required steps in order to achieve someone else’s desired results or developing within those steps to come to a result naturally.
After so many years of new adventures and experiences one would think you would finish growing; fortunately, a finish line as such will never exist. Looking back on the past year, I can undeniably say that I have never assimilated more valuable knowledge. Lessons such as how to be self-assertive, courageous, and ultimately more compassionate and understanding to those around me. While my character has been formed by a large support group, these two individual had a strong influence.
In short, I am saying thank you. These two important figures in my life are moving forward with their lives and reaching toward new opportunities with bigger adventures. Thank you for watching me fail and teaching me how to get back up. For calling me out, knowing I can do better and picking me up when I felt like I could no longer succeed. You both know who you are and I am eternally grateful for everything you have done during you time with us. Until next time.
“I take for granted that for the imaginative writer, the exercise of the imagination is part of the basic process of coping with reality, just as actors need to act all the time to make up for some deficiency in their sense of themselves.”
– J. G. Ballard
There is tranquility when detoxing yourself from something destructive. Initially, it is as if each euphoric moment is worth the breadth of disenchantment; as if in moments of weakness we forget about the torment and focus solely on the discomfort of growing desolate. Being awarded a circumstance to aid in eliminating addiction can ultimately break a cycle. It can show an individual the radiance they once possessed. When provided the opportunity to reflect, passion is uncovered.
“Have you ever thought about why you want it so badly?”
We strive for and attempt to be present; we claim ignorance for what is known to proceed. The unknown is tempting. Being given the chance to escape, given an opportunity to change something, anything; it’s tempting.
I find humour in how toxic these euphoric sensations become. To rehearse and repeat the tragic ending that will inevitably appear, only to lose all sense of reality. How can one be so easily persuaded? It is as though we can only survive on the unknown, lost in a fairytale that only exists on paper.
To live in the world as it is
and save your soul too
is a lot to do”
– Tom Clark
I never understood how people could promptly leave without plans to return. To desert everything familiar for adventure; something new. Puzzled, while ultimately intrigued.
I now experience an overwhelming need to escape. Pained by an environment that was once so comforting; somewhere I was incapable of leaving for any significant period of time without missing it.
I now find difficulty in being rooted to a single location. I find myself welcoming each opportunity with much excitement and no hesitation. There is something about new scenery, open roads, and good music that helps soothe an aching soul.
“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”
– George Eliot
There is something about the human body that aids in escaping; loneliness, sadness, emptiness, discouragement, despair, heartbreak. Being immersed in another person seems to briefly comfort and heal most wombs. It is as though this addiction encourages sane individuals to escape reality even for a second, yearning for the next opportunity of lust and comfort.
I wonder what the attraction is to these strange bodies. We starve for the affection of those who are unconnected in our lives; those who are not expected to care for us unconditionally. It is as if receiving this attention is a form of acceptance. As if the consideration of unfamiliar people is valued higher than those of our closest relationships.
I had never felt anything so powerful. So threatening and addictive; a nostalgic scent I was incapable of retaining. He was my knight and I would never understand why I always came back for more.
“Once the time goes, it’s gone
And no wisdom can retrieve it.
Grave thoughts bear the mind down.
And the body has no choice but to follow.
It comes down to yes or no, and pain’s in back
of every choice that turns to act.”
– Mark Rudman, “Solitaire”
The human need to be flawless is frightening. So many people conceal their dreams and aspirations to avoid judgment. Moments are never experienced due to trivial excuses; insignificant justifications that will be forgotten. Not having completed the challenge is what you will remember – not why.
Someone once told me it is a shame one cannot view themselves in raw emotion. To experience how one reacts with passion. To truly see ourselves laugh or cry without the mask one wears in the mirror. It is as if being truly ourselves is a disgrace.
I cannot help but feel frustrated toward this way of living. To be held back from adventure and pure joy due to a crippling fear of rejection. There is no better time to experience life than with every new day. Be free and happy.
“All these characters are complex, somewhat insolent, defiant, desperate for attention and love, and very much a product of their times. Theirs are inner lives created in reaction to the structures that surround them.”
– Sadie Stein
Do you ever compare yourself to other people? Observe photographs of strangers as if it symbolizes their perfection? Believing their happiness is solely based on their beauty, that they can never be upset with life – be human – because of it. It can be elementary to compare yourself to these fictitious lives. Lives that are composed of societies perception of beauty – what it takes to be okay. Do you ever imagine what lives they have? How many friends they confide in. How many people want to be around them, to be noticed by them. How little they feel upset because they have no concept of imperfection. No one could possibly be that perfect.
Maybe we’re too hard on ourselves. Maybe we look in the mirror every day only to overlook our true qualities. The things that make us unique. Maybe all we can see is imperfection.
Maybe we should stop that.