It is rare to have a conversation with another person that is wholly honest and self deprecating. All we do is lie to each other and worse, to ourselves. I only want to be unabashed and forthcoming without feeling judged. To do so is to leave myself vulnerable. If you give up too much you leave yourself exposed, more ammunition for anyone to take you down. Baring yourself and standing defenseless in front of the world can be cathartic, but more often than not it is when people begin to throw stones.
We build barriers to insulate ourselves from each other, creating a representation of what we think best serves our interest. Some people put on a facade to be accepted, and others to disappear. The walls I built were made to show the world that I am angry and unapproachable, but behind the barrier I'm afraid. My fear isn't that I will be rejected or ridiculed, it is the fear of failure that holds me back. There are so many variables in any situation that I become overwhelmed by the avenues of possibility. My fear of doing or saying the wrong thing often leaves me paralyzed. Some would argue that inaction is equivalent to failure, but I don't see it that way. There are decisions that cannot be unmade and so I err on the side of caution.
To get close to me you have to give part of yourself first. Some collateral, an offering of trust. Once I know that you trust me, I can trust you. I willingly open my chest and let spill even my darkest secrets. It has been a long while since I have let anyone in and my confidence wanes. Something I can't put my finger on looms over head, this dark cloud oppresses me. I recede back into my fortress avoiding all contact with anything new. I feel drained, worn down, and nearly broken. I find it hard to make eye contact again, like a wounded animal cowering in the corner. I am afraid that people will see the weakness in my soul. I can't bear the look when someone recognizes it in me.
I live each day hoping for some affirmation that it was worth it. Most of the time I come up empty. Ordinary things have deep and significant meaning in my mind. A simple missed phone call is a traumatic blow to a relationship, an offhand comment holds hidden messages. Life becomes a puzzle that only I can see. I read too deeply into everything and I feel like the smallest decision is paramount to my future. Every word is a sword that has the potential to leave a deep wound, every thought a poison pill handled with great care. Choosing to remain silent and hiding behind my defenses has left me anxious and isolated.
I want to believe that there is a reason for the way our lives play out. I hope that there is purpose, but each day that passes makes me feel like there is nothing. Everything I have ever wanted has been given to me, only to be promptly snatched away. I can only surmise that I am damned to be miserable because for some reason that is the only condition in which I am worthwhile. It is counter-intuitive for me to be most productive when I am at my emotional worst. When I am dragging the bottom, the silt rises. I can see the dark and dangerous thoughts that lurk in the deep recesses of my mind. Happiness is a shroud that blinds me to this side of myself.
The strange thing is I like both versions of myself equally. When I feel satisfied with my life everything seems lighter, the burden of contemplation becomes insignificant. If I could stay in those moments forever I would. Maybe even die with a smile on my face, content. In the times when the veil is lifted and I am immersed in gut wrenching torment, I feel empowered. I become the hero in my own story and I have discovered my nemesis. What champion is complete without a foe to face? There is a love/hate relationship within my own mind. I become both protagonist and antagonist.
My emotions manifest into physical forces. I feel things deeply, but I do not show them on the surface. There is only chaotic turmoil inside, yet on the surface the pond is still. Don't mistake the stoic, quiet people for disconnected, emotionless robots because I can assure you that we feel things on a level you can never imagine. We are deep wells. If you are fortunate enough to meet one that lets you peer beneath the surface, realize the amount of trust they have put in you. I think long and hard about every minute detail of every insignificant thing on a scale so enormously large that it becomes difficult just to be alive. Yet somehow I fail to understand my own duality. The world and everything in it is alien to me but so fascinating that I need to explore the most mundane facet of every little thing that makes it function. However, my apprehension keeps me hiding away from it all.
I wonder about the meaning of life and sometimes, in the pursuit of the answer, I forget to just live. Having spent so many sleepless nights trying to figure out why I am here, I have missed so much of life. My quest for meaning has only served to lessen the weight of my existence. I have come to believe that the answer is: there is no answer. If you want purpose in life you have to create it for yourself. Destiny is the dream of the hopeless. Fate doesn't define you, action does. The day will come when I shed my anxiety and I walk the wire without a safety net. Until that day arrives, I recognize that I am the navigator of my own life. Only I can make myself become the person I want to be.