i can't take any of this seriously
you are walking down the long corridor of road cradled by trees, a school as old as the nation standing uninterested to your left. streetlights illuminate the rain and you feel like you have walked into the scene of a movie: quirky midtwenties white girl ponders the meaning of her life in the rain, standing beside the left-wing high school her queer friends speak so highly of and lamenting over her own prairie high school misadventures. bon iver plays in the background.
my whole life and creative existence feels like a joke rolled into a cliche. the same stories told over and over again, the moments i reached for previously seem empty now because i am realizing that i searched for them because every book and movie and sitcom told me they were out there, that these experiences and deep, heartfelt moments were my right as a young person.
i don't feel so young anymore and all the drug-induced epiphanies are embarrassing now. the arrogance of feeling like i have discovered things for the first time, that no one else knows what it feels like.
the bridge between 25 and 26 is so uncomfortably awkward. who am i now? who am i going to be tomorrow? has this already been decided or do i still have room to decide the course of the next chapter? all the lists cluttering the internet suggest it is both. all of your major personality traits are formed by age 20! life is a process of constant change and personal evolution! just be yourself! what luxury we live in.
it isn't enough to pick and choose personality traits from the scrap pile of interests now. the books i read or music i listen to no longer feel like mirrors and i find myself turning to the outside world to answer the question, "who am i?" but this is the equivalent of looking in funhouse mirrors - the response is always distorted.
would it be better to sit on a mountain for a week and contemplate my existence? the narcissism of our species. i feel so judgmental of every attempt to create the self that my self is emptying out to make way for nothing but seething contempt, because all i can see is how manufactured the personality we present to the world is.
the bottom line is that i want to be living as authentically and vulnerably as possible, and to know people intimately in the same way, but this feels more impossible every day when conversations are constantly rerouted by our needs to protect ourselves, protect each other, protect an image, avoid the flame.
or maybe i am just on the outside looking in because i don't feel safe to be myself and in projecting a false image, i make others feel unsafe in my presence.
the paradox being that i feel unsafe to live authentically because trying to be authentic has resulted in pain too many times in my life. pain and isolation. but i am isolated again now, emotionally, so what happens now? the journey to authenticity is the challenge of my life, my greatest opponent. we meet again on the fragile ground of my interpersonal relationships and luck is rarely on my side.