It’s hard to find the center of me. I tend to swing from one extreme to the next. Sometimes becoming my own captain and other times my own martyr. I can be undeniably strong and passionate in one moment, and the next, fallen, some lost child too ashamed to face the world.
I am hard on myself. I push myself. I know no other way of being. On the days I seem to blend in, another ghost in the world, not making my mark, or mistakes, or anything beyond normalcy, are the days I have drawn out of my reserves. I have taken out from somewhere the stockpile of self-esteem, self-worth, and self-love, bottled from the days of reprieve, and, in attempt to function, drenched myself in the overflow of me. I can walk in the world that way: as a form of former self, reclaimed and reopened.
If I do not, if I cannot find the reserves, I simply cannot be, and I must sink away into another world of creation, imagination, and slumber. I can sit aimlessly this way, repeating the same tasks, haunted by the same thoughts, and wondering where I am. In these moments, I am frightened into stillness, because the part of me I thought I was is no longer.
In some ways, every few hours, I seem to awaken to a new self, the other discarded and bottled, filed in the stream of somewhere else. And in many ways, I have to find the pieces I was to make sense of what I have become. I sit as a fisherman, hooked by my own hook, flaying about in search of something gone, something broken. It is me, I find, again and again, but no one I recognize. And I fail myself in this way, turning about trying to bring back myself from where I went and what I’ve done.
There are so many of me at times, it seems the universe is alive within, and I am but the essence of what has already happened. I am my past and barely my present. My future unattainable. I cannot explain the dynamics more than to say I am awake and aware of the process, but rendered entirely helpless. For some reason I have escaped again from something I know not what of, to become someone I do not recognize, and to sit in wonderment of where I am.
To exist in a state outside my own isolation requires the assembly of a massive team of onlookers. Not the people or the public, by the interior eyes on the walls inside of me. There is a team there of limitless resource; each expert a supporter of thought, and each thought an assembly line to the experts. I move and breathe in awareness of the inside of my own self. I question and conquer my surroundings and my very existence.
I am in a heightened state of being and, thusly so, in a physically exhausted state from the bombardment of awareness. I take in everything and everyone, beyond the surface, dividing and multiplying conclusions and theories. I take in even the process of the taking, analyzing the way in which my mind works, as it’s churning. Slipping beyond just being to being within the within.
The energy required to merely exist, outside the elements of rest and retreat, is the same energy required to fuel a giant battleship. I can float well enough, at the mercy of the elements, and definitely sink without assistance, but to move and continue to move, I must tap into the reservoir of self. I must find a section, a team, a group meandering about me, and rein them in, to teach them to teach me the ways. To remind me of how to move and what to contribute. To remind me of what not to say, and how to save myself, when what is spoken has gone too far.
I watch me, and I want to tell the others, outside of me, that this is not me. That on another day I will be entirely different. That each day I live I am renewed and born again. That what is seen is not me and what I see is not them.
Yet, I am made to believe all is real and all is as is, and that what I am, in my limited projection filtered through a limited perception, is me in totality. Nothing is further from the truth. I am not as the world makes me to be. And neither is the stranger before me.
And so I walk awake and exhausted, pretending to move through a game in which there is no end, with a limited fuel burning its way to empty. In this way I am made to bleed. Drip by drip, losing all I have collected in hopes of survival. Until the next day, when I find myself unable to move, unable to begin to navigate the ways, to begin to have the strength to even look for the start. It is then I retreat and fold into myself, wanting to stop all the signs that point in various directions to various phantom truths.
It is then I feel the loneliness, in my awaking, in the knowing of only belonging for a short while, without even being there fully, without even knowing how to be there. It is then I feel the loneliness of knowing the pendulum has moved again. The part of me once filled with eagerness and anticipation, with the desire to try and triumph, left at the sidelines forgotten. I can’t explain where I go or why I go. I only know I go. And in this way I am made. In this way I be.