Sometimes, during the course of human events, something horrible happens to a person. Maybe a person does something horrible. Most likely both, at some point or another. I think there is a natural tendency to want to bury it, to hide it from the light of day in some dim recess of the mind, slated to be forgotten. And there it will remain as the months and years and decades pile dust over it until it just sits, a vague semblance of its original form. Maybe you can ignore it. Maybe you can forget it altogether. But it is waiting, just biding time. Eventually you'll stumble across it, and all the distance you've gained from it will transform into inertia.
When it hits you, it hits you like a ton of bricks.
A lot of crazy things have been happening in my life. For a while I allowed myself the luxury of believing external forces were at work. That I was Good, and Evil was befalling me to test my mettle. During these turbulent past few days, just last night, I realized that I am not Good. I'm just a person, as weak and as thoughtlessly cruel as anyone else. I don't feel like a bad person...just different. A lot of things aren't as I thought, but I'm realizing that I have a much bigger role than I wanted to believe. And I'm realizing that not dealing with events as they unfold is much worse than the alternative, because nothing can stay secret forever.
So there it is. Maybe I've reached the gold standard of maturity, dealing with things no matter how much I don't want to and with more regard for the truth than for its possible consequences. Sometimes it feels like self-sabotage. I have to do the work all the same. Whether it is with faith that things will work out in the end or with the idea that uncertainty is better than stagnation, it has to be done.
A big part of this, for me, is giving up the illusion of control. The idea that I can guide the course of my own life, eliminating the things I want to forget, pretending or more likely working very hard to believe that things are going the way I wanted them to go, is false. There are other people, and everyone in my life has some degree of influence. Sometimes admitting it is hard, seeing how little control over your own life one actually has. It is for me.
I almost feel like a different person. It's a horrible realization, but it's more than just that. It's an awakening. It's a realization that all the uncertainty I've fought against cannot be overcome. It's also a rallying cry, a stark declaration that life is different now, and that growth and change are natural and inevitable. A sign that you have to embark upon a dangerous and difficult path of learning greater truths about yourself, things you may not really want to know.
When it happens you have the choice to continue trying to ignore and pretend, or to take the journey, with all the dirt and pain and confusion that being human entails. It's daunting. It's necessary. It's scary and exciting and hard work, a long trek through the twisted halls you've created in your own mind, a labyrinth filled with the monsters and pitfalls you've encountered or created. It is a long, dark tunnel that, once entered, once made real, is real. There is no turning back once you take the first steps. And as a wise person I happen to love says, "the only way out is through."
Checks and Balances
11 months ago