It’s 11.40pm. I’ve been circling my living room for the past ten minutes, humming the same tune over and over again, with a bottle of whiskey perched casually under my arm.
The pacing is self-soothing, as is the humming. The lights are low, I can hear cars going by on the street below, and I come to a realisation. I am lost. The kind of lost that makes me avoid sleep and fret about the coming days, because I don’t know which way I am supposed to go, and I’ve lost track of where I started from, so I can’t even retrace my steps.
I’ve been wondering lately if what I’m going through is the third-of-a-life crisis; usually arriving at 30 and remaining there until it decides when to leave. Lots of things go into this crisis, and many reasons accumulate as to why I should feel so lost. This week is no exception. A sibling left the country for good, a parent’s marriage ended, and I felt the weight of failures yet to come weigh heavily upon me.
Currently I am stuck between anxiety about a future I don’t want, and anxiety about not achieving what I do want. Positive affirmations work for a time, but the minute you stop believing in them, you’re emotionally screwed; especially if you don’t have your own personal cheerleader. I’ve been playing the role of being my own best friend for a while now, and I fear that I have become an unreliable friend of late. I’m rarely there when I need me, and when I am there, I don’t really have anything helpful to contribute.
Still, I persevere I suppose. Perhaps my feeling of loss was sparked by the footage of myself as an 8-year-old that recently resurfaced. I was thrown backwards in time watching it, and not just because of the fashionable leather-cotton combo I was rocking, but also because of the oh so hopeful twinkle in my eye. The whole world was literally ahead of me, I had 22 years left to live before I was going to become the person I am today. This person is uncertain, always doubting herself, wavering and desperate to become something more than she is. Back then, I just hoped for the day that I could finally be myself, be accepted and flourish. But as it turns out, there was more pain, more turmoil and struggle to come; more than I ever could have predicted.
And that’s why I was so carefree, wistful and cheeky; none of the really, really bad stuff had happened yet.
So it all got me thinking about the last time I felt happy in my life, even if it was fleeting. It feels useless to recall it now though as the memory won’t offer me any new direction. Some say that moving forward is its own direction, but what if you feel you’re on a treadmill, constantly moving forward and never getting anywhere?
That’s how I feel. My tread has become light, lazy and unremarkable. I move slowly through time and every so often I push the people that come by, forward on their own path, so that at least someone is making progress, even if it isn’t me.
I guess I’m afraid I’ll be stuck here forever. I’m afraid I’ll always be unhappy. I’m afraid I’ll disappoint everyone, including myself.
And I’m afraid that I’ll remain lost, and that there will never be a home or beacon to guide me somewhere better; where I fit in, where I can be myself, and really flourish.
Image credit: Night by JohnnyZi from the Noun Project