April 25th, 2014 – 6:46 PM, En Route to New York City, NY

It’s been a few days of approximation and strange juxtapositions of mindlessness and mindfulness.  The bone-crushing depths I found myself in a few days ago seem to be less deep than they were previously.  Choice words from friends have a tendency to do that, I guess.  I was told that I needed to cultivate stillness in all of its myriad forms.  It’s something that I haven’t forgotten since it was said to me.  The fact that someone else was able to so easily summarize something so eloquently probably speaks more to my mental state than I am truly aware of.

I’m heading to New York City currently.  The road is packed with other weary travelers, speeding off into the distance to their various points of origin or ports of call.  I am often left to wonder what kind of direction my life would have taken if things had been even marginally different.  Had I not met the individuals that I had met, experienced the things that I had, or even loved those whom I had loved.  The implications of even a minor course-adjustment are staggering.

Today I have thought less about the “sadness” of my current state or the problems I am facing, and instead I have been filled with an odd sense of detachment.  A Zen-like state of quiet reserve, the resolution that I am embodying the number one as fully and completely as I can.  I am not several disparate parts latched together with baling wire and duct-tape, but a living, breathing being with decisions to make and experience to my benefit.

I think of him less and less often—the one whom I loved.  I think of the betrayal, the pain, and the loss far less as time goes on.  I am realizing that my experience is not expressly unique, only my perception of it and my specific experience of the events as they unfolded were unique.  Others have experienced this pain and have come through the other side still able to speak their own names.  As will I.  The last couple of days I have been feeling it fade away, like draining an abscess of its biological waste.  I won’t say that the weight has been lifted, but it certainly is feeling a little lighter.

One of the things that keeps cropping-up in my thoughts is the idea that I still wear masks.  Long after my attempts at breaking out of that habit over a year ago, even.  I am irked by this knowledge and I find myself trying fruitlessly to determine why.

Actually, thinking about it more–I think it’s fear, pure-and-simple.  I fear being judged.  I fear being found-out for a fraud or somehow not conforming to some kind of image.  I speak with immaturity, and I appear immature.  I present myself as adult and cultured, and I appear aged and wise.  The thinking being “ne’er the twain shall meet” crops-up intermittently when I think about this in more depth.  I’m afraid of those distinct identities blurring together or being anything but what they are: a part of who I am.  A part of me is terrified of being “strange”, of being the outlier again.  I think that’s my wounded child running the show and not helping me to be more closely aligned with what I should be: myself.

It makes sense, given a lot of what has been happening.  I hide in various compartments of myself: the nerdy self, the queer self, the athletic self, the needy-and-insecure self, the sexual self.  They’re various compartments or masks that only certain people get to see.  Role-based access to my life.  It’s sad to know that’s the case.  I’ve failed myself in this regard by not working to give the world my most authentic self, irregardless of the various “compartments” that make up my life.  It’s important that I know this now.  I can’t quite explain why, but I feel that knowing it now is intensely important.

I think knowing it and working to actively acknowledge each of those compartments of my life makes that self-love stronger.  There’s little else that is as important at this stage of my life than that.  Breaking down the walls between each of those compartments and being honest with myself and with others should be of paramount importance now more than ever.  While time ticks on, that’s one more moment lost.  I need to focus on the now.  The present.  Being grateful and thankful for what I have now, which is more than I had the moment before.  I have more moments in my life now than I did a moment prior.  For this, I am blessed.

One thought on “April 25th, 2014 – 6:46 PM, En Route to New York City, NY

  1. You talk about various compartments of yourself, various masks that only certain people get to see. Have you considered the idea that personality is simply multifaceted? You are a different person depending on who is around you and what you are doing. Not presenting a different mask — you *are* a different personality. In a way, finding “your most authentic self” might simply consist of accepting the fact that there is no one single “self” — there’s more to it than that.

    It’s similar to what you say about focusing on the now, the present. Every moment, you are a slightly different person than you were before, because you have new thoughts, new ideas, new life experiences. It doesn’t mean that the person you used to be is not authentic — it means that the “authentic self” changes moment by moment. You don’t have to be all things to all people — if you don’t normally express a certain facet of your personality around certain people, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re hiding it away. Maybe your “authentic self” in that moment happens to not contain that facet; and that’s OK.

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