Is company a distraction from loneliness?

Am I more happy in the company of other people – that is, friends and family – than I am alone?

Yes and no.

My teen self would have been more favorable to a ‘no’.

But – since having moved from home – ironically (or self-evidently), I’ve shed some of my arrogance and come to acknowledge the importance of those who know you and regard you as friend or family – and that self-isolation will do you no good.

Living by yourself provides you with the taste of adult loneliness that you took for granted as young.

In the company of others (though, always depending on what kind of company since I am an introvert at my core) I’m more cheery, more sassy-mouthed, likely presenting a version of myself that few see and all my parents ever see. I don’t think my parents know my quiet, melancholy self that well because I mostly keep up a cheery facade in front of them; to even out the bitter atmosphere they mostly inhabit. To make them forget their antipathy towards each other and make them smile for a while. So very childish. So very human. And yet, I know; I know my whole existence is based on keeping something in place. Something that was probably never there in the first place. Maybe I’m too superstitious. Too dramatic. Too conceited. To think I can be tainted by that. That I came to this world on a wrong premise; something tainted in my core. That I wasn’t meant for this world, but life came and found me. And thus I can never rid myself of that little black spot. It will sneak its way through my armor. Manifesting itself in the little things, against my will. An ugliness that’s part of me. Keeping everyone at a small distance, unwittingly or not, no matter how close I otherwise get to someone. And yet, there’s nothing unique, nothing special about that. And I don’t want it to be. It’s just…there. I realize that now. I don’t have to say it out loud.

The question is: Do I like myself when I’m with other people?

Not an easy question to answer.

I think, at times, I forget myself when I’m with others. A good thing, perhaps. Healthy even. But it’s also two-faced.

I distract myself from my own faults; covering them with arrogance; that others should be more agreeable towards my countenance, my ideas and points of views. But likability is not a self-given, no matter how ‘entertaining’ a characteristic of your personality you present. In the case of the relationship with my parents, there are other matters that come between us (as I’ve relayed one time too many times, I think *sighs*), but I have this irrational fear that no matter how close I become to anyone that they will have this ambivalent opinion of me; of being both witty and entertaining, but also attention-seeking, a little too eager to comment, a little know-it-all, a little childish and irritating all in all. I’m not saying that a person can and should only be one thing, but I’m always caught in this awful paradox of wanting to be myself in every shape and form and never wanting to make those closest to me, my dearest ones, slowly grow more and more tired of me and, eventually, needing to get away from me.

Remember the thing about INTPs just wanting, deep down, to be liked? Well, all humans do, I guess, and the fear of being abandoned is even more universal. But having this ingrown and, frankly, silly and stubborn need to stay independent and ‘unblemished’, if you like, by attachments (that I sense is particularly essential to every INTP) clashes with the core need of being liked. By being liked, you have to step out of that stubborn, prideful and fearful shell of being alone in everything. ‘No man is an island’. It is true. Not in the sense that we aren’t all islands in some sense; we are born alone and die alone, but that island doesn’t have to stay forever secluded simply because loneliness is a fact in life.

As lonely as I am – as we all are – I am also the creator of my own loneliness.

Even loneliness can be a distraction from loneliness itself. By isolating myself from myself, so to speak. In that sense, company is a distraction from loneliness. Not entirely, but it quells the loneliness for a bit. Either that or I distract myself by escaping into books, music, etc…. well, you’ve heard it all before. Because in the loneliness also exists a crumpling self-pity and thus a self-hatred. It’s the only thing I hate myself for: the self-pity. And I pity myself for hating and pitying myself. As I’ve said before; it’s a vicious cycle one cannot easily break away from. I stop pitying myself by distracting myself. By diving into someone else’s mind and emotions, into fiction and music. It’s only when I am alone with my own thoughts that it all returns.

And in return I feel guilty that I cannot find a way to distract myself less selfishly. Less demonstratively isolated, in body or in mind. Or both. Though my need to give is great, I have no idea how to go about it because I’m entirely awkward when it comes to such interpersonal actions, to give emotional and physical comfort on wholly practical and emotional matters, and because I’m afraid and it’s easier to hide away than to reach out a hand and risk hurting or getting hurt. I try where I can, but most of the time I do hide away. And so I’m in a weird conundrum, battling an inner battle where I feel self-pity and then scold myself for it, because there are people who have it worse, much worse, and I have literally all the privileges. All the luck.

Haven’t I…?

I get so angry with myself, the world, the human existence sometimes: Why isn’t it enough? Why do I have certain needs for human interaction when I would rather be free of these needs? They shouldn’t matter that much. They shouldn’t be able to crumble my innermost self at times; everything I’ve tried so hard to build up over the years. The self-security. And yet…

Yet, I hate that I have to numb myself, numb my feelings in order to keep this desolation at bay. To become unfeeling. To be this hard on myself.

It shouldn’t be like this. It shouldn’t be the only option. I don’t want to not to feel. But I don’t know how to feel any longer.

To only have a rational grip on these matters. It isn’t enough. Why isn’t it enough? …

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To trust and put yourself into the hands of others

I’ve realized that opening up about your troubles and worries to another person is also putting your trust in your fellow man. It is frightening as well – the most frightening of all perhaps – to put so much trust into another being; keeping many – including myself – from ever actually doing it. We guard ourselves – or parts of our inner selves. Even from those we love – sometimes because we think we protect them in some way or another by doing so.

As an example, I’ve long wondered why I’ve never really known my parents or why they could suddenly react with so utter distrust or secrecy towards me or my sister in the smallest of matters. Now I see that they guard themselves; have probably done so all their lives – and now grown so inveterate in doing so that they’ve stopped hoping or believing in ever trusting another being with their innermost worries, vulnerabilities and flaws.

I guess we are all looking for a savior; in ourselves, in someone else, in something beyond us. When we’ve forgotten how to believe in ourselves, we hope for a way to believe in ourselves again. Perhaps to let someone in who can show us how. Perhaps by loving us.

We all just want to be happy in the end, don’t we?

Maybe we never really give up hope, so even when those we thought we loved and trusted disappoint us, we push them away and stubbornly try and look elsewhere. Naturally but often wrongly so, because maybe we did not give those we pushed away a second chance.

It all sounds very sappy and perhaps I’m just feeling a little emotional right now. But I can’t help thinking there’s some truth in it somewhere. If not in anyone else’s case, then in my own.

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Leaving my safe, little, solitary lighthouse – 2.0

Scratch that. I want to get back to my little, solitary, safe lighthouse, don’t I?

Like a mouse to its hole.

Suddenly, that lighthouse is no longer just a metaphor. It has slowly taken hold of my mind, become ridiculously tangible and impractical (like so many of my dreams). I want it as my safehouse. My sanctuary. My temple. My physical mind palace. Everything that should constitute a home for one person. A single, isolated responsibility that one can leisurely tend to. Something reliable, familiar, steadfast. A lighthouse conveys that.

Too bad lighthouse keepers are pretty much extinct. Or, that is, the profession is.

So, what I want right now is unrealistic. In all seriousness, I cannot say to my job adviser nor my parents nor anyone listening when they ask what I want to be or do: “Hey, I would very much like to become a lighthouse keeper and write a book, or a hundred”.

How ironic. When you finally know what you want to be or do, it is near impossible and, at best, laughable.

Also, it’s almost too symbolic, isn’t it? The lighthouse, I mean.

I think that – more than companionship – I stubbornly want to prove to myself that I can live my life in solitude, alone.

Charlotte Brontë once said: “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself”.

But I’m also afraid that the more reality presses on; the more the practicalities of life push their ways into my existence, the more I drift off into another mindset. Through the years I have not extracted my mind from the fancies and imagination from childhood. No, I’ve only sunk more deeper, situated myself more steadfastly in an ethereal, abstract world as the years went on. It’s a strange regression that feels beyond my control. Deeper and deeper I feel myself glide into an existence that, on the surface, functions and does everything by the book, every smile, every handshake, every bill paid, but, below, it lives in another dimension of this world or another. Of dreams and darkness and fiction and music. So much that I want to disappear into this world. (And that’s not a euphemism for wanting to off myself). I believe madness is something we call when such a mind becomes sick, infested. When it starts hurting you as well as others. That’s not where I am or hopefully ever will be. I’m simply a dreamer, an idealist, despite all my cynicism about reality. At best, I have a ambivalent relationship with life.

I only feel myself present, truly present in life, when spending time with people I like and love. People I feel comfortable with and not judged by. That’s hardly strange, but there are few of such people and they live their own lives, far apart from me. Alone I fear becoming older and like my parents or so many of my elders; distracted, defensive, closed-off, bitter and cantankerous. Minds and hearts infested. Sweetness diminished. Taking dislike with the world as they see it, but the mirror reflects …

Am I depressed or just feeling sorry for myself? Or is it the same? Two sides of the same coin?

*sighs*

I’m singing the same ol’ tune, aren’t I?

It seems I’ve come no closer to an answer since a month ago. Don’t mind me.

 

*revised 17/7/17*

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It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.

“I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”

— Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I have come past yet another self-discovery, though the revelation itself is perhaps not so strange since it has hid in the subtext of many other discoveries I have come across on my path.

Like Alice… in Wonderland.

It hit me one evening when I asked myself – for the umpteenth time – why I seem to have no life. Really. And I realized it may be because I never had a life to begin with. It has not so much to do with self-pity as it is simply an objective observation:

I have always prided myself with having an independent and original mind (obvious throughout this blog, I think), but, in reality, my independence has lived off my dependence on others, and my original personality/mind has lived off all the influences around me. (Nothing new under the sun and rather cliché. And, after all, I can never be totally without some level of uniqueness. None of us can.)

But I believe I, so far, have lived a life of a sort of parasitical child – in badly need to grow up! A child who cannot, for the life of me, express emotions maturely – hardly even objectively (I cannot seem to overcome my literal tongue-tiedness)!

In part delusional innocence and part daily-reality-phobia, I’ve fed off the experiences, feelings and stories of others – whether those people have been real-life or fictional. Thus the constant and spineless immersion in fictional narratives and music – to substitute the numb emotions within – and warding off responsibilities in real-life (mostly those to myself).

*sighs* If I indeed suffer from some sort of Peter Pan-syndrome, I’d really like to have it diagnosed for being just that. Then I have a real excuse to shed my responsibilities and go find Neverland. (Hmm. Step up from Wonderland?)… Joke aside.

I am most likely just a maladaptive dreamer.

Have I ever felt empty and aimless when the pages run out or these ‘other people’ stop talking and showing me their lives and I can no longer immerse myself in their liveliness? Yes, perhaps I have. Perhaps I repress it by immersing myself further into something else, such as my imagination (Lewis Carroll wrote it: “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality”). Which again continues to supplant reality or what I cannot seem to have in my own daily reality. Something I am too cowardly to reach out and grasp fully myself.

Arrogantly, I have convinced myself that life is bigger than anything as ‘trivial’ as the daily, material matters of my own here and now. Bigger in a sense of metaphysics. I have a vast universe in my head that I need to discover and fill out with knowledge. Dealing with my own reality heads-on always seems so exhausting, transient and unreliable. I have no control there. I cannot predict the outcome in situations where my emotions feel most at stake but where they are often abandoned, even by myself, because I am no closer to understand them. So, of course, a subtle disappointment has run throughout every action, though I have not failed to see the benefit from most of them. Failures and flaws give life a color beyond compare, because they are what constitute you as a human; your unique you. I have learned from every action and that I have taken as a blessing, you could say.

But still the disappointment, the emptiness has rung hollow within; an undercurrent settling in my gut as I have become more and more aware of life; of all the things I have lived through compared to all the things I likely or may never will. The sense of excitement and curiosity of getting to know what lies ahead has slowly been quelled by every underlying disappointment connecting; a frightening numbness setting in. Tastes turned to ashes in my mouth.

And I immerse myself in all the constructed narratives and emotions to bar out, to hush the raging numbness, silence and solitude-turned-loneliness I live in and come home to every day.

Solitude. My once so trusted friend has been possessed by loneliness; become the Babadook of my mind; a ghost haunting for the purpose of terror rather than company. And I have been its very maker. It is the Frankenstein of my creation; a ‘safe’ theory of ‘companionship’ that my mind latched on to, settled for – anything compared to the real thing; of having no companionship at all. A theory that turned into a being of its own once the egg was hatched; a being that became a monstrosity because it was still unsatisfied with its existence and blamed me. Because life isn’t easy. It was never meant to be.

Maybe it is the strange, little but significant events that have occurred to me within the last couple of years (I may have mentioned some of them here and there, but I don’t imagine you’ll know what I’m talking about and I cannot go into them right now) and likely set off my depression. If indeed my depression has been lying in wait for this – or if it really is a depression and not just an odd restlessness or lazy down-spiraling of one defense mechanism succeeding another. And, as I said, burying myself in fiction and imaginative feelings helps me to deflect from my own lonely life as well as this perhaps/perhaps-not-depression. A sort of silly ‘coping escapism’ you are more likely to find in some (dark) children’s novel. And despite what I may have learned from these significant events, they have also left tiny, superficial scars in my heart; invisible to the naked eye; slowly accumulating over the years, forming a dark little cloud around it where the sun peeps in every now and then, desperate to emerge fully. I can empathize with others who go through something similar on a daily basis, yet I cannot begin to compare myself to what others feel on totally different levels and maybe I’m not supposed to. Maybe I’m allowed to have this, to feel this, accept it and then find a way out of the fog, somehow.

(Have I become my own therapist?)

All utter nonsense, perhaps. Or, perhaps not? How can anyone answer that but myself? And how can I when it feels like it takes several epiphanies, some life-changing experiences and a lifetime to answer that?

Again, I’m at a loss. At war in my mind. I seek immediate answers I can only gain through time. And time moves both slowly and unpredictably. And then it’s over before you know it.

And again, I haven’t dared to move and grab hold of some part of my reality and truly make it mine; claim it as mine. I have been too cowardly to do it. Perhaps because I feel, deep down, that there’s something too good about life that I do not deserve? I feel blessed and cursed at the same time, and I’m ashamed of feeling cursed; of appearing ungrateful of what I’ve been given; my inability to make better use of what I have and seize the day. I mostly just seize the day to write about life and consume others’ experiences of it, not experiencing it myself nearly as fully as I could. Imprisoned by myself or my inability to do something about it. Is that a life of a writer? I doubt it. And yet, many people imprisoned; physically, institutionally or mentally, have written all throughout history, have they not? Some of the greatest writer have been imprisoned in some way or another, perhaps not directly enabling their writing but channeling it.

Perhaps I can make do with what I have worked myself into?

My writing may be as delusional as it may be cathartic; a circle of self-serving excuses; where fear of pity and perfection mixes in a blend as sinister as the river Styx I have to pay Charon with everything precious I possess to cross.

I return time and time again to a crossroad and I wonder if there is a me in this world and another me in another world and I wonder how often they will coincide in this harsh, bright, beautiful existence I have been given. Or if one will truly emerge with the other and – in that case – which one? And I wonder how many feels the same?

I want to override the consistent self-pity and shame, knowing how silly and unproductive these feelings are, but first I must escape the gripping loneliness from within and around and it is not so easily overcome. My stubborn independence does not help. I still return to myself. I have scolded myself with every line possible and every tone of voice to see the effects, to self-motivate, and yet, it has not helped (unsurprisingly). I have written and drawn and opened up more to those around me, strangers even. Yet, I still come home to myself and myself alone; the loneliness waiting there.

How is something like that overcome? I cannot seem to allow myself to reach for twosomeness, perhaps because I am so conflicted by its very concept. Equally afraid and hopeful. My mind is always one step ahead; one foot in the positive scenario, another in the negative one. All I see is the 50/50 chances and I cannot predict my luck nor my misfortune. ‘That’s human’, ‘that’s life’; god don’t I know ‘it’s bloody life!’ and yet, it does nothing to answer what I am to do. To wait and let it run its course? Sure, I’ve done nothing else. But as Charlotte Brontë once stated: “The trouble is not that I am single and likely to stay single, but that I am lonely and likely to stay lonely.”

But what is life if not lonely and wild, fantastical and quiet?

Meanwhile, I’ll return to a segment of Carroll’s iconic story that speaks to something quintessential in me:

“She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it), and sometimes she scolded herself so severely as to bring tears into her eyes; and once she remembered trying to box her own ears for having cheated herself in a game of croquet she was playing against herself, for this curious child was very fond of pretending to be two people. ‘But it’s no use now,’ thought poor Alice, ‘to pretend to be two people! Why, there’s hardly enough of me left to make one respectable person!'”

*revised 23/6/17*

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What you’ll probably find me saying/thinking every so often

  • “That’s debatable”
  • “That seems symptomatic to …”
  • “I blame evolution for being subject to such basic impulses”
  • “Why should that be expected as being normal?!”
  • “Have you tried thinking about it this way …?”
  • “Sorry, I have no idea what you’re talking about”
  • “What’s with the constant judging, people?”
  • “I had no idea this was the day that people did this thing… Why?”
  • “I do nothing. Or, no, I do something. I think.”
  • “Okay. So everybody just presumes one should know about this. When they tell you nothing, how is one supposed to know..?!”
  • “How on earth did this thing get so many supporters/members/fans? I want to know”
  • “How on earth did anyone come to think this was a good idea? I want to know”
  • “Have you noticed that …?”
  • “Why does my body keep doing that? It’s so strange. But then again, so is my brain.”
  • “These [insert number] things are so similar. I wonder if they have any connection? I bet they do. I must find out or make the connections myself”
  • “I don’t get how you can live without having/understanding irony… HOW??”
  • “Why am I the only one laughing at this?”
  • “I bet it is more complex than that”
  • “Yeah, but what if …”
  • “How can your mind be so small?”
  • “Oh, I wish …”
  • “That’s relative”
  • “I don’t understand why I cannot use this word/proverb like that. Language isn’t a static thing. It never has been. Besides, how can you claim to have monopoly of the use of a word/proverb when you hardly know its original meaning, how it came about in the first place or why we still use it in totally different contexts? Jeez.”
  • “Yeah, like that one/every time in history when …”
  • “Learning curves, peeps!”
  • “I feel like figuratively strangling that person/those people who do this thing. No, literally.”
  • “Now, I don’t want you to take this personally, but you do realize that …”
  • And the list goes on:

*revised 15/5/17*

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Lack of emotional guidance

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” — Oscar Wilde

Maybe my reason for not wanting to have children is because I already have a small 6-year-old running around inside my heart, playing my emotional keeper. It’s quite enough. *scoffs dryly* No, seriously. It’s literally like an annoying, selfish, hedonistic, stubborn little kid who runs amok, high on sugar and excitement over utterly geeky nonsense, or slumps together in a corner out of exhaustion or demonstratively trying to get its will.

Yep. That’s the core feature of my emotional response.

And like any weary parent my rationality tries to rein it in and put some guidelines up in order to get somewhere constructive. Not that I constantly fail in this fairly common endeavour, but my ’emotional keeper’ is also just a child; a person with its own personality and individual growth. I cannot keep on controlling it, yet as a ‘parent’, my rationality has a constant responsibility towards it. They cannot easily be separated and it has consequences if so.

It demands constant work to deal with emotions. At least for me – as an INTP. I can’t really speak on behalf of other types. I want and value my emotions but I have no natural emotional guidance and use my rationality, my intellect and wit to handle and deflect it when I think my emotional response gets out of hand. Though, I’ll never understand them. Sure, I can analyze and recognize patterns that led to the response, but I’ll never truly be on wavelength with my emotions. They are just … there. Doing something. And sometimes they are not. Don’t ask me why.

Now; sucking at your own emotional guidance, guiding others in the same department is, well, not excellent. I have had all these thoughts and feelings of wanting to help, but no idea how to reach out without seeming pathetic, contrived and awkward in my approach and sympathy that I do not always feel myself and hate to put on. I’m not even sure when I truly sympathize or empathize with somebody. I have no natural inclination towards interpersonal guidance besides the logical one. And I have absolute zero training from the home front. Other than generally knowing what not to do. Yet, knowing isn’t the same as showing and when it comes to showing I feel I have severely lacked the supportive action.

Maybe I haven’t. Maybe this worried post is all for naught, but that simply illustrates how little I get my own, personal emotional rollercoaster in my inner backyard.

I have long denied – and partly continue to do so – that I need emotional guidance, both from myself and from others. I’ve considered it a pathetic, selfish and needy request to want. Which may or may not have something to do with my upbringing … But by denying and dismissing it, I have actually placed myself in a more selfish position. Did I have the ability to let myself be guided by and through my emotions in a symbiotic fashion and help others to do the same, I would certainly be a less selfish person for it, I believe! Instead of barracading myself from the fear of stepping out awkwardly or in order not to hurt and get hurt, unintentionally.

I recognize now that I need to learn emotional guidance and give it to myself and others and that wanting it in return is not so big an ask. It would certainly be beneficial to all parties.

But where to start? By stop denying it to myself? By reaching out or by being reached? Maybe I’m not desperate enough? Maybe it isn’t shown enough through my awkward actions and words alone since it is something most people, presumably, take for granted, don’t recognize or misinterpret?

One must be careful not to be consumed by an evil spiral of guilt anyhow: To think about wanting to reach out and then cop out, feeling too awkward about it and then feeling guilty about not doing it, wondering why you’re so bad at it and then rationalizing it with ‘there’s nothing you could do to help anyway’ or ‘you’ll just muck it up’. When you keep on thinking about doing and thinking about not doing and never really lift your head to look up and into the eyes of the person in need; to truly listen and help and be there, without being distracted by your own guilt and inabilities.

I think that has been part of the problem with my parents when I feel I haven’t really received emotional guidance from them or that they haven’t given it to themselves. And I think I am afraid of this most of all, because I know I do it myself and I’m not sure how to get out. I continue to feel insufficient in this department and awkward when I do do something and still not sure if I do anything right. I have gotten positive response for my rational, logical guidance – even in somewhat emotional situations – but what if that isn’t enough? I really have no clue whether people around me need more emotional support from me or when or how…!? Do they simply think I’m not able to handle it and instead seek out other people? I partly fear and hope so. Because then they understand how difficult it is for me to give helpful, emotional support, but it also means this two-way, tender subject is never really broached and I begin to fear they think me unfeeling and carefree, with no worries of my own in possible need of guidance..?

And I end right by the conclusion that, all in all, I am pathetic for thinking all this … *sighs* Yeah, you see? Really helpful, emotional guidance here.

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Never try to conform. Rebel. Be critical. Think. (With the help of some insightful people)

As eilamona on Tumblr pointed out – and on a personal note – INTPs should never try to fit in: “The world is built for extraverted judgers (and sensors also have an easier time since there are lots of them) – but it’s a huge mistake to try to fit in. All these years, we have developed our unique qualities as an INTP. It’s your choice whether to hide them like weaknesses, or play them up as strengths.”

If you force yourself into conformity the consequence will be as Virginia Woolf so accurately put it: “Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent.” Or as Rita Mae Brown said: “I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”

Of course, one can simply ‘play into’ conformity but not fully ‘commit’ like author Richard Wright implies: “The thing to do was to act just like others acted, live like they lived, and while they were not looking, do what you wanted.” And, in the end: “I am inclined to satisfy the claims of my own ideals rather than the expectations of others.”

I’m trying to figure out what my life is to become. Not what everyone else expects it to be become or how it should unfold. Not what everyone else sees fitting: The most conventional and efficient way; what an industrious life should be.

No, I see life as so much more than ticked off boxes and filled in formulars proving you are a person. I believe life should be one’s own and that that should be enough. (Ack, my unfailing idealism!). Not so much for selfish reasons, but for the sake of life itself. Granted to you. Asking you to take care of it. Taking the path less traveled. Or, at least, walk the straight main road with everyone else – but a little more ahead or behind; setting the eyes on other parts than the never-ending horizon, letting the gaze wander, become distracted and see what the others do not see. Once in a while letting your legs walk the course of your curiosity. Dare to.

I do not want to keep on freeloading on the welfare system for my own selfish benefits, but I do not want to ‘sell myself’ to the outer world either. It’s almost an instinct to refuse to do so. An instinct not matured or outgrown with age, but consistent and childlike still.

Life is hardly this black-and-white and compromises are to be made, but my damned integrity balks and rears like a stubborn mule, like I’ll become tainted if I compromise it. Or maybe it is something else? Fear? Cowardice? All of them?

I wrote a poem about fluctuating between worlds, of lives half-lived, and it’s true. I need to get out of my comfort zone and the ‘security’ of fictive worlds and dreams. To face reality. At least, once in a while. To dare.

And yet …

“A dream is not reality, but who’s to say which is which?”. Besides, “dreams are all I have ever truly owned”.

I ask myself what makes me most happy? Living in a world of dreams and imagination, of fiction and music, or living in the real world? I know the immediate answer as it is, but it is not a happy answer. I wish it was different. That life, for once, managed to let its claws sink into me and hold on. My own, humble attends to do so towards life have proven fruitless, pathetic.

I keep searching for my bravery – and hold onto it.

*revised 13/8/17*

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