“The night knows nothing of the chants of night. It is what it is as I am what I am: And in perceiving this I best perceive myself”
Okay – I start off with that line from “Re-Instatement Of Romance” by Wallace Stevens because it speaks to one of most prized trophies that I’ve acquired so far…a comfortable sense of self. Although I fully believe that we will never truly know ourselves until the day we die, I do think we can become aware of our own tendencies and to completely accept what and who we are, despite the overwhelming large chance we will continue to change throughout the years until..well, death do us part.
Whoa – yeah, just dropping a lot of weird truth bombs here, right? Even though this is supposed to be fitness-focused, here I am spilling some intimate thoughts. But the ripe age of 28 has thrown me into a washer machine of self-reflection, courtesy of the impending doom of old age. I know – super dramatic, right? But if I don’t dial myself in now, I think I may regret a lot of things.
I spent most of my early 20s repairing myself, time and time again. Almost like sobering up from a very long night of Jameson and bad decisions, only to take another look at your vice and go HEY, GET OVER HERE! But I guess that’s what you’re supposed to do in your 20s, at least you have the energy to fight back.
Have you seen the meme, “Wow, you’re so grown up for your age!” “Thanks, it’s from all of the trauma.” Well, if the shoe fucking fits. I’ve spoken about these things before, the bullshit that binds me to “the dark side” of life. I never lived in present long enough to realize how long it would take me to “come back”. A series of deaths, toxic relationships, and adventures (I suppose) can really alter you at such a basic level, it could almost set the tone for the rest of your life. One of the best coping mechanisms is to take all of the sadness and anger, ball it up into a black mess and bury REEEALLLLLYY deep inside yourself. It works for the most part – until it actually turns into a black hole and starts to rip apart the very fabric of your personality. Again – I’m being super dramatic here, but it sounds cool and you get the point.
Here I am – almost 29. (Let me wallow for a minute, I’m sure someone older than me reading this is rolling their goddamn eyes!) I’ve put myself through some sobering rinse cycles and here I am drying out. I could say I’ve learned some valuable life lessons, or that I am so much wiser now that I am almost 11 years older than when I started this blog – but let’s face it, I am who I am. I appreciate the spontaneity of life and the weird mysteries of human emotions. I get off on total honesty and the real and raw thoughts that people rarely discuss. I fought for a while, and it was almost instinct to do so – why should anyone else understand? Why should I?
It is funny how we position ourselves to the world – how we advertise our best self to people we barely know. And when we finally get a chance to unearth the nitty gritty of ourselves and share it with another person, it most likely won’t compute. We don’t understand others if we cannot understand ourselves – and for a while, I lost that need for understanding myself. I know it is more of a journey than an instant result, but up until recently, it has felt almost unattainable.
“And you. Only we two may interchange, Each in the other what each has to give. Only we two are one, not you and night,”
And then there are those – those rare and unfiltered gifts to the world that just understand without any coaxing. I can’t explain them. You either understand them or don’t – or understand the bits and pieces, rather than the bigger picture. I don’t know, pick whichever makes sense to you. I guess what I’m trying to explain is that there are others who exist that can be completely transparent with you…as if you feel them inside of you, picking you apart and sharing their whole self with you in just a few words. And – you get it. Whether you are there by choice (luckily) or life has a really fucked up sense of humor, there is no rejecting that level of intimacy. You can’t. You have no other choice than to reflect upon yourself and accept that someone else entirely accepts you and every little piece of darkness that holds you together. That, my friends, is freedom. (and it is also terrifying).
We position ourselves in the best possible light to everyone else until we meet these people who basically obliterate the entire picture we’ve painted with the normal, socially-acceptable brushes we are given from birth. We’re structured. We’re built. We’re fortified and reinforced with all of what society has given and taught us. But what happens when one, single moment dictates the turn of events…or the welcomed destruction of your normal scheduled programming? Chaos? Or the dead silence that follows after a storm? Does it matter?
I can tell you, it leaves you feeling uneasy as if you stumbled upon something you aren’t supposed to see. It could also make you feel guilty. What has it taken so long? What didn’t I do right until now? Is there a realistic level of understanding here? Or is it just a random bunch of actions and reactions that lead us here? Why am I just now appreciating it? Did I even know it was here? At what point does it become dangerous? Where does the line get drawn? What wouldn’t I do to keep it mine?
“Nor night and I, but you and I, alone, So much alone, so deeply by ourselves, So far beyond the casual solitudes, That night is only the background of our selves, Supremely true each to its separate self, In the pale light that each upon the other throws.”
I’m speaking to you. Forgive me – let me revel in my own darkness for a bit. And if it truly scares you, I invite you to tell me why.