Episode 1: The Reasons

There are often three reasons for something: the reason we tell others, the reason we tell ourselves, and the real reason.

The reason we tell others is packaged, neatly constructed. She strives for simplicity. She aims to satisfy. She keeps follow up questions to a minimum, eases the unspoken fears, reassures. She’s delicately designed to keep others safe, to protect them from what we know and most importantly from what we don’t know. She doesn’t know the real reason personally, they’ve never met. The reason we tell others is not concerned with the inner workings of the real reason. She’s concerned with connection, to draw us closer to the others. The reason we tell others serves as a bridge, each plank placed with intention and each nail hammered in hopes of belonging. If I can’t make sense of me, surely you can. Let this reason paint a picture that pleases you and appeases you, a gift from me to you.

The reason we tell ourselves is self-absorbed and fiercely loyal. An intoxicating blend of comfort, reassurance and forgiveness. The reason we tell ourselves pushes us to keep going, to put one foot in front of the other, to take another breath, to make it to the next moment. A cheerleader, a motivator. She’s a fighter, marred and bloodied. She likes a good story. The narrative matters deeply. Shoulders hunched, brow furrowed, heart hopeful — she desperately reaches for the scattered pieces and tries to fit them back together. It’s all happening for a reason. Point the finger and assign the blame. The reason we tell ourselves is deathly afraid of the real reason, they’ve brushed shoulders in the night a time or two. The reason we tell ourselves has irrational tendencies. She sincerely believes in fate, superstition. She’s grounded with her head in the clouds. Life is out of our control and we’re doing the best we can. It’s not your fault, just keep going and don’t look back.

The real reason is elusive. A mythical being. Woven deep into the story of our lives and yet entirely insignificant. Figments of our imagination. Uncharted territory. She’s eccentric, hard to grasp, messy. Everything we are and everything we want to be. The real reason is many things at once. The real reason is both immensely complex and terrifyingly simple. She’s chaotic. She exists. She’s nonexistent. Equal parts disappointing and engaging. Unlike the reason we tell others, she has no order. Unlike the reason we tell ourselves, she has no meaning. The real reason begs for evaluation and change, things the other reasons would never dare ask of us. It doesn’t matter, it never has.