Nothing gold can stay.

On fighting your instincts

“Ma’am, are you ready?”

I looked up into the face of the man asking me to get on the ride and I stepped out of the way. These kinds of decisions can’t be made lightly and who knows if and when you’re going to have to exit the ride to go run off and hurl.

The argument of nature and nurture is an interesting one. One long resolved by psychology, the answer is simply: both. Two people can be raised the exact same way and feel completely different about it because the nature of who they are perceives it differently. This understanding eventually begs me to the question of “is morality ingrained” because I go off into — if each nature perceives it’s environment differently then what is right and wrong to one person would be different for a person of different nature. This would mean you should not tell someone who was hurt by you shouting at them that shouting isn’t wrong just because there are other people who also do not perceive it as wrong. Each person is entitled to their reality, and in my reality, things, more often than not, go badly.

I worry a lot with my writing that people aren’t going to understand that everyone around me, throughout my entire life, I believe, has always been doing their best. Just because their best didn’t always result in me getting what would have been the best care for me, given my particular nature, in no way means that any person in my past was wrong. I fault no one for the way I have perceived my life, or the lessons I have learned. But moving through that disclaimer I need to say that I have a staunch inability to believe that good things are true. My doctor refers to this state of mind as “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” But for this particular saga in my life, I’m going to take a page from A New Found Glory and call it the “Nothing Gold Can Stay” principle.

Due to my heighten trauma state, my brain overcompensates my urge to remain in complete safety by creating hard-set rules. Follow the crosswalks. Shift at 2000RPMs when in a six-cylinder. Run at the first feeling of danger. Don’t make eye contact with people outside of your extremely intimate peer group. When people put their hand on your thigh, they’re about to leave. Loud noises are bad. As you can see, many of these are logical fallacies, but at some point in my history it was important that they were correct and now my instincts follow suit. This is all good and well until I try to include another human in my life. Other humans have different rules. Their nature is different. Their nurturing was different, and I try to be mindful of this while I’m including them in my life. I try to be mindful that new people have stories and methods I’ve never known before. I try to bend my rules.

But bending rules and fighting instincts take a lot of effort, and some days are more difficult than others. I try my hardest to focus on the things that don’t bring me fear. For instant, I feel encouraged and motivated to be a more organized and productive human lately. That feeling has never in my life led me to a bad place. It is safe. Conversely, I feel like I can relax, and enjoy myself and the journey my life is taking me. This feeling has often led me to becoming complacent and easily manipulated by others. Fear. Rule: Don’t relax and enjoy the journey. But I want to. This journey, or rollercoaster, if you will, feels like it’s going to be a good one. It feels like it’s going to be the best one. It feels like I will have the space and independence to learn how to be the best version of myself without an androgynous demon on my shoulder calling me out for all of my mistakes.

But when has that ever happened? When have the things I thought were going to be good, ever actually been good? When has life not just led me down a long difficult road, just to leave me a mile short of safety, again?

I’m trying to bend the rules.