What I Know
I feel it deep in my bowels, right there in my gut — that something’s not right, that some doors just shut. What if something happens and it’s all on me? What if it’s not all it could be? I’m sure that I’ve made some timely mistakes, and I’ve heard that a couple is all that it takes. Why didn’t I take a step back to think; does this have a purpose, where is the link? It didn’t turn out at all like I planned; I just want to bury my head in the sand. But one things for sure, that I can’t do — I still have to pretend I have a clue.
Or is that exactly what makes me a coward? Doesn’t confessing leave you feeling empowered and people to tell you in their most soothing voice: “It’s great you manned up and made the right choice”? Maybe it’s best to confide in someone who knows how I should act when insecurity shows? And how to deal with the range of reactions, to not get caught up in certain distractions. But then again what kind of advice would I get: “There’s no point in pitying yourself just yet”? I’d tell them: “Why, that is not what I am doing” and on top of it all, now more tension’s brewing. That’s reason alone for me to shut my mouth and keep to myself while figuring out if this is what I want, if I still truly care. I’m sure there’s an answer, but I don’t know where. How do I stop all of this doubting and put a rest to the inside-out scouting? Sure, one might not be wrong saying it’s self-inflicted, but how do you cope when things are not as predicted?
I don’t actually know why I’m having these questions and it’s not like I’m largely opposed to suggestions; it’s just that I don’t want to be perceived as someone who gives up before he’s achieved what he really wanted and set out to earn or as a weak one, which might be my biggest concern. Should I keep on going, try to mend some of the dents or simply accept it; comply with the turn of events? I guess what would be nice was to have some time to clear my thoughts and hopefully see the sublime that everyone and their mother is raving about, although I’m leaning towards just copping out. How do I prevent these thoughts from getting in? Is there some way I can assure that I’ll win these fights that’s unraveling in my head? What was it again, that wise thing I once read? Something about being your own worst whatever, oh well, it has nothing to do with this whole endeavor.
Of course an option is saying “It’s all for the best. I’m taking a break; I deserve some rest. What good does it do in the grand scheme of it all, standing here banging my head to the wall?” There’s only one problem; I’m no master of persuasion and I can’t leave myself out of the equation. How could I when clearly I’m the one to be blamed? Would it make any difference if I stood up and proclaimed: “I don’t feel like I’m the true wrong-doer here?” It’s not as if things would magically disappear. I wish I was more like someone I once knew; that I could care a bit less yet keep pulling through, knowing in the end everything’s going to be okay. Perhaps one-time but that’s not today and to be honest not even next year. As I try to oppose, the questions reappear:
What if something happens and it’s all on me? What if it’s not all it could be? I’m sure that I’ve made some timely mistakes, and I’ve heard that a couple is all that it takes. Why didn’t I take a step back to think; does this have a purpose, where is the link? Should I keep on going, try to mend some of the dents or simply accept it; comply with the turn of events? Am I overthinking it, or not merely enough? Should I confess or continue to bluff? What did I do, was I wrong from the start?
How would I know? I’m clearly not smart.
This essay was first published in A New Type of Imprint, Vol. 4