yesterday afternoon i was so sick of staring at the shadows of my room that i began to despise the haunting contours of them. i felt like they were mocking me, the way they shifted and changed shape throughout the day, while i remained rooted in the same place. i'd been sitting stagnant in my dwelling, blankly staring at half written documents for so long that the words all seemed jumbled and out of place, no matter where i put them.
this semester seems to have filled the corners of my brain with such a startling contrast of matter, that it's become a taxing experience, just putting a single sentence of it together. sometimes i find, that while i'm driving or doing the dishes or checking e-mails, random words and phrases spill out into the forefront of my thoughts, as if they could no longer squeeze into their designated spaces. non-diagetic anhedonism, hegemonic masculinity, self-reflexivity, transmedia storytelling, dominant positive volume...
"Whenever I enter the region of my mind I feel like the proverbial bull in the china shop. A thousand odds and ends of knowledge come crashing about my head like hailstones, and when I try to escape them, theme goblins and college nixies of all sorts pursue me, until I wish – oh, may I be forgiven the wicked wish! – that I might smash the idols I came to worship.” -Helen Keller
I finally stopped torturing myself and went on a jog around my neighborhood because my soul was craving it. the first half of the jog was done in an angry pace. i passed by children playing in a front yard, who were all arguing over who should recover the ball that rolled beyond them. i wanted so badly to take them each by the shoulders and tell them to cherish the simplicity of their lives right now, that their greatest agony was over a plastic ball. but then i immediately remembered how little of an impact those words had on me when i was a child. i could never be convinced my life was ever simple. because everything is relative. and what feels so grossly urgent to me now may also seem trite in the future. we humans always look back on stressors and wonder how we let them burrow into the recesses of our minds to linger and intoxicate our thoughts.
by the time this idea arose in me, i had reached the bridge overlooking the pond in the park on san luis. i sat on a wooden bench and observed. something about the water and the greenery, though so unlike lake beresford, reminded me of my ranch home in deland. with one swift gust of wind, a rush of childhood memories flooded my brain and suddenly, the overwhelming feeling washed over me, that everything is going to be okay.
perhaps it came from the rapid remembrance of all the struggles i've overcome in the past, or perhaps it was the physical peace i felt in that moment, but wherever it came from, it came with a ferocity that silenced me.
the stresses and mindless definitions that had been harassing my mind were muted. in that moment i knew there was nothing in my life that could defeat me.
i realized that i was only defeating myself. i absolutely had the ability to write my final papers, but i didn't want to, because they were all i had left. i've never known anything other than school -- my life has revolved around it for 17 years. i've always defined myself as a student and now i'm not sure what my status in society will be.
fear of the unkown.
once i realized that all of the stress in my life amounted to a subconscious fear of the unknown, i felt utterly silly. i love the unkown!, i thought. i normally pride myself on feeding off of spontaneity and the thrill of the unknown. if only i had known it was only the unknown!
i went home, sat at my laptop, and pumped out papers in record time. i stopped allowing me to defeat myself.