Idleness: Texts of Quiet Desperation

H/span>ere are some texts that perfectly describe the entrance into my twenties. Written a little over three years ago, I have one thing to say: It gets better. Here is a written portrait of an anxious woman.


April 2016

12th: I am the sisters from Chekhov’s play.

15th: Art, in its many forms, builds a world around me and helps me categorize and make sense of the world. Without art, life would be too chaotic and incomprehensible. My lens of looking at the world is absolutely shaped by the art I consume, whether it is visual arts, motion pictures, adverts, books. I see the world as if it were a vision of an artist: “that tree is sublime, it looks like Van Gogh’s  Mulbery”, “New York is beautiful to me because of Woody Allen’s Manhattan”… Art is important to me because it often externalizes internal feelings, it makes it easier to make sense of emotions and what I feel. Life definitely imitates art.

17th: It has been a long time. I have avoided writing mainly because of my personal fears and insecurities. I feel beaten. Beaten by madness and drained from my mental activities. The mind and body are very much connected, if one is suffering, the other will follow. I decided to write today because I felt a sudden wave of hopefulness and optimism. I think it might be caused by the wonderful weather here; the sun is shining, the grass is growing, the air is fresh and new. I got a copy of Leaves of Grass because I get that I needed it. I need an awakening.

19th: The uncanny: I was studying in my usual café, when suddenly all the lights and music and voices shut down simultaneously. This was due to a power outage. It seemed as if, for a moment, the illusion of my surrounding world was completely shut down.

21st: I am floating in solitude, nothing and no one is grounding me to my life.

23rd: It is difficult to explain complete and utter desperation to a normal and stable person (which I imagine is you, reader). But I will try.

I wake up, and I have no self (it is not stable, not grounded solidly). Every morning, I have to decide what kind of person I want to be… sometimes I am just completely empty. Not having a self is exhausting. “How do I react to this?” “How do I talk to this person?” There is this great quote from Sharon Pollock that perfectly encompasses what I currently struggle with. It goes like this:

“I’m supposed to be a mirror. I’m supposed to reflect what you want to see, but everyone wants something different. If no one looks in the mirror, I’m not even there, I don’t exist!”

And most of the time, I feel like I don’t exist. I am a floating soul, always changing, always molding to other people. I have no opinions, no personality, no substance, I am an image. A two-dimensional picture. I want to stand for something, I want to feel, I want to be human, but I do not know how to get there. Every attempt brings me back to the same starting point. I am lying to myself and I am lying to others. What has brought me here? I think I have always been this way… Trying to please everyone led to losing my sense of self. Who is the “real” me? When do I feel the most human? I DON’T KNOW! HOW CAN I KNOW? I guess when I am at my lowest, I am myself. When I am alone. But I keep trying to distract myself.

Second issue: distraction. Every waking moment of my existence I am trying to run away from being alone with myself. The world around me is speeding up very fast but I can’t keep up, I am lagging behind, I feel lost in the constant rush. I often tell this to other people as a joke, but I am starting to believe it: I am very bad at living life. I am not particularly good at anything, I’ve never really worked hard to achieve anything and I complain all the time. I despise people who like me and love people who do not care about me. I want to be everything but I don’t want to work for anything. I want to be a real person. I want to feel, to be a part of society but I am not willing to put the work in to get what I want.

Question of the day: Does it really get better?

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