One hand clapping

It finally feels old to unpack the standards for growth I once used to perpetuate the narrative of my ill-developed self. For the moment, the task of self pity has lost its potency.

I was reading a certain Ash Presto’s blog. Though these are but vignettes into her life, I feel a strange sense of pride over who she is. She seems to be (almost) a force of nature. A year ago I might have felt an emerald envy possess me.

“How am I not comparable?” This voice would demand that I ought to be more.

But the self is is a private reflection, not a commodity.
Measuring one’s growth against another seems like a fool’s errand. Who can compare the worlds we have inhabited? Who could even begin to speak of the truths we’ve uncovered for ourselves?

I’ve always felt ill at ease with the roughage of emotion these kinds of thoughts bring.
Am I not a farce? And why am I obsessed with playing this private charade of self?
I’m tempted to say that there is no one there to see me.

That would be an old thought, too.
The process of writing is itself conversational. I never know what I’m going to end up saying. The act of reorganizing gives me something new to work with. It is a discussion I hold with myself.

Maybe the best we can expect from others is a good conversation in the waiting room. Let the unexpected bond with a stranger you might never see again remind you that life is a series of disjointed moments. We form and fall apart to those collected fragments of experience. Many days feel as if I am always in the unmaking. And there is no shame in that. This instability is at the very core of human development.

I sometimes still feel the grating need to reach out and have someone /who knows, who understands/ to hold me. But I understand now that this is just another thing that happens: one swell of emotion which will crash and give way to another kind. There is wonder and fear and love and longing. Happiness, too, is in those middle moments.

I’m beginning to understand that my kind of peace isn’t a solid state of being unbothered. It is instead the practice of sitting with myself as I thrash about. Toward what end? Just for the sake of kind companionship. Pagdadamay.

Sometimes there is no reason, rhyme or purpose.
Sometimes you just are.

Life is too short to be one defined thing. I am all this and more.

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