i suppose the biggest disappointment we all have in life is when the real world does not meet our expectations. this must be truth because when our expectations are either met or exceeded, we feel that surge of peace or joy or excitement or even sometimes ecstasy that isn’t usually a part of our day-to-day experience.
in order to cope with regular and routine disappointment, i believe we all have little tricks we use to keep us going and moving forward. it could be we start limiting what we expect from certain people, or perhaps we change our attitudes about a place we must be in regularly. we find silver linings in things that are really grey and we start to settle into grooves of these lives, almost like soldiers who have decided to live in a deep bunker. it’s safer than trying to figure out a battle plan for breaking out, it’s easier than determining a strategy to confront what isn’t right with us or others, it’s less scary than fighting your own mind to win the war of being disappointed at the cost of true joy and bliss.
recently i did something to shake up my own world, and while i told myself and others that i was ready for a “change” and a “new adventure” and to “not have regrets,” i realize now that my self-protective grooves, my facade of self-belief, my strongly built refuge - they were all tricks and stories i performed and told to myself and others. it doesn’t always take some deep tectonic shifting to realize how precarious your house of cards really is - maybe you are better than others at reinforcing your subdued truths with a layer of something hard and fast and real that helps to glue these creations together.
i can only speak of myself and the truth i uncover every day. i can only hope that if i share, perhaps you will find the strength to also take a look past the frosted or covered mirror into the real, boarded up and painted part of you that no one really gets to visit.
i felt in control. that is the first belief i held to that is now firmly gone. i felt that i knew who i was, i knew what people thought or expected of me, i knew what i wanted from others and i knew what i was capable of.
none of that is true.
it still isn’t, and i don’t know if it ever will be. i’m still in a conundrum over who it was exactly i was trying to convince myself i was or what i really thought - because it turns out i’m not that person and people don’t truly believe what i thought they did.
perhaps that statement is one i feel so strongly right now, because these feelings are tumbling out in a strange and powerful way and at this time, they are not all straight forward.
it isn’t “well i thought i was great at this and so did others but turns out i’m terrible.” no, it’s not that at all. the self-discovery is a little more layered than i was ready for - a little more than i cared for, to speak a little truth if I may.
there are things that i excelled at that i allowed others to see more of, that fed into the myth of this person they believed in.
there are things i was ashamed of, that i kept inside the four walls of my mind and tiny city apartment on the many nights and days alone, small items of pain that i did not believe anyone could share or would want to see or perhaps even that the idea of sharing such things created larger and heaver senses of humiliation… those secrets i either tucked away or built into odd little idiosyncrasies that i then dared others to challenge.
i know now that i needed something to break, something to change inside of me so i wouldn’t stay some made-up version of me that wasn’t truly finding joy or peace - at least not in the way that i should. not at the pace that i should. the heavy steps of disappointment that i had allowed myself to tread over and over again had created a well-worn trail that i had convinced myself was my home, my path, my comfortable place. and i don’t live there - i don’t want to live there - and you shouldn’t want to live in your own false comfort either.
i am not where i want to be. these new days are not great. not yet. i firmly believe they will be.
i also now believe they will be more of a fight. that i do have to light the match at some point, blow up the heavily sheltered, underground refuge i had stayed in for so long. the days ahead will be war on those built up secrets. they will be strategy sessions on how to defeat my own self-preservations so that i can live something more real, so the cushions and insulations are torn out and a little loss of blood isn’t quite such a terrible occurrence.
there will be days of war against myself and what i hold to be true. true about me, true about you, true about this world.
if you miss me, if you have found that my words have become few or that the distance has become loud to you… please be the one to say something. please be the words i may not be able to say.
every day is change. every moment is adventure into what i didn’t expect. every thought is one that i must ignite and burn all regret out of, until all that is left is something real, something i can finally place those forgotten expectations into and believe in again.