“What do you want?” such a simple question with a not so simple answer. I’ve been struggling with this question for as long as I can remember, truly… and it doesn’t help that I’m the most indecisive person I know. As I get older I am confronted by this question day in and day out. I am reminded that time, she is ruthless and does not stop and wait for anyone. Her steady rhythm makes me anxious and I feel as though I have two left feet. This is the first time where I can’t dance to the beat. (Sorry mom and dad those 15 years of dance classes don’t serve me now). Sometimes I have moments where I remind myself that everything will be okay, I have an image in mind, where I’m going about life with no problems. A picturesque scene of my future. I am happy, enjoying myself and most importantly, I know what I want. I have this vision and I use it to distract myself from the woes of indecisiveness. It works. I keep this image of mysterious/ambiguous/cryptic/inexplicable happiness to tie myself over until my next anxious episode. Now if only I could figure out what it is that I am doing???
Things will be ok. But how can they if I have no direction? Sigh. So here I am thinking to myself about my not-so-stable future, an illusory sense of happiness and security. Terrified. Ah but wait, is it not true that in order to be found you must first get lost?
I finished reading Siddhartha a couple of days ago and I have been thinking about the message in that book. It’s wild how it was so prominent in my thoughts, as if my mind a canvas hit with freshly splattered paint. The book-a brush and the paint- wisdom. Splat. That was short-lived however; over exposure to the harmful ultraviolet(n)t radiation, invisible to the naked eye but ever so present had caused the colours to fade. Such beauty, how easily forgotten with the daunting reminder of all the struggles and hardships of life…shit. Life isn’t even that hard for me and I don’t mean for that to come off weirdly condescending-all I’m trying to say is there are situations in which people find themselves, and they are much worse than my current situation. Ah but as they say, problems are subjective and that is true. You never know what people are going through despite how they present themselves on the outside. But back to Siddhartha…Hesse you have magically put into words something I want to feel for the rest of my life. I have never felt so whole and that is ironic considering the inherent emptiness of self and all things. Buddhist philosophies are beautiful. I don’t remember the last time I felt that moved by something I read. Everything is everything. Time is illusory. There is only the present. I forget this often and it is easy to get wrapped up in anxieties about the past or future. But when you think about it, the future does not exist, and neither does the past. There is only now. (As I re read this I cannot help but cringe at how New Age-y this all sounds but bare with me). Once you really take that in, all your troubles seem insignificant, in fact, they probably shouldn’t even exist. Most stress inducing thoughts I occupy my mind with are mundane when I remind myself to take a step back and live in the present. Without time holding us back, we become limitless. In every second you are evolving, becoming a completely different person, never to be the same as you were even one second ago, because that second does not exist. You, in that second do not exist anymore. There is so much potential when you allow yourself to be unrestrained by the illusion of time: and the same goes to not just you, yourself, but everyone and everything. The nature of the universe is transient.
These thoughts are fine to have, but here I am… still not content. It’s difficult to keep in mind the impermanence of all things, at all times, and it is definitely much easier to let yourself be consumed by the giant killer squid that is anxiety, wrapping its slimy tentacles around you, slowly constricting your thoracic cavity, crushing each rib one, by one and then splat. Thick, black, sludge-like ink. You can’t see, you can’t breathe. You’re dead.
I want to go to the beach, climb a mountain, or explore a vast valley framed by thick forestry. Anywhere picturesque really; remote, away from the hustle and bustle of the notorious marketplace that exists in my head, away from the constraints of time. I want to go there to sob, which seems pretty ridiculous but I want to sob uncontrollably until there is nothing left in me. Purge everything. For now that’s what I am sure of. That is what I want.