I think I know things now. Half a decade ago, I had the same mindset, with just a few incertitudes, of course – nobody’s perfect~ Finding myself with a very blurry idea of where I’ll be in even five years, I’ve allowed myself in the quondam present to snuggle into my confusion, and as a result, have found myself become wiser of it. In the happening of time, I forget it, until I happen across a whisper from that person that used to be me – an old crumpled up to-do list or snippet of awful high school love poem; a photo that I’m smiling in but remember in sobs; a saved text message with the words and phrases I used all the time and just about figured I’d say forever. I crave that person, to talk to her and hold her close and tell her it’ll all be okay, although half the time you’ll still question that it’s so. Her urges are no different from mine, just less weathered. She’s the Honda Civic we received upon graduating high school, and I’m the fender mangled mess that still works, and hey! even a bit better now than before because I learned how to drive it the way it needs me to.
See, as much as she knew, she didn’t know enough, hadn’t experienced enough of life’s pain to relate to me, but every day she got closer. The minutia in the monotony of living a day-to-day existence changes us. I’m balancing, suspended in a pyramidal glass cone, being struck by the same sands each second, becoming enraptured in the timbre of certain flecks striking my scalp. Reflecting fondly on the sounds they make and made, I forget often that their origin hovers above my head, an ocean of sand slowly sculpting my skull. I feel as though I must have been in this hourglass for ages when I sift about the everforminng puddle at my feet for one memory. Just a years’ worth of grains, a treasured few having truly altered me. Time seems to go slowly everyday, though it also feels like its speeding up, and we miss the little nuances that slowly turn left into right.
I’m becoming all the time. Each decision I make, each failure and success affecting every new attempt. The ideologies that ran my life when I was twenty fall short now. I’ve evolved them into different doctrines, aphorisms taken from day to day experience, always generating questions from artesian novelty that are only answered after they’ve sunk back to the alluvium, deposited under the silty layer of fresh confusion.
Looking back to when I was in the shoes of that teenager who’s too advanced to fit in with their peers, but too unexperienced to be anything but a groupie of older crowds, I remember desperately wanting to understand my older acquaintances because they felt closer to me than my peers. I was still too weird, too serious, too sober to be anywhere but in between these people. Though self-consciously attuned to the fact that something (time) was still missing from my equations, I sought out the lives of those I admired, trying to identify which laws landed you on which paths. I knew what I wanted to be, but always found myself treading water in who I was, unsure of how to swim towards my goal – I was still in high school.
So, lately, I get to thinking about all the things I never thought I’d do. And even better — all the things I didn’t even consider. Sure, I never thought I’d actually BE the valedictorian (the only time it came to fruition was in a free college program with only a few hundred underachievers skipping class, but hell, I count it); never thought I’d try LSD, much less trip through a summer into the land of ethneogens; never thought I’d kiss a girl… certainly never thought we’d have sex and date happily for a few months. These landmarks in my life were questions five years ago, and it feels like ages. And yet! Even better, it didn’t even register that I would get arrested, or be addicted to cigarettes or smoke weed every day, or drop out of school. I was certain. I had this picture of who I was in my mind, unaware of how influenced that image was by my family’s expectations, my friends’ future plans and goals, my own belief in myself. Chance played a huge part – as evidenced by the fact that I never thought a feature film would be shot on my street, or that I would work the whole summer in the crew of that film, and realize myself as a woman after the whole ordeal – in altering the things I never believed would happen, but still I’m shocked when it takes the reigns. Though I know from the past that Chance was cast in the play, I always have a docile suspicion that its understudy, Routine, will fill the role of my day to day life.
Now, I cherish memories from childhood, because I must reach so much further to grab hold of who that person was. Her breath still falls from my mouth on cold winter mornings and when I’m caught in traffic, yet it seems to be something she does to me and not the other way around. Her memories are plastered in stone, and my cement is still drying, but being the child she is, she can’t help but lay a handprint in the serous sidewalk, and all I can do is laugh and love her imprint on me. I think people must have children when they finally lose sight of their own child – speaking of things I just know I’m never going to do. It scares me sometimes. How I know I’m never getting married or having children because my whole *angsty* being is against such things, I can’t help but hear centrifugal echoes of laughter at my aversions to participating in society. The me of what is to come, reminding me never to take myself too seriously.