More and more these days, I am writing and then putting the entries into my private journals. They seem too much like the explorations of an adolescent who is only beginning to see the world. But what is the point of writing if you don’t allow yourself to be naked and exposed? What good are filtered, edited and contrived words? “If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” (Anais Nin) From now on, some of my entries will seem overly self-obsessed, too introspective or too superficial for the more sophisticated readers. I won’t apologize for that. I want to chronicle who I am becoming. I want to remember the road I came down so I can look back when I begin to forget. I want to write about life as honestly as I can and that also means being honest about who I am. And I want to write openly because there is no shame in having a voice.
“The years that are gone seem like dreams-if one might go on sleeping and dreaming—but to wake up and find—oh! Well! Perhaps it is better to wake up after all. Even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life.” From the first time I read The Awakening this quote took hold of me. It used to be a life philosophy but as I get older, I wonder how much wisdom there is in it. Is it really better to live in a world that is real? Why do we strip ourselves of our illusions? Why is there such a desperate hunger for truth?
I have often thought about these questions and I think part of the reason that we search so painstakingly for truth is because we long for something we can count on. If we are ever to find this truth, then maybe we can turn to it, even if it is ugly, we can know what to expect of it. It won’t strike at us like a snake the first time we turn our backs. If we know it to be ugly, then we won’t rely on it. If we know it to be beautiful, it can comfort us like a dear friend.
And there is the possibility that there is no absolute truth. That it is fluid, ever changing like the waves in the ocean. That as soon as we have seen it, it has already something else. So, for the time being I am only searching for the truth of myself.
And as I delve into myself, I want to go deeper and deeper. To the parts that life has taught to be silent. I want to see the most ugly and vile parts of myself so I can learn to conquer them. I want to know the parts that exist when I strip away status, ambition and a desire to belong. I want to be only myself. I crave only myself now. How can I want or crave someone else? How can I want something that I don’t know? That I can’t trust?
I will discover the parts that have been buried, that have been molded by someone else’s hands. I can appreciate the influences in my life but I am the artist now. By knowing myself, I will mold myself into some version of truth. Some days I will want to paint my face with stripes, some days I will want to be moody and unapologetic, and some days I will give myself freely to life. But, how am I supposed to discover myself if I am going to pick a date and say that on that day I have arrived? I don’t know who I will be next year or next week. I have no desire to be consistent.
Does that make me fickle? No, being fickle is arbitrarily picking a moment and letting it direct who you are. I want to always be changing, coming out anew. I want to live life through many, many lenses. I want to experiment with my mind, my ideologies. I don’t want to be a slave to someone else’s need for consistency and stability. It is not selfish to live our lives the way we want to, It is selfish to expect other’s to live how you want them to. If you want a me that you can label, that you can compartmentalize and put away, then you are going to be left dissatisfied. What do I owe to the universe? Before I can give anything to the world, I must firstly be loyal to my self. I owe it to the universe to know who I am.