Two sets of comfy clothes, a carefully crafted playlist, my aged moleskin journal, and a camera. That’s all I need to disappear, to fall off the face of the earth, to bury myself in my thoughts that make me see life as a paradox.
I’m often in my head, but when life gets a little crazy, I tend to isolate myself, leaving me to thoughts that spin round n’ round. Big life questions like “What’s the point?” and just dealing with things like worthlessness. It’s not like I don’t know the ‘right’ answer. It’s just that… there is no right answer.
Usually, there’s no point in indulging in these thoughts, and most people are able to ignore the fact that they don’t know where they are going after they’re dead, or they’re too focused in the “now” to care. But for me, I can’t stop seeing life from the view of an airplane. I can’t block out the thoughts that rush in asking me, “what is the point?” day after day.
Do you ever feel like you’re seeing, but not experiencing? Like when you wear your glasses and you can’t really see clearly because there’s a smudge, so you take them off and wipe them, but when you put them back on the fog’s still there? Or when you’re wearing your contacts and you know that’s as crystal clear as it gets, but you still feel like you can’t see clearly?
That’s how I feel sometimes like I’m drifting. I’m there, taking notes, gripping the pen between my fingers, listening to my professor but I am not really there. I’m not taking in any of the experience. I can’t really feel the texture of the pen and everything my professor says goes through a filter of cotton. Its fogged, unclear like I’m there but I can’t hold onto or grasp anything.
Sometimes when I find myself in that “state” I try and take a cold shower. Anything with maximum sensory experience, attempts to bring me back into reality. It works half the time.
On days like those, I’ll excuse myself from events and cancel plans with meaningless apologies. It’s flaky, but if I don’t, I end up counting down the minutes while a friend is telling me about her shitty week. It is shitty, I recognize this, but I won’t and can’t muster the energy or willingness to participate. Everything feels difficult, listening feels difficult, and I feel like I’m required to play a role to entertain, to empathize when I really just feel like rolling under the covers.
It’s selfish I know.
Every few months I get sad like this. It’s a sadness that will last for a period of time with little bubbles of happiness here and there, but generally, I’ll be sad. It’ll be about nothing in particular, but everything. It’ll be about life, about feeling trapped, about invisibility. Sometimes I know it’s coming, other times I’ll wake up and feel it in the deepest of my core.
I wonder if you feel like this too? What do you do?
As a Christian, I believe that life isn’t about fleeting moments of pleasure, but something bigger, like a mission to share the gospel, to establish a relationship with God, and honor and love him. I know life is not about worldly pleasure, and honestly, even if I didn’t believe in God, I don’t think I could be content with the things of this world anyway.
The more I live, the more I find dissatisfaction in life. No matter what I eat, how long I stay in bed, how much exercise I commit to in a day… I don’t feel happy or satisfied. They say sleeping in is one of the best feelings, but I just feel like my back hurts, unproductive, and worthless. I love to eat, but nothing tastes good.
Life is always lacking, I am always lacking and I know this search for happiness isn’t found in the bottom of pints of chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream, fresh laundry sheet, or my mother’s comforting hugs… but why does it feel like suffering?
These are the days I feel like disappearing. Impulse decisions. Let’s chop off all my hair. Let’s eat five pizzas and ten sticks of butter. Let’s take a flight across the world, a train to a nearby city; somewhere new, something that will force me to feel.
Today I sat in a Starbucks waiting for my boyfriend ready to do work. He came in and we talked for a bit. I told him the thoughts in my head, and tiny tears sweat fell from the corners of my eyes, but the more I said the more the tears thickened until they were fat drops of rain. Until my chest was heaving, wheezing, face red, people staring. Until the woman at the Starbucks came, crouched, to give me a cake pop as consolation.
I wondered what they thought I was crying about. Did they think my grades were down? That I didn’t get into the school of my dreams? That I was grieving someone’s death?
I wondered too because all I knew was that crying felt so good, like this deep sadness within me was unleashed while people stared and looked away with sympathy and curiosity.
And for a moment, I felt like I existed.