I’m told that one of the greatest things to be gained with age is growing more comfortable with yourself as a whole. It’s a nice thought, definitely something to look forward to, and yet-
And yet, I don’t think I want to be comfortable with what I am. Like people who become comfortable in obese bodies and in abusive relationships. I’m a bad fit, in this skin, in this skull, in this life. May I never grow comfortable with that, may I stay itchy and restless and never settle and never accept that this is all I am. That would be defeat. Some wars aren’t meant to be won, but not winning is not the same as being defeated.
Being 26 was unpleasant. It was rather like suffocating in scrotum. Sweating hairy rank scrotum that came in great filthy sticky folds. Gross and embarrassing and relentless. Being 26 was quite possibly worse than being 16, although I don’t think the two can be compared, being different people in different times and different places.
I can’t complain (but I sure do), the hardest years are the ones in which we learn the most, in which we are tested and grow, one way or another. It is better to grow than stagnate, but it has been a very steep learning curve, and a non-stop one at that, and I think I’m burning out. Students at exam time go a little crazy, so overwhelmed by everything they have to process. Some down time would be nice, a chance to process everything churning around in my head and recharge all batteries, but I don’t think such time will be granted me any time soon.
Maybe I’ve already burnt out. Maybe I’m just tired. Or desperate. Or crazy. It’s hard to tell. From here, they all look the same. Rejections are necessary for writers, to help build a thick skin, like childhood sicknesses are necessary to build an immune system. Life might work like that for some people. I think I’m a castle, and every rock thrown at my walls just makes the cracks deeper and wider, until I’m so battered that it no longer takes a boulder to knock me down, some small rock will do, then not even rocks, just the passing breeze. Now I take damage from things that don’t even happen. I create my own damage, but it hardly shows up against everything else.
It’s funny, though, that in spite of how far I’ve come, hurtling another year through time, there are some lessons that I must keep on learning.
I wanted a hug. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted something so intensely before. The lack of having a source of hugs on tap made itself felt in my body, it was physical and a little scary. There’s some kink in my wiring and I assume that anything I want is something I should learn to live without (and even harder to fight, the possibility that in seeking the thing I want I will fail and be denied, which is a fear taller than I am), but I didn’t say no to a hug when it was there.
It wasn’t really the hug I wanted. I was looking for a safe place, and hugs are not safe places. There is no place more vulnerable, which is obvious, but rarely realised. Until you find you’ve gone and left yourself vulnerable to someone who doesn’t care. There are no safe places left in the world. I know this, but I have difficulty accepting it. I guess it’s just animal instinct to seek shelter, and Tessaism to do it wrong.
Learning this doesn’t stop me from being stupid. I had the chance to be weak and naked and vulnerable in front of someone who did care, and I couldn’t. I couldn’t say a word. I wanted to break down and didn't know how, and because of that I broke something important, something that mattered.
And that is the lesson I learn, and have to keep on learning. That I’m not the person I want to be, not even close. I can’t and haven’t ever been able to say the things that matter out loud. Maybe one day I will, because I don’t want to grow comfortable like this, but not today.
Until that day, I will do what I have always done, and write.
Goddamn this bloody fucking blog.
I have to take this space back, again, because I’m dumb and keep forgetting what it’s for. Like medication, I shy away from it. The idea of needing something in order to function as a normal person doesn’t taste good, but I just have to swallow that and deal with it. If hanging myself out to dry works, then it works.
I’m going to stretch your patience a little further, I’m afraid. There is a lot of junk I need to write out of my system. I’ve been looking for something in my head, in the streets, on the internet, and I haven’t come close to finding it. I think what I’m looking for can’t be found. I think I’m looking for the ground. Somewhere along the way I lost track of it, and now I’m just tumbling about in the sky, in orbit maybe, forever burning up in the atmosphere, forever falling, but never finding the ground. They say from up there you don’t feel yourself fall, you don't know up from down. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m desperate. Maybe I’m tired. It’s hard to tell. From here, they all look the same.
Maybe that’s because they are.
It’s a bit late to be asking for birthday presents, and a bit presumptuous too, but if you care to indulge me, then please, I’d like you to go and give someone a hug. Most people aren’t carrying around all my finely tuned neuroses, and everyone needs a hug. Go hug someone you know needs a hug, you suspect might want a hug, or even someone who doesn’t need a hug at all, but the receiving of one would just be a giant ripe sweet cherry on top of a glorious day. Hug them past the point where they lean in give you a pat and turn away, hug them till you have their attention and you’ve made them uncomfortable, hug them till they stop asking why you’re giving them this hug, and hug them till they’ve accepted this hug, and let themselves be engulfed in it, simple as that.
Here’s to you, and the safe places you make.
And if you get done for indecent assault, well, that's what you get for listening to strange people on the internet.