“Once you realise you have the power to choose who to let in, then you know what it means to be yourself.”
After spending two weeks ‘staring at the ceiling’, I finally decided to get up and do something. Anything would be fine so long as it did not involve people, I thought.
So today I cleaned up my desk. Wiped down everything. Threw away stacks of receipts I accumulated over the school semester. Someone still owes me $7.20. I barely started putting everything back when I began to feel drowsy again.
Why would I be tired? I stayed in bed until my family finished eating breakfast (8.30am) before I ate so that I wouldn’t have to talk like I always did. And it only took ten steps to get to the kitchen where I retrieved my cleaning rag.
I had to sort out the messy wires of my numerous electrical appliances. I stared at it for the longest time. If this was an arthouse film, I would dedicate five minutes to a shot of these tangled wires with the curtain flapping in the background because it accurately depicts what my brain looks like.
I solved this by cutting holes in a box for the wire tips to stick out and covered the whole mess. No wonder God gave us skulls or I would be dragging around a tangled mess of thoughts. The bits of cardboard fluttered out of the way as I languidly sawed at it with my penknife. And I thought to myself that I should keep moving.
An INTJ is supposed to have a plan for everything, a motivation for every task I carried out and up until last year, I had that. But when I tripped over a starry-eyed dream I was never meant to fulfil, suddenly the plans combusted and the motivation I had to keep going just vanished in smoke. I went through my days troubleshooting, locked in a loading screen that never reached 100%, searching and searching for the reason, the solution, the answer.
When I already had it.
I held on to it because I grew addicted to feeling when I was never meant to feel. It is somewhat of a paradox. That feeling turns all my plans to dust, it blinds me and I end up swinging my knife at every shadow. But every explosion has warmth and I don’t want to admit I cannot light a fire.
I have the answer. But it’s hard to admit failure.
I hoped the penknife would swerve off and unwittingly hurt me but I’m good at protecting myself. No more crying. No more mourning. No more waiting. I finished the box with quiet satisfaction. It is therapeutic to dig up the past and cut it into something for the future.
The future exists again. I can see it in front of me. The detailed plans and structures to build in order to get out of this dark, foul cistern imprint onto my brain where mould had begun to grow. It is true that I failed but now I can draw another straight line through the events of the past and build a wall and a security system that no one can break down.
I don’t believe in new beginnings but I do believe in regeneration and micro-evolution. The person who emerges from this pupa will not be the caterpillar that entered it. I will have learnt bank transfer and taken the words of the One Who Is Always There with me:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”