A weight has been lingering above me for a while now. The weight of comfort and mind-numbing stupidity. It seems to have gotten worse since I’ve moved back to California. I have no discernible skills. Even my smile is different somehow. Less frequent. I want and want and want. I assume and predict and plan… Nothing is working out. I am getting older and leaving less room for growth. It’s enough to talk the talk, but walking the walk is unbearable. Everything is unbearable. It has always been a chore to do anything. The way I see the world has set me back on multiple occasions. It’s like that feeling you get when you try something you have always had severe reservations about only find out that you really like it or are just starting to understand it. That is what I mean.
I’ve just learned a lot about myself… Most importantly, I am kind of a loner. I try to force myself not to be, but it just doesn’t work out. What happens to the loners who want to be social? Nothing good apparently. You just confuse yourself with trying to please and be likable with the basic elements of friendship. I wonder a lot about how I am supposed to act or empathize with different people. I can’t be someone I am not. The person I am is silent, crude and kind of a slob who cannot empathize without wanting to run away from the beginning of a sad story. That said, I am also a runner. Not so much literally so much as figuratively. I run away from my problems. I like to disappear without a trace. I don’t like people knowing where I am. It’s a closed off kind of world for me.
People learn about themselves around high school and college. They are explorers: they meet different people, try new things, have romantic relationships, aren’t so tired to do anything risky. In another life, I would have been one of these people. I know that I have the ability to be one of these normal people. Normal. Such a word I have been trying to achieve all my life. There is no normal. Only abnormal.
I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, Chapter 7
One of the parts from Master of None that stuck with me was when Aziz Ansari’s character read this quote from Silvia Plath. Having read this book quite recently, I almost forgot that this is one of the major parts of Esther Greenwood’s life that I really felt like we had in common. Instead of figs, I just imagined getting older and mind-numbingly more stupid to be able to do the things I wanted.
So what are my paths? How do I find the “hardest rock?” (A metaphor for stability and success that I am trying to tie into this blog post. Is it working?) How do I go on from here? Do I just accept that mistakes cannot be avoided? Do I just accept that I cannot be the smartest person in class? Do I just accept that there is no way for someone I like to just look at me and ask me out? Do I just accept that there is no way to be religious and successful at the same time? Do I just accept that the weight will never come off easily? Do I just accept that people might not always be there for me? Do I just accept that there are many people who want to take advantage of me? Do I just accept that love is sometimes conditional and fleeting? Do I just accept that I might never have free time ever again if I decide to commit to something? Do I just accept that people are mostly shallow? Do I just accept that I have to be selfish and mean sometimes if I want to get the things that I want? Do I just accept that I might need to stay on medication for the rest of my life? Do I just accept that I never should be able to change my mind once I have committed to something? Do I just accept that I will never be a millionaire? Do I just accept that jealousy is inevitable even to the best of us? Do I just accept that the people I love will leave my life someday? Do I just accept that I will be alone in a world filled with people who are together? Do I just accept that accepting others can only be done once I accept myself? Do I just accept that I can never be pretty once I pass a certain stage in my life? Do I just accept that I can never say, “I’ll do it tomorrow?” Do I just accept that I can never blame my parents? Do I just accept that I might never get to travel the world? Do I just accept that people will just not like me for no reason? Do I just accept that there is nothing wrong with me? Do I just accept that I might not be able to do everything that I have always wanted to do?Do I just accept that I can never hide away from the pain of living life?