A Strategic Retreat

Look at me still referencing Blair Waldorf at the worst of times. A moment of silence for my lingering obsession with Gossip Girl, my only desire that has yet to be trampled by the inconvenient realities of time and space.

That said, I figured I have enough willpower left tonight to attempt to articulate what feels like the daily inevitable imploding. What remains intact at the very least is the certainty that writing remains my catharsis, ergo this note, whose overarching theme of sophomoric nostalgia already pains me. But still — the whole being good to yourself enterprise, I realized just this morning, includes cherishing and making the most out of the little things, and with that comes the complete disregard for the unattainable standards and timetable you have long set for yourself in an attempt to pack into a moment all worth you could extract from experiences mundane to profound. These days, I am learning to pat myself in the back for what feels like the simplest acts of kindness to myself, be it finishing a chapter of a Marquez novel, managing to sit through an entire film and actually staying in the mise-en-scene long enough to identify with a character, getting through and even learning to prefer the numbing allure of domestic tasks, or picking up writing again, albeit in short bursts.

I’ve always thought getting points for mere effort was such a ridiculous concept, thought reassurance of potential as some ridiculous bourgeois logic of upper middle class reward invented to further a consumer-capitalist agenda, and felt a disproportionate amount of anger for those who received insane credit for trying, which I believed should be a given, never mind which pursuit. While I never knew disproportionate anger and outbursts were already symptoms of this probable condition I am trying so hard to make sense out of, it makes me laugh now stumbling upon the irony that I’ve spent most of my life directing much of this anger at myself. I kept up a laid-back vibe of course, but my darkest hours were spent berating myself for having yet to be the multi-hyphenate I wanted to and still want to be, deemed the reaches for greatness insufficient; futile.

Being classified as intense has always felt like the worst insult. Actually clenching the certainty that you are, indeed, intense, is draining. Imagine gravitating back and forth between ridiculous brilliant moments of inspiration and paralyzing episodes of self-loathing because of the inconsistency and unsustainability of aforementioned moments, and worse, having nothing in between between these two. Imagine blaming yourself for feeling too much, wanting too much, or nothing at all. Imagine your condition, which make everything feel like life and death situations, being dismissed as just a flair for the dramatics, a childhood quirk just being resilient, or your generation’s tendency to label every unwanted emotion as a disorder. Imagine comparing yourself to level-headed, highly-achieving creatures who can keep their cool and rely on human intuition, which in their case, doesn’t tell them contradicting stances in a span of several hours. Just writing this down for the first time in my life makes me want to take a breather.

A few months back, someone shared how my tendency to succumb to gravity without hesitation and fall completely for things, people, despite the trauma of the past is utterly admirable. I joked how this just means I unfortunately know nothing about self-preservation. I’m thinking now is the best time to start learning.

I suppose what I am trying to say is, in light of my whole commitment to make the best out of these rare, small moments of calm and clarity, I came to the decision of just making the days a wee bit more bearable by pulling back from social media and the like. God knows I am so close to losing everything if i don’t stop and rest now. In the meantime, the world just seems a bit more manageable when I am not constantly exposed to anything that overwhelms me to the point of exhaustion. I am all for anything that renders me speechless still, I don’t think having this fascination will ever dwindle.

So hi, dear reader. In case you’re wondering, I am still alive. But as of today, I just need some time to be still.



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