Somebody liked this post on artberlin’s facebook page today. I must admit to being quite dismissive about a lot of their posts. They all seem to be about some sort of a struggle and hurt. Now I am not one to contradict the fact that most of go through some very intense days that seem like an uphill battle against shitstorms; apologies for my French, but, I certainly wish the page had a little diversity in its tone. Even the more ‘happier’ posts are tinged with despondency and insecurity, as if it were impossible for a person in this day and age to feel unbridled joy. I certain feel that emotion fully, and often.
However, this post struck a chord with me. I have spent much of the last two years bitterly missing my former self. There are many ways in which I noticed that I had changed for the better. I had become a lot more accepting of people, and handled relationships with developing maturity. But, while I had the courage to be vulnerable, I was prone to oversharing, and struggled with my boundaries. My sense of timing was way off, and the problem was that I realized it. I had no way of being freely callous- here, meaning unconcerned, in certain situations, like I used to, anymore – I learnt it the hard way. I felt embarrassed, and felt forced to express my feelings of hurt, where I could regulate them before. When I demonstrated empathy, I felt drowned and overwhelmed. Everything was both personal and projected at the same time. For the first time in as far as I can remember, I felt unsure of myself, peppered with a sense of loneliness and being denied. I sorely missed my former ‘free-spirited’ self, voicing verbose opinions fecklessly, with little bearing on my conscience.
I pinned this quote onto a private board last night. Today morning felt different. I was halfway through breakfast when I paused to consider my thoughts. I compared them, setting them against thoughts from months bygone, contrasting them as one would do with a work of art and its replica. Today’s thoughts felt different. They lacked the craving and intensity that had become characteristic of how they had felt over the past two years. This was not the first time I had noticed the difference. A couple of days earlier I had been invited by a friend to a neighbouring plantation for a short getaway. I have been traveling quite extensively over the past two years, and each time I would have forceful thoughts invading my every being, reminding me about the anxieties that I ought to have, and things that were required to be set right in the ‘real world’ outside of the bubble of my travels. Not during this trip. I was utterly laidback, and enjoyed the smallest of moments, even if they seemed mundane. I strolled, watched a movie, slept in, and spent time with two of my best friends whom I had known since school.
I am back to feeling light, instead of attaching sentiments to every feeling. I am now capable of expressing myself without being misunderstood- a subtle undertone to much of emotional life until recently.
So, the short of it is that, yes, I used to miss the person I used to be. But that’s nothing in comparison to how comfortable I feel in my skin now.