Like Dexter and his dark passenger, we all have baggage. While I have no dark passenger of his ilk (granted I wouldn’t tell you if I did, now would I)… my baggage is a bowling ball and a moose.
I often wonder about my fellow companions who travel this road with sadness and depression and the struggle it creates to see that a half empty glass really just means there is more room for more margarita. I wonder what the struggle looks like for each of them and if the small spats with their subconscious snowball the way mine do, or if they are strong but short-lived and infrequent, or maybe the little wars waged are more like constant clous on their psyche.I wonder which struggle creates what kind of baggage and what it looks like for everyone. If you put a face and body to yours, what would it be? We can’t all be stylish enough to call our baggage Louis.
The struggle may be real, but not all are created and fought equally. My recent trip down memory lane manifested into a sleepless night staring out the window of my bedroom at the half-moon bright and awake. I thought of thousands of paths and chances and different lives that co-exist all at once that I haven’t experienced except in my wakeless dream space. Past and present and all the wonderful and terrible emotions of yesterday all mesh into a web of fine spindled threads I just can’t seem to navigate. The threads of regret and hope gained mass and density, snowballing endlessly into restlessness and sorrow.
But my snowball isn’t white. It is dark, heavy and hollow – more like a bowling ball with sticky finger holes spaced incorrectly. It has a mirrored surface reflecting all those beautiful shiny hopes and dreams and lofty goals. Big and small, crucial and inconsequential alike. The extra pounds needing to be lost, that mouth-watering raspberry tart (I’ll take the tart please). Financial stability, a new Apple watch (New tech toys!!!). Obviously I have much loftier aspirations in life than car parts, watches and tarts (but trust me, those rank up there too). Little or large, so many of the shiny goals sparkle and shine in the dark gleam and then vanish into nothing. When I try to imagine it as a crystal ball holding my future in its depths I see nothing. Darkness and emptiness and hopelessness. It swallows me whole.
The theys of this world tell us that we have to love ourselves and pull ourselves up and out. We can’t expect others to do it for us, it’s a journey of self. Well, life is a journey of self. Solo. We are always alone in ourselves and the whole point of others and relationships (be it friends or companions or lovers) is to offer solace and a respite from the weariness that traveling this world solo can incur upon us. So, when your other travelers love you and everything they do can’t snap you back to life and light what do you do? We cannot see ourselves as they see us no matter how we try. It helps color and shade our view but for me it has yet to change it enough for drastic change and improvement – through no fault at all of theirs.
Simply existing has never felt like enough to me, but purpose that I once felt strongly driving me forward has evaded
me completely as of late. I once named an adorable stuffed moose with a polka dot parka and rain hat Anhedonia (there’s a vocab word for ya) because at one point it was the perfect manifestation of me.
I am not quite in those stages now, because I feel such joy and pleasure from riding horses. It is awe-inspiring and amazing to watch two of my best friends create life and have a child and be completely disheveled messes while riding cloud nine all at once. I’ve managed to have incredible days where I just couldn’t do enough and share enough joy – I think I gave money to every homeless person I saw, had several very deep theological conversations with the grocer at Whole Foods, surprised said best friends with balloons and welcome home goodies on their return from the hospital. I don’t mention these for any reason other than to demonstrate that I received a great deal of joy from attempting to provide joy. This could lead to a very long philosophical debate on the existence of altruism and whether it can ever truly be selfless… we’ll save that for another day. Simply, I use these as examples of the fact that I have not succumbed to the depths where I am utterly void of the ability to joy.
Here I am. Here. Now. Ultimately, there is only here and now and all that we can do is make here and now as good as it can be. I get that. Philosophically, I get it. I even understand it psychologically and neurologically. Understanding only gets me so far. Understanding does not change a half empty glass into one full of margarita or turn my dark bowling ball of turmoil into a fun snowball to throw at people for giggles. Until it does, forward motion seems daunting and impossible. Change seems equally absurd when the question becomes, change to what/where/who?
My hope is that one day I can throw this bowling ball and knock down some of these totes and rollaways, maybe a few duffel bags. Writing at least gets it out of my head a little. My moose cares little one way or the other and for now, in the now of now, tomorrow seems so very far away.