universe inside of you

I’m sitting in my car, parked right outside my apartment. The lady that lives below me has a cat, and she keeps the blinds open a foot so that the cat can sit on the window ledge and stare at me.
I’m sitting in my car because I’m listening to one of my favorite songs. It was my theme last summer. I came home from Utah thinking it was going to be my summer. This was it. I was going to conquer all my goals and make all the friends and succeed at all the things. I was dead wrong. My life fell apart, in ways it hasn’t before.
The last few weeks have been rocky, trying to disentangle my old miserable self from the budding and rising normal self. It’s like peeling apart red vines, except instead of harmless, mildly sticky candy it’s one ravenous monster engulfing a defenseless flower. Every day is a battle.
I never thought I would be so old and so far behind. A junior in college, years away from the career I want and nowhere near getting married or having kids. It’s a little discouraging. On the other hand, I feel like I have ample time to root out all the bad in myself—time to fine tune my life and my thoughts and my personality and make sure that everything I do, every habit, my whole lifestyle, is decidedly intentional. I like creating my life. It sucks that everything had to crumble and that I had to get to such a low point. But what a beautiful opportunity to rebuild.
So here I am! In school again. In classes that are making my brain stretch, making me excited to learn and create. There are things about school this year that I can’t articulate. The neat and tidy schedule I have, the truly brilliant professors I have, the fact that my fourth floor class has an elevator. Something about it all makes me feel happy and hopeful and progressive. I have felt so empowered. I feel like I am well equipped to do anything—to make up for lost time, to heal wounds that have crippled me. I feel like I can grow into the person I want to be, to be in control of things that have stumped me in the past.
It’s so hard for me to blog lately. I have become so aware of vulnerability that my writing creates for me, and putting it online for anyone to read seems dumb and daunting. But then I think back to the time of the accident, of missing my sister, of the literal pain I felt in the hospital. And I miss it. I miss that vulnerability. I miss how much I learned about myself, how much I learned to love myself in those ugly, dark moment. And lately I’ve been thinking about people I know, people I want to be close to. Things I want to know about what they’re feeling. I wish I could ask people openly about their pain, their heartaches, what it feels like to go through a divorce, to have a parent die, to lose things they’ve dreamed about, to fail at things. I want to connect to people on the deepest, most painful, ugly, sad topics. I want to love people because they’ve experienced pain and moved through it--or been totally consumed by it. I want to know that people experience the same journeys that I have, through anger and confusion and failure and defeat. Maybe I won’t get that from anyone. But I miss putting it together for myself, working through it and analyzing it. I don’t think a lot of the last few years will end up on here, but I want to turn the pain and heartache of the last few years into words, into poems, into essays. I want to pour my heart into this tiny work of art I have here in this space, even if it hurts sometimes.

[can i-alina baraz]

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I am having a really crappy day... and sometimes it is enough to know that someone else who I consider a truly amazing person isn't so perfect either. Not that I want you to feel like failure, because I consider you far from it. But because I understand the struggle. And the anger. And oh how my heart aches.
    It isn't the same, we aren't the exact same. But I appreciate the vulnerability.