Recently I’ve realised that I struggle to feel meaningful connections to people. This has always been the case, and as a result when I do feel a connection to someone I have a tendency to latch on to it. Those few connections I’ve felt have been some of the most important things in my life – frequently to a greater degree than familial connections. So when the longest standing connection that I had was tarnished by an event that still makes me want to let go of my entire identity even after a year, it put significant strain on the other connections that were interlinked.
I didn’t understand what it was until now, but nothing had really felt the same since. I could be in a room full of my closest friends and I would still feel alone. Almost as if I wasn’t really there. To those around me I probably just seem a bit quieter than usual or a bit more distant, but I have long been known for spacing out at times so perhaps they don’t see the change. While I still recognise that those connections are present, I find it hard to use them and be aware of their meaning. My trust in those I care for is gone; if he could do that then everything I thought I knew about anyone is up for question. I just don’t know how to be around people and let them in to my heart or mind anymore. It’s not just the pre-existing connections; there was a time when I would try to meet new people and forge new potential friendships, but now I don’t know how to let myself do that.
I’ve started a new job recently and my coworkers barely know anything about me as I can’t bring myself to open up to them or take an interest in getting to know them. The online communities I’ve been active and involved in for years now barely hear from me and when I am present they think of me as the quiet type – only saying anything when there is direct relevance or need for it.
To those that have offered support recently I will say this: I am not yet ready to trust again to the degree that would be required for the type of help you have offered. I hear you and I appreciate that you are concerned for me, but I need some time to heal on my own before I can learn to trust again.
A lattice of carvings sweep across the canvas. Both individually and together seemingly without meaning, yet each tells part of a story which gains cohesion when viewed chronologically. Time cuts another shallow channel through the space, making pre-existing tracks deeper and more defined. The two dimensional array of marks gains a third dimension which measures the weight of events. The further past their point of origin in time the less depth they have, until all that remains is a map of key moments.
An autumn leaf sways gently. It’s stem holds fast to the tree with dead fibers, remaining in place only because they have yet to break. A more enthusiastic gust could pluck the leaf from it’s home, sending it tumbling down to join the rest of the detritus on the ground.
A passer-by remains oblivious to the dance of this leaf as it gets caught in his slipstream, twirling through the air as it glides off the path and onto an unkempt lawn.
A swallow swoops down to snatch the leaf from the ground, gliding on the wind to return to it’s home amongst the trees. The leaf is home once more but is not the same as it once was. No longer alone, the leaf is nestled amongst mud and twigs with more dead leaves held between them. Now it is protected and can atrophy undisturbed by further wind.
I’ll start off by saying that if I have misinterpreted your intended recipient then I’m sorry and you can proceed to disregard this (not that I think you would anyway).
In a way you’re right – I’m looking for an opportunity, a way out. I’ve known for a while that it will be difficult to find one, but probability and chaos suggest that there is going to be one. If I am looking at the time then I will take it. I know what a chance would mean to me and how I would recognise it, but it isn’t something I can articulate.
Part of the problem is that I feel trapped. I got a job in hopes that a sense of responsibility would change things, but now it not only feels like I am in a cage but there is a guard telling me when and how to breathe.
I am under no illusion that things are guaranteed to be better past the way out but I am willing to roll the dice. At this point, carrying on due to not knowing seems worse than the alternative.
All of this doesn’t mean I’m not looking for other ways to change it, quite the opposite in fact. I just don’t want to try indefinitely.
There is no purpose in life except that which we ascribe to it in any given moment of observation. One moment your purpose could be to find your way to your next meal, the next it could be to gaze into the eyes of your beloved one more time. Should you ever find your life without meaning, don’t panic! Simply remember that this is ok – you’re experiencing a moment of clarity. Whether you live or die at any given point of time means nothing in the long run. Make of that what you will but keep in mind that your purpose is what you make it and you have the unique opportunity to consciously choose your next purpose because of your current lack of meaning.
An important part of having a purpose which is often overlooked is that you don’t need to have a purpose. If you so choose you can reject purpose in life and embrace the lack of meaning. If you have nothing to keep you going and don’t want something then you shouldn’t feel pressure to give yourself a reason. Instead, try to evaluate why it is that you don’t want one and look at whether you already have a hidden purpose. You may be surprised at what you find. If you find nothing then you might not need a purpose in this moment.
For the uninitiated, packet loss is a term used in computer networking to refer to the loss of data packets when communicating between two computer systems or networks. There are some ways in which packet loss can be considered analogous to the way in which I struggle in life.
When writing I know the exact shape that the letters should take, I know exactly how my body should move in order to transfer ink to paper in such a manner to have the words take perfect form, yet I find myself unable to scrawl them down in a commonly legible manner. My fingertips miss the finer details of the motions and as a result the words become sloppy and unrecogniseable to those who have not taken time to decipher my script in the past.
An explanation of my thoughts and understanding may rest firmly in my mind in perfect form, yet my mouth betrays me. I become unable to send the words from consciousness to voice, unable even to express their sentiment.
For the last few years I’ve held off my suicidal urges by reminding myself how death effects those around it, I wouldn’t hurt my friends and family like that while alive so what gives me the right to do it by dying? At least if I were to hurt them like that while alive I could take action to ease the suffering it would cause.
The thing with hearing the same moral argument over and over again is that it eventually becomes banal and meaningless. It’s now something I tell people to help them understand, and when I am gone perhaps they will realise that I put all I could into staying here for them.
I’m sorry, but I’m not strong enough to remain here indefinitely, even for them. There are a few prior commitments I must fulfil then I’ll quietly step out into the night and embrace the eternal darkness.