I feel like I’m imploding in slow motion. Like for the first 25 years of my life, I had this exoskeleton, a shell that forced me into an unnatural shape but was somehow propping me up as well. And then I blew it up, and the explosion gave me momentum for a few years, but now I’m collapsing in on myself. I have no church inventing structure for my life, no social structures steering me toward certain paths, no safety net of family and friends to give me the Heimlich when I’m choking. I can’t even blog about it properly, because I’m almost physically incapable of opening up, my brain will not allow me to put it all in words. The inside of my head looks like a swirly, slow-moving galactic whirlpool, and the funnel that turns it into language is pinched shut so only the tiniest, most suffocated trickle can get through. There is just
too much to articulate,
too much to process,
too much to handle,
It feels like everything in the world is just wrong, like there are so many things wrong that I could never get to them all, a hundred thousand new leaks for every one we plug. I feel like my life has gone off script from the very beginning, like none of it was supposed to happen this way, I shouldn’t even have been born here, I shouldn’t have the family I have, shouldn’t have taken any of the paths I took. But you can’t go backward, obviously, and with every year the paths ahead dwindle, fading, overgrown by impenetrable forest so I know that even though other lives are only a few feet from me, I could never get through all the thorns. And now I’m Alice in Wonderland, looking down at that fucking dog erasing the path out from under her feet.
I just need so . . . so much. Desperation is the theme of my adult life. I’m an empath, I feel EVERYTHING, and I can’t get it out of me. I have permanent writer’s block—my entire life I’ve felt myself to be a writer, tried to write but just . . . nothing . . . comes . . . out. I’m actually an excellent writer when I have a prompt, and I have so many feelings and thoughts, all I ever fucking DO is think, but I can’t get out of my head, can’t do anything with it. I have so many thoughts, and so many needs, and one of the things I need is someone to reflect me back to myself so I can see who I am. I’m just realizing that this is why I feel so unfulfilled in my friendships, why I need so hard to find a friend who is exactly like me. It’s because . . . I have no fucking idea who I am. How much of me is the anxiety? How much of me is all the garbage bullshit I was taught growing up? Therapy, and probably medication, would help answer this question. I’m hoping to be able to do that someday soon. But in the meantime, fuck, I just don’t know what to do.
My family is finally taking that trip to Israel we’ve spent literally our entire lives talking about. I don’t even want to go anymore—the shine came off the rose of Israel when I grew up and realized my family were Zionists—but on the other hand, the shine has not come off my need to take my first trip outside the godsdamnedfucking United States. And on top of that. We might go to London, too.
If there is a place in the entire world that I feel most perfectly represents everything about my life that is so completely wrong I can’t put it into words, it is the United Kingdom.
To me, the UK is all the things my life should have been. London, obviously. The literary history. But even more than that, the landscape; the ocean, the green cliffs, the forests, the rain. I used to fantasize about traveling constantly; I have so many notebooks full of plans and research, and not one of those trips has ever come into existence. I stopped doing it several years ago because god, I just couldn’t bear the intensity of that longing with no possibility anywhere in the remotely near future. But since there’s an actual real plan to go later this year, I thought it would be safe to start researching again. I spent a couple hours today online, looking up all the places I want to go.
It wasn’t safe. It broke the fucking dam, and now I am desperate again. I don’t know how to stand not being in London right. now. I don’t want to go there for five days and then leave. I want to be there, permanently, immediately. That might not be the place I want to stay for the rest of my life; I desperately want to see so many other places in the world, too, and maybe (though it sounds like idiocy to say it) I won’t end up fitting in the UK. But I need to have the chance.
I was desperate already, and I’m not handling this new wave well. For the past seven months I’ve been counting down the seconds until I find out whether or not I’ll get the job I’m hoping to get—the one job that is a small, small possibility of improvement in our current situation, the job that will maybe give us the stability we need to get out of the tractor beam that has been our suffocating life for the past ten years. My anxiety is constant and nearly overwhelming. I’ve never been suicidal and I don’t think I ever will be, but I can feel myself getting closer; like not sharing someone’s views, but being able to see their point. Before the past year or so, deep down, I always had a sort of naive Pollyanna optimism about my future. Now I realize how little reason I have to hope.
I’m turning 32 in a couple months. My twenties were already a waste, and really, so was everything before that. I’m not having children, so at least I don’t have a deadline on living life. But if my thirties are another eight years of this . . . I don’t think I’ll make it. I’ll collapse in on myself before then. The implosion is already happening.