I wrote this before, during, and immediately after turning 24. It’s still lingering.
Is this how you imagined your life would be, when you were 14 and swore not to love till you were ready? What did you think it meant then? You thought it would feel differently. At 14 you were sure. At 24 you’re less so.
You never quite know how to define yourself, but by now you know how not to. You’ve made a lengthy list of the things you’re not.
You are not your age, not your religion, not your gender
Not your number of people or number of places.
You are not your face, not your body, not your sweatpants and Star Wars t-shirt
You are not your level of education, not the ethnicity box you check on forms
Not your current address or the number of languages you do or do not speak.
You are not a vegetarian.
You are not an emotional breakdown.
You are not the 27 heartbreak poems you wrote when you were 22.
You are not your name.
You are not the ground you stand on, not the sky above, not a rainy day, not a sunny day.
You are not the rejections.
You are not the acceptances.
You are not wind (though wouldn’t it be nice if you were).
You are not a mystery.
You are not a story.
You are not the tides of the ocean or a drifting cloud (because you are not a cliché).
You are not, you are not, you are not.
What a relief it is, to be free.
But what happens next is hard.
You didn’t see It coming, did you? One moment you think you’re good and free and safe and free, and then you look up and realize, so suddenly, how trapped you are. God knows how long you’ve been that way.
In that moment with Its heavy presence bearing down on you, there are two things you know you are:
You are alone.
You are nothing.
But the eternity of lonely nothingness ends. It is gone, and you are sitting with your back to a locked door. All of your power has been sucked out through your fingertips.
In another life, you will look up, and this time realize there is nothing to fear. It is not lurking in the clouds outside the airplane window. And you will know then that you feel safer thousands of miles above the ground then you do lying in your own bed.
There is no resolution to this. There are no answers here, because you’re still floating in the in-between, still trying to figure out what that means. You cant live with the thought that it might mean nothing.
But I will say, with false conviction, that nothing is enough for now.