A train’s syrupy melody–thick, drawn out notes–finds my ears once again; it is 10PM. Once again I feel an unsettling drive for adventure and exploration. Whenever I hear that bell, as it rips through the peace of the still night air, my soul perks up and I feel a giddy nervousness begin to bubble up in my core. It reminds me of the play Footloose. I want to scream at that train. I want to scream away all of my problems, and scream away all of my anger and my sadness and my fear. I want to stand in front of that train, moving away at only when I can’t bear the anticipation any longer. I want to feel a rush–a buzz. That is how I’ve felt nearly my entire life.
I don’t quite know what calls my heart towards such fantasies; I don’t know why I can’t push the craving for true freedom from my mind. A crazy, wild girl inside of me refuses to die. She wants to run through fields of flowers with sun rays coaxing shy freckles from under the skin. She wants to drive for miles and miles with her feet out the window, racing the wind the bats her hair around her face. There is no place to go, there is no place to be, except for the here, and the now.
I take a step back and look at those last few sentences, and laugh ruefully. “She’s just like a little girl,” I snarl, as if she weren’t there, to my conscience. I watch her smile fade and her proud shoulders droop. I feel my chin tilt upward, demonstrating my already-obvious superiority over her. “She can do nothing in this world. She cannot survive. She has no work ethic, she has no skills; all she ever wants to do is skip around throwing rose petals in peoples’ faces. Peace? Ha! That’s a grand ideal, but the world will never know the likes of ‘peace’. The world doesn’t need people like this. In fact, it would be better if that girl simply left.” She’s crying now, but I really don’t care; the world really would be better off without the likes of her. If crying is her way of dealing with harsh reality, I could really be less concerned. I actively shut down this girl that is begging to be set free. I do it because people have told me–I have told myself–that there is no way to survive in this world with such desires. Such desires are only going to be squashed by the world who demands brain-power, who functions on our time and our talents. But this can’t be true. There must be a place within this world for people with imagination. If there’s not, I suppose I’ll have to make one. But how do I do that? This girl with an imagination, with a wild heart, and a thirst for knowledge, kinsman-ship, and a better future; where does she belong? Right now, she feels lost at sea.
This conflict inside is crushing me from the inside out. This same hostile person who is repressing who I really am is beginning to become more prevalent within my daily life. The new mantra is, “If I can’t have any fun or imagination or hope, then why the hell should anyone else?”. I’ve begun to oppress others. I aim to squash their beliefs, so they can feel the same pain I have felt. I don’t let them have any credibility for their ideas, because I don’t get any, either. I try to starve them of happiness, because I am starved, too. I hate this about myself. I hate what I am becoming. My heart aches to simply exist as it is. It wants to love, and be loved. But I have developed this view of the world… a view that paints a picture of a hopeless wasteland of selfish, brooding people who exist in a daily buzz of existence. How could one be happy with that? I want so badly to believe that the world is a beautiful place, but I guess, somehow, in the course of first semester to now, I have changed. I used to find it so easy to be empathetic with people; when they cut me off in traffic, I my first thought was of how their loved one could be in the hospital, how they might have a sick child in school… But now, I find it increasingly easier to be angry at that person for “not being considerate of my time or place in traffic”. I used to be able to refrain from thinking ill of people who believed different things; now I’m simply intolerant. It’s driving me up a wall; I hate being this way. I know in my heart that I need to be a more peaceful person. But even as I write, this, I feel an itching aggravation that never used to be there. Why can’t I just be at peace again? What is it that shifted so dramatically? What am I keeping hidden from myself? Why does everybody make me angry? I don’t like being angry.
This has caused a lot of anxiety, as well. I am worried that something is deeply wrong with me. This has always been an issue for me; I’ve been a bit of a hypochondriac, and this is what is propagating a lot of the worries I am feeling. I’m worried that something is so intrinsically wrong with me, when, logically, it’s just a phase and it will pass. It’s so hard to reason with anxiety, though. I have been meditation, recently, and it has helped a lot. Daily sleep and exercise, too. Just the little things. Hopefully, little by little, this can get better, too, so I can get back to being Footloose and fancy free.