I began a search. This started a long time ago when I was very small. I was young but I grew along the way. Then again, anything which happened before now is something that happened when I was younger. Either way, I learned and I matured. I started this life in my tiny vessel called a body. And this too has grown and I too have matured. Along the way, I found things. I’ve collected ideas and memories.
Along the way, I’ve looked around to incorporate the flashy substances in life. I looked for things that sets us apart or allows us to glow for one another — or beam, like an unmistakable light or beacon that allows us to stand out and be beautiful. I have learned about light and the absence of life. I have learned about the fears of the dark and the absence of understanding, which in turn is what leads us to the age old question; are we afraid of the dark or the unknown of what’s in it?
I was afraid for most of my life; hence the knives or the guns or the need for scars to display; as if to show that I have the real-life credentials of life and the endurance of self-torture and the toleration for pain. I have been lost and found, misplaced, and yet, I was none of these things. I have been part of the social models to which I find myself looking back and shaking my head. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I shake my fist; sometimes I clench them and sometimes — well, sometimes I find myself at a new level of awareness, which hopefully brings me one step closer to where I want to be.
I think about the brutality of honesty and how uncomfortable people can be about this. No one speaks openly. No one dares to expose themselves or their truths because this is too dangerous. This means people will know that there are faults and fractures in the pretty facade we call our life.
I use words about myself and yet, there is a cringe from others; and why? Have I said something too critical? Is it too verbose? Have I said too much? Meanwhile, look around us. Or better yet, look within. Tell me something; have you never endured or tortured yourself? Have you never felt the need to protect yourself from harm or preemptively move to keep from the pain?
Why is honesty so daring?
It’s sharp. It cuts. And yes, I’ll grant you that the truth hurts sometimes. But the truth only hurts because of the way we assign this to our emotional lives.
I think about the different phases of my life. I go back to the different ideas which I would cling to with hopes to find my identity. Along the way, I have changed my direction. The intentions of my journey have changed — or wait, no. Perhaps my intentions have only improved. Maybe this is more than a search. Maybe life is more than a journey or a trip. Maybe this is a quest.
Yes. That’s it; a quest.
I like the sound of that.
In the early stages of this adventure, I looked around to see the world. I looked at people. I looked for qualities that I liked most. I looked to see what was beautiful or ugly and what was attractive or not—and I saw the more desirable qualities and adopted them to be my own. Or so I thought (or tried). I cruised through the personality buffets in life, learning, and deciphering, taking a little of this or that—and maybe I’d go back for seconds, just fill myself and perfect my act.
All the while, my only goal was to build myself. This is where my style began. This is where I learned to train my voice and speak in ways that I felt safest with.
This is where my tastes and attractions were formed. But more, this is where I was taught what to like, who to be, how to dress, how to act what to look like and how to wear the mask to hide the awkwardness of my truth.
I was taught about love or “What is love?” and who am I? Who am I allowed to love (or not) and how do I display this love? How do I show my affection? Am I free to show this? Am I free to care?
Or, is this too much or too risky?
Do you remember the first time you ever asked for someone’s phone number? I mean this in a romantic sense. I wonder why there were rules to this. I wonder who created the standards of how to call, when to call, or how long do we wait before we call?
If you call right away, does this appear desperate?
Doesn’t this scare people away?
Isn’t this what we were told?
Do you remember anything like this?
Why is it that we are taught to be so guarded? Why is it that excitement should somehow be contained and not shared or displayed? Yet, deep down; there is a child in each and every one of us.
Deep down, there is a person. There are likes and hopes and dreams and desires. Deep within us, there are aspirations, ambitions, goals and objectives. We are all equipped with this and yet, there is a fear that all of what we have is so valuable and yet so fragile that to expose or share this is dangerous because if we share this — hell, what happens if this gets taken away or we lose it?
It is said that if we are always out for approval or acceptance, then we will always be a slave to something or someone else. And me, I don’t want this for myself. At least, not anymore. I have my share of slavery to others as well as to my own mind. I suppose this is my search.
In fact, this is the exact nature of my quest—to unhinge, to disconnect and yet be more connected than ever before—I want to become the map of my future and to rid the records of my past—I want to absolve myself and to excuse my inner-demons and as well, I want to excuse the demons of others.
Yes, my quest is to find myself. My quest is to lose myself and find myself and be rid of the nightmarish pasts that somehow reappear in passing, like an old enemy that won’t go away, and yet, now that I have surrendered; that’s fine because this means the enemy is no more.
My quest is to be cleansed, to be clean, and cleared from the unnecessary burdens I clung to for most of my life. I am not any of the people I used to be. And I say this because at one point; I was multiple people, and yet, I was no one at all (except me).
This quest is more than a list of people I had harmed or the willingness to make amends to them all—no, this quest of mine to be cleansed of the internal narrative (also known as the internal villain) and with all I have and all I can muster, my quest is to relinquish my old standards of self and to surrender, to let go, to be rid of, and to release myself from battles that no longer exist.
It is not brave to say this, yet, this is delicate and raw and real. This is no different from me calling someone after asking for their phone number and not waiting the typical standard of a few days. I am vulnerable.
Is that so terrible?
I am a firm believer in the contrast of light. I am a believer that those who prefer the shade are those who prefer to be blind—I believe this because light shows the truth and when there’s no place left to hide and there’s nowhere left to turn, at least in darkness, no one sees the damages they’ve done to themselves.
Maybe this is why I have always appreciated the words, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness.”
I suppose at the birth of my search, I was in the darkest place I could ever be. I view the light as opposed to the contrast of my past as beam of hope. This is my beacon and you are my hope.
Have you ever woken up on a floor and not know how you survived?
I don’t ever want to be there again.
Maybe we don’t have to be near death. Maybe we don’t have to die and come back. Maybe we don’t have to be too exposed or hurt or humiliated. Maybe if we allowed ourselves this moment of truth without the fears of being too raw or too delicate; maybe if we allowed ourselves to be daring enough to be honest (and loving), maybe then we can find the freedom to escape the darker times—like now, with the world as it is.
I’ll have you know that I am afraid. I am scared as ever.
And I don’t need the light to expose this. Then again, I don’t have to hide anymore either.
I am me.
And that’s exactly what this quest is all about.
If you choose to, you’re invited to come along
But if this is too risky or raw, don’t worry.
I get it.
I used to play that game too.