If you've ever woken up in the middle of a dream, or stirred just enough to disrupt one and you're so startled and disappointed by the still of your bed, your walls and the soundless space between you and the ceiling that all you can do is hide yourself from yourself by burrowing underneath blanket piles and pillow headdresses as you muster whatever energy you have to count backwards, pushing your eyes shut with your fingertips in hopes of returning to the very moment where you left off, then you have some idea as to how I have felt every single day for the past month. I can't talk about it. It's not so much that I can't, as much as it is I shouldn't. Because like a dream, no one would believe me (especially when I have a hard time believing it myself.)
For as long as I can remember I've adhered to the sadistic belief that feeling alive was only possible if I was suffering. Almost as if happiness, although a coveted sensation, was tantamount with weakness and in some twisted way, a luxury. If being "happy" is the goal, once achieved, where do you go from there? What is there to work towards? Considering I've been surrounded by influences of the self-sabotage variety for a vast portion of my life, I have exercised these learned behaviors almost like clockwork, strategically creating loopholes in avoiding my own fulfillment, entering in arbitrary contracts with painful relationships, situations and forfeiture of want. For a while it may have been a self esteem thing and probably still is some days (half the time,since I'm keeping track.) Since stumbling deliriously into this age of misplaced teenage newness I've been compelled to reconsider my position on whether or not the fear of happiness is emotional preservation or death in disguise. "If this is all there is, which this is all there is, and if happiness is a choice, which happiness is a choice, why wouldn't you chose to be happy all of the time?" I've repeated this rhetorical mantra to everyone like some sort of existential Rain Man, which in turn leaves mouths agape of those who know me best, those who know me as "mostly sad." After spending months, years and mini-lifetimes being pushed and dragged through various nightmares and daymares, a hand has been extended to me, one that fits into mine, that has lead me not by force but by magic into dappled, sleepless morning light. Therein lies the dream.
I'm spending more time in backseats and passenger seats now, both familiar textures against bare skin, both equal participants in the moments I am making room for as new favorites. Parking lot mischief and seaside fireworks and these impassioned improvised adventures have made me feel younger than I did when I was actually young and have inspired me, for what feels like the first time, to expand, extend and explode. All the desires and goals I discredited as possible are no longer daunting, nor am I incapable. No idea is too outlandish. In fact, the more preposterous the more electric I become, the harder I push back. The amount of time I now spend scheming on how to make this last, make it work, make it so I don't wake up is comparable to the time spent wondering why I would ever prohibit access to this version of myself. There are no longer precious hours allotted for mourning mistakes, missteps or miscalculations. But in between water breaks and lip stick touch ups there are intermissions to celebrate the fact that I never let myself die completely. This new flesh that I find myself in is as terrifying as it is blissful. These feelings have come and gone before, abrupt desertions of "oh well." Then is not a reflection of now. What's important now is that it doesn't matter if I'm asleep, awake, dead or alive, in love or out of it, this world within worlds is spinning just as it should, in tempo and on beat.