Boundaries are important. They tell us where something begins and something ends. I spend a lot of time thinking about these lines of demarcation. One issue I struggle with is being aware and respectful of where responsibilities lie. It is incredibly simple for me to take on projects and problems that aren’t mine. Through (quite a bit of) therapy, it’s become easier to be aware of where others end and I begin.
As one therapist explained it, we act like pendulums. We’re at one extreme or the other. In this example, it’s taking on the entirety of a project versus not taking any of it at all. To get to the middle ground means aiming towards the other–oft incredibly uncomfortable–extreme. We must swing to the other side in order to find the balance in the middle.
“Existing in the space between” has been in my mind for a few days. I sip cherry lemonade, stare out the window at the junk in our backyard because we migrated it all over in front of my window during another project. I think about the boundaries around myself, the boundaries defining who and what I want to be. Life, they say, is a never ending struggle. There is no ending point throughout life. Yes, besides death, you sassy traveller.
We swing on our pendulums, seeking perfect balance. We can never reach perfection. Our growth exists within the space that surrounds what we are and where we want to be. It’s scary there, as though it is the cold reaches of space. It’s a place of the deep black of uncertainty, punctuated by the stars that are our goals. Do we have enough propulsion to get where we want to go? Will we be sidetracked by another star? Or sent askew by an unexpected asteroid?
I want to not be afraid of what awaits me in the sky. Yet another pendulum that I follow from one way to the next, never stopping.
This week, locate your stars. Let’s swing towards those goals, fair journeyers. Follow the light through the dark expanses, knowing that you get to decide in which direction you swing. And that this metaphor got a little complicated.
I find myself often in the peculiar place of being an author with no words.
Many times I struggle to articulate though I am a writer. Words are my lifeblood. Yet people often hear from me “I swear, English is my first language.” It feels as though there is no excuse for my inability to convey concepts clearly. And then it’s followed by such beautiful alliteration: ‘convey concepts clearly’.
Another piece of the duality of our nature, perhaps. Or simply the existence of what we are. ‘To err is human’, says Alexander Pope. Is that the only way we can define ourselves? Through our mistakes? Through that which we aren’t?
Fairly recently–in the sieve that is often my mind that might mean three months or three years ago–a friend was talking with me about the scientific process. People believe that scientists come up with a hypothesis and set to prove it. The opposite is true. They have an idea and proceed to try to disprove it. It is the gaps between the knowledge that helps us define just what a thing is.
In American culture, we define failure as something bad. It means that you are wrong, that you are the failure. We have been trained that our worth is based on what we have done–good or bad. But to err is human, and that is what each of us are.
That seems to be a saving grace. When we err, we are defining some portion of ourselves. No, that’s inaccurate. Each mistake made is a precise moment that we see the edge of our boundary between us and not us.
Experimentation, my dear travellers. Let us be as scientists and see what we can learn through the disproving of ourselves, the ‘failures’ and ‘mistakes’. Let’s discover what we can of the big picture of ourselves and our world.
A return to something is an unknown. It’s like pressing through the glass of a mirror that is both you and not you. You are Schrödinger’s cat, for better or worse. You are a possibility as you stand on the cusp of possibility.
It’s no wonder to me that we love to lose ourselves in other worlds, just as the familiar trope of going through a glass to another land exists so strongly. I am fascinated by the idea of going to a new place that is as familiar as it is unfamiliar–though anxiety often prevents me from seeking those opportunities in my real life. Dare I dream a better world? Or do I sink into the knowledge that I–in the cyclical nature of depression–will never find the happy endings I see in others?
There are many things I desire through my site, through this blog. I desire to be heard in a world that loves its own voice. I desire to help others, lost or not, who seek to reach out to find something both familiar and sane. I desire to share the strange things that live in my head that, by definition, can only be the recycled remains of other ideas. I desire to be original where there is no such thing as originality of thought; everything in our minds has been thought by another at some point in history. I desire to normalize the fears that lurk inside your or others’ minds, fears such as anxiety and depression. I desire to decrease world suck, as nerdfighteria says. I desire to be known despite a strong fear of rejection.
I attempt again, therefore, to update this regularly, moving–for now–to a simpler schedule of once a week. I seek to set the habit and be accountable. So I hold myself accountable to you, traveller of the unknown, and seek to be a person you can count on.
Step forth into the world, into your possibilities, knowing that nothing is at simple as it seems and that is a large piece of the beauty in the world.