I’ve had a lot of chats with a lot of people recently. Serious chats, I mean. Looong serious chats. I’ve been searching for answers so hard. I know that nobody can (or should) make decisions for you but seeking counsel is something I’ve never been afraid to do. Noticing this more and more, I’ve had to be brutally honest with myself. Why do I crave guidance so much? What is it about own my intuition do I not trust?
These are unsettling questions but I think I came to somewhat of a conclusion after much deep consideration. It’s not all that easy to understand (the mechanics of my brain never is), but allow me to attempt to explain. You see, I pine to be perfect. And as you and I both know, perfection is impossible – we’ve discussed it many times. But sometimes what you tell yourself and how your body chooses to react are two very different things.
Much as I try to change this, it’s seemingly embedded into my nature. When I make what is deemed by someone or even society to be a ‘mistake’, I punish myself. Sure, I’ll tell myself that I’m human and practise self-love but when I’m in bed at the end of the day, honestly, I still have all the same feels in the pit of my stomach.
Guilt, regret, shame and dread.
Since the age of 16, these are the sorts of feelings I’ve been riddled with. Call it anxiety – most people do. For a while I thought it was karma, for overlooking kind souls who reached out to me earlier on in life and for acting out against the undeserving. In more recent months I’ve become drawn to religion and have just this day realised why – a set of rules to follow avoids making mistakes, and if you don’t make mistakes you’re as close to perfect as you’ll ever get…
Bullsh*t. I know. I don’t actually believe that but there has to be something in my psyche that does, otherwise it wouldn’t haunt me like it does! We all have those little voices in the back of our heads, cycles we play out over and over… question is, how do you do something different? I’ve written before about unlearning (in order to unburden and induce transition) but honestly, it’s making me feel even more lost. The more my perceptions change, the more life as I know it begins to unravel.
It’s the small things that scare me. I’m confused and therefore contradicting, which is just as irritating as it is for me as it must be for others. For example, my recent ‘awakening’ for lack of a better word has given me a true understanding of authenticity. Yet, when I put makeup on or show-off on social media (yes, I said show-off and not share. Because that’s exactly what it is, isn’t it?) I feel good.
I’m aware that when I wear makeup, I have ultimately manipulated my face to make it look ‘more attractive’ or ‘acceptable’ to the outside world. I’m aware that when I strike a certain pose, I’m adjusting my body to make it ‘appealing’. And I’m also well aware that the reason I think this false facade of self looks more attractive than my natural untouched features is due to socially constructed ideas of beauty and not much else. Again, what I’m not able to do is stop the reaction in my body. Looking at myself in the mirror, all done up ready to impress gives me a buzz, and it’s one my brain can’t seem to control. THAT f*cks with my head.
Who am I?
When I try to strip it all away – the abundance of negative influences from the Western world, my childhood experience and unique relationships – I struggle to find myself. Which parts of my personality are constructed to appease or impress others, and which parts are innately me. Would I have spent so much time and money on makeup products and fast-fashion items if I hadn’t been exposed (and possibly highly susceptible) to advertising? Would pink still be my favourite colour if the toys available had been gender neutral? Would I be bisexual if it hadn’t have been a woman who sexually abused me all those years ago? Would I act selfishly if I hadn’t seen narcissism rewarded, time and time again?
The questions could go on forever.
And I just feel like shouting “SOMEONE GIVE ME SOME FUCKING ANSWERS”.
But they can’t. You can’t.
Finding faith is different to following a structured path/religion because you simply don’t know where to turn or what else to do. I’ve come close to joining a commune, becoming a buddhist and taking part in several movements not because they’re ‘my calling’ but because I want to find hope again. I want to feel a sense of belonging.
I don’t ‘believe’ but right now I’d really, really like to. I’d like to have a survival handbook that I could trust to provide me with all the answers. I’d love to take comfort in the fact that ‘the Universe is looking after me’. I wish I could believe that everything truly ‘happens for a reason’, and things are just ‘meant to be’. BUT there’s always a big f*cking BUT.
Is this what they call a quarter-life crisis?
Someone at least answer that!