You may or may not know, dear reader, that I had been experiencing somewhat of a challenging period of late. My previous entry described some inner-conflict at play; morale dilemmas formed by my own hand, and tough decisions that I had been presented with as a result.
An opportunity to “escape” my present predicament and take up solace elsewhere seemed like a no brainer for the immature and selfish expat with a perverse thirst for change. It was just what I needed, a chance to press the reset button, to get away from it all and start afresh, I told myself.
As the days passed, I found that the decision wasn’t sitting well with me. I was shirking my responsibilities and running away from my problems, yet again. On closer inspection, that reset button I was heart set on pressing appeared to be a self-destruct button in disguise.
I came to realise that no amount of running away can bring a person any closer to inner-peace; you can’t escape your sense of morality, nor should you try. Rather than jumping ship and setting off into the sunset, I chose instead to look within, face my problems, and deal with them head on. It’s requiring a lot of self-reflection and re-evaluation, but most importantly, complete honesty.
The truth is at times frightening, and we tend to resist it particularly if it has the potential to do harm. A lot of my resistance to the truth had found its roots in a subtle- yet incredibly debilitating- dependance on comfort.
Comfort is nice, it brings us toward a sense of calm; much like the reassuring feeling order carries with it as it alleviates the chaos that is about to engulf us. We latch onto that comfort, we wrap ourselves up in it. But comfort and order are not the same. We surrender to comfort. We nuzzle into her breast as she strokes our hair and whispers into our ear, telling us that all will be fine so long as we stay right where we are. And of course, we do just that. Because the alternative is discomfort, and we don’t like discomfort one bit.
And so I found myself avoiding the truth, so as to salvage the last vestiges of comfort that had been keeping me safe here in this other world. Ironically though, far from keeping me from harm, it served only to bring my life into further chaos.
Why latch on, then? Perhaps my refusal to let go was largely due to my alien surroundings. I know I’ve scribbled similar words to this effect in previous entries, but the sheer pace at which this place moves is absolutely terrifying. It’s completely unfathomable if you’ve never before experienced it, and there’s nothing you can do to prepare yourself for it. If you can find some element of comfortable familiarity amidst the hysteria, you hold on tight for fear of being lost forever. And that’s just what I did.
“This place can eat you alive if you’re not careful.” Words uttered from the lips of a friend of mine just last week, and it’s so true. For months I had been relinquishing control and gleefully letting my guard down; comfort wrapped me up in her warm embrace, while the city slowly but surely began feasting on my soul.
I was losing myself, but I wasn’t going to find answers elsewhere. I certainly wasn’t going to solve anything by running away. I had to face the truth, and rip myself once more from the restrictive clutches of comfort in the process. One can never know what the future will hold, but a future predicated on truth is the only option. It is well within my control to turn things around; there’s no reason why I can’t emerge from the belly of this glutinous metropolis and enjoy the fruits myself.
How, I hear you ask.
Honesty is a good start- tell the truth; take responsibility for your words and actions, and don’t fear that which awaits around the corner; embrace the order and appreciate the chaos; take control; stop running away in search of answers, because the answers lay within.
“Write it down”, my father always said. Answers emerge from the page, guiding my decisions and revealing truths. In times of difficulty, I’ll continue to turn to the pen in the hope of riding the wave and emerging on the other side relatively intact. If nothing else, it might make for interesting reading some day. Until then, the journey continues.