Saturday, March 1, 2014

silver lined mirror

 Do you ever wanna run away from home? Or just forget who you are for a while? What if you get stuck in a bubble you created, where you can say anything you wanna say or be anyone you wanna be? How do you remember how to get back to the real you?

 I’ve been trapped in a bubble of my own making since last October, when a friend of one of the family moved in. I was asked not to write about any of the particulars, effectively forcing my “total transparency” policy to become fragmented like a broken mirror that only allows you to see bits and pieces of the whole.

 Even though the friend has since moved on to other places, I never recovered the skewered pieces of the reflection.

 Then came The New Guy, a long time friend of The Boy, and the understanding that sometimes people use their bubbles to be anyone they want to be online. Sometimes it’s much easier to hide the fears, insecurities, and glitches, whatever form they may take, when you’re living long-distance, behind the warm, protective glow of a computer or cellphone.

 A few weeks ago, The New Guy moved back to Not Indiana and out of our real world lives, in just as tumultuous a whirlwind as carried him to our door last December.

 For the first time in almost six months, I am able to write without filters, yet I can’t seem to find their “off” button.

 I have had more than a few epiphanies during those guarded months. I realized that we (my family) may hold to the ideas of an earlier time, where multiple generations could live together in one house and function as a cohesive unit, bound together by the glue of love and respect. But if you add broken people who have never been taught the meaning of either of those words, instead of becoming part of a cohesive anything, they act as a solvent, slowly eroding the balance from the inside out.

 I have also come to the understanding that I can best be a friend from a distance. Because I’m a little crazy, a fact I’ve never hidden here.

 Borderline, bipolar, panic issues…whatever label you wanna add, the part of the equation that falls to the right of the equal sign is the same; I’m not good with people.

 The only way I have ever found to maintain my balance, is routine. And music. (Which is a very large part of my equation.) My days flow one into the other in a form of order that my family refers to as barely controlled chaos. I wake up (5 AM most days), I writes, run errands, have lunch, afternoon nap, read, watch TV with Offspring, then go to sleep.

 Every day is very much like the one before it. To me, it’s not as boring as it may sound. To me, it’s the recipe for mental and mood stability. It keeps me…sane-ish.

 Sadly, removing me from my routine by more than a few days and the delicate balance of crazy teeter-totters like a hyperactive child who’s eaten his weight in sugar.

 Even more sadly, it’s cost me my share of friends. Because it’s easy for people to hear the words, “I’m a little crazy,” and smile over them because you’re just peachy in short bursts, but harder for them to experience that, “I’m a little crazy,” when they’re face to face with a glitch out of its routine.

 This is who I am. I shout, I yell, I tantrum, I pout, and I laugh. Sometimes all of it in the course of a few minutes. All of this is by no means something I am proud of, but it is what it is and I’ve made a tentative peace with it.

 I am not a confident woman, despite what anyone may think. Most days, I am scared of my own shadow and frequently question my worth in pretty much any capacity. It’s why I tend not to play well with others; I’m jealous of their accomplishments, yet terrified to purposefully strive towards my own. It’s like the circuit that allows me to openly celebrate the amazing work of my friends is missing from my fuse box. In its place is some kind of soul-sucking black hole of fear-of-failure.

 I too am broken in my own way.

 Over the last few weeks, I have been trying to reclaim my groove and find the missing pieces of the fragmented mirror. With each jagged shard I replace, I chip away a little more at the protective bubble I’ve created.

 My mirror may never be without cracks or other flaws, the reflection smooth and lacking distortions. But much like an antique looking glass that’s useless for purposes of modern day beauty, it’s true value may be in the backing of pure silver you see when you look into its murky depths.

 Today I’ll take a deep breath. I’ll remind myself that I’m the one who determines my own value and measure of success, that every bubble eventually pops, and I’ll smile at the thought of slightly murky glass with a silver lining. Because even when it’s a little bit tarnished, silver still retains its worth.
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