A year ago, I was the happiest I had ever been. I felt complete and wholesome, untouchable like the sun in the sky. If you got too close, too far inward around the orbit, my aura would blind you and my energy would have forced you to turn away. I was everything that embodied the feeling of a winter sunset, articulate and multifaceted in magnificence; at the same time, I was everything that it meant to be the summer heat that could be seen off the concrete road, hazy and dizzying at first sight but on the second thought, admirably powerful- for what you see is raw energy combined from the core beneath your feet and the star that lights the blue sky above. Although now my soul feels as if it has been tainted, and it feels as if the world has been tainted.
Prior to the events of that fateful weekend in March, when all shut down, I would say I was comfortable with my seat in the universe, on Earth, yet today it feels as if I am falling endlessly in the darkness of space, being amused only by the hope of seeing the glorious stars encompassing. To tell the truth, I’m sure the world finds it to be quite funny that right as I am able to adjust and become a statue, high and mighty whilst standing still, the world decides to reverse its axis. What once was north and south feels to be no longer, and the directions that I once was able to follow were no more.
When I wrote Where Do We Go From Here?, my first article, a journal entry right as Covid hit, it was my coping with the uncertainty of the time. I said that we as a people should focus on fighting the demons that exist within us, but I have come to realize since that there are other demons than just the ones that live in our heads, for there also the ones that live in our hearts. I thought that by now I would be transformed, and that I would be a glistening light from a chandelier that would be held by the art of God. And while on the outside I may look as such, on the inside I feel broken, and I don’t quite know why- but I do have an idea, and that idea started a year ago today when my world was simple and joyous. I walked outside to go to school wherein, after all the trials and tribulations of the day, learning about the Renaissance and articulation of Vriginia Woolf, I would practice acting in a play and joke around with friends, all the while thinking of the pretty girl that I was dating forty minutes north of where I live. At the moment, that very girl I dreamed of has wiped me from her existence.
I remember this one day in particular in the fall of last year. All morning I practiced words that were not my own so that I would no longer feel as if they were my own, so that I could feel as if I was a different person. At the end of that month, I achieved that. But on that very same day, the sky was ablaze with what felt to be an early winter sunset, and I drove home in a rush to change and take a shower to then drive to my salvation- the girl. I listened to rock and roll as I went up the parkway, banging my hands against the steering wheel, singing at the top of the lungs, whilst the marshes reflected all that the evening sky had to offer, and then I existed in a series of moments only to have her in my arms and to only think of such. Life is at its best when you are not in the past or trembling at the feet of the future, but living at the very moment that you breathe in, and being benevolently intoxicated in it. But it was within those moments that I rejoiced to have found a world where I felt delighted to even have that existence. An existence wherein my past no longer mattered and my future felt miles away. Now, it feels like everything matters. Now, it feels as if my existence is to wake up and breathe then go to sleep. Now, I feel like mere rubble on the ground instead of the glorious monument that I once knew myself to be, even if others did not see me as such.
And it was in March that the world came crashing down for me. On the same day they announced the schools were closing, my girlfriend and I parted ways. The demons I spoke about last time around came mostly from that dreadful experience, for I knew it was coming and I detached myself every single day out of the fear of being hurt. By the time we split, I felt ready to move on and seek to be with others. That was my first mistake, for I should have let myself grieve, but instead I chose to rot by chasing after something that was no longer mine, that could no longer be acquired without feeling quite the same. I said that we must stand still and take this time to ourselves, and even though I did read, study, and learn on my own to grow in the mind, none of that matters in the present, for I did not give my heart the time it needed to grow as well.
I don’t regret any of my decisions because I have learned, whilst continuing to learn, from them, and life always works in the way that it is supposed to for the most part. If her and I did not break up then, the pandemic would have killed it without a second thought in my mind, yet that makes me feel no better. Nowadays I long for that sky, that time where I felt more free than an eagle on a windless day, that time where even when the sky was dark and grey, the ground beneath me and the air inside of me was the light to show me the way- and partly I still long for her.
But I realize since that I’m not just grieving over my past lover, and I wasn’t just pursuing girls after the fact simply for the pleasure of it, but that all this time I have been looking for the old world, for the happiness and feeling that existed prior to the Ides of March. I have come to realize now that no girl, no day or night, and no single moment in time can bring back what was once here for me. The old world is dead, and I will have to find a place in this new one that our reality, and the decisions I have made in these past months, has created. Maybe within that place, something better will come along, but for now, I need to no longer run but instead stand still. What once was has died, and tears shall fall to wet the ground that is now bland and pale, but something new will come of it. All I hope is that someday I feel free again, and aware only of the existence and world surrounding, because even with the dreariness of today, there is a beauty to tomorrow I cannot doubt.
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