You’ve seen the magic trick where the magician pulls endless scarves out of a pocket, right? That’s how I feel– an endless string of a million things without a conclusion. It’s been a solid week. Suicide hasn’t floated to the top of my thoughts so easily. I’ve stayed woven into the world. A large portion of this came after I admitted to myself that I am honest-to-God unhappy. Once I admitted to my misery, I assumed the responsibility for my own happiness. It’s empowering, but the other side is guilt. I feel like a quitter, like climbing out of my own happiness subscribes to millennial stereotypes. We are called a wasteful generation without the grit to endure. I get that. I fear that. I fear the ramifications my choices will have on my career, on how my life looks through the eyes of a hiring manager. But too many times for being so young, I’ve clung to what broke me long after I was left in shambles. Activity after career after loved one, how long will it be until I pick myself?
I don’t feel like myself here. I didn’t realize how much I loved myself until I left her in another city, until she didn’t move with the boxes and mattresses. The scariest part of this phenomenon is that when I’m in the city where I live, I forget who I was and am. Here, I’m a co-worker, an employee, a tenant– something easily reduced to a number. I’m not Marisa. Nothing here says, “you matter”. Then, I go to all the places I never quite left, and I feel myself rushing back to my veins. Returning to my address is all the harder after those internal homecomings. Nothing wants to stay here: Not happiness, not warm weather, not me. It’s not a hard life, just a lonely one in Cleveland.
This isn’t something I try to conceal. My loneliness is obvious and palpable. At first, I desperately tried to hide it. I was embarrassed. My social media has become another planet–life is scarce. Posting so many pictures without me in them, without other people is surprisingly uncomfortable. Time eroded my embarrassment, and it became more about other people’s discomfort. I wanted to post the things I wanted to post, participated in the same spaces I had before everything happened. And now? Perhaps I am no longer a voyeur in my own life. Now, my social media reflects my perspective. It is the world through my eyes, and I’ve offered you a seat.
Like a magician overwhelmed with scarves, I can’t stop pulling these thoughts out of me. They’re all liked together– the hopeful ones and the silk stained with depression. Then again, life is the only force that makes sense to juxtapose tragedy beneath joy. Life is big and long, and mine will be a million different things. I just want my life to feel like mine again.