written during the Summer of 2017
I keep getting almost hit by cars. I feel like I should lead with that.
In the past, I had a sort of anxiety about crossing the street (which I once wrote a fair amount about, but failed to publish). However, a few weeks ago, I almost got hit by a car and since then that fear has sort of dissolved.
How does fear materialize? Does it ever “de”materialize?
Since then, I’ve been hit twice more. Almost. I suppose I’m at fault, but there are a number of variables in each situation. For better or for worse, I think my perception of life has developed in a way that’s diminished my fear of death. To an extent? I’m still trying to decipher whether or not this has made me less sensitive toward, or rather less cautious of, my mortality.
In the moment, my mind goes blank and I don’t properly process my surroundings . Maybe I have been thinking about too much, and my brains have effectively fried. Or I’ve subconsciously reordered my mind, so that unlearned priorities are less important. Or maybe I’m lacking the fear necessary to keep myself safe. Either way, something is up, and I find it fascinating.
As the end is inevitable, collective not individual (though the latter is also true), does it matter anyway?
update: I have since learned this was happening as a result of my anxiety.
still, my fascination back then continues to intrigues me.
After August arrived to claim its spot in line, I began to read a lot. More than I have in years. I used to read an incredible amount, but life happened. Or I got lazy. And stressed, definitely stressed.
A slew of knowledge.
Thanks to the barrage of information that has flooded my mind in recent weeks, I have been thinking more about topics I tend to contemplate in the classroom. Yes, I pay thousands of dollars to read prose and write essays. I could do it for free, but I’m also studying business, and I’d rather step on a LEGO than teach myself the ins-and-outs of the business world. The best thing I’ve learned in school? It’s much smarter to learn from someone else —someone who has already made the mistakes and survived the journey.
Musings about life, and humanity, and the way our earthly bodies shape our perception of the world, have swarmed my mind. Two books in particular have contributed to these thoughts:
- Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlos Rovelli
- The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
The first, a short book — very short, but funny. The second, a Young Adult dystopian novel. With an active imagination, anything can resonate on a deeper level, and for me, these hit home. Note: I have also been reading other Dystopias including The Circle and Brave New World* so I’m pretty screwed right now.
*may have also impacted the thoughts I’m sharing here
The second evokes a similar sentiment, as do most well-thought dystopian narratives. It reminds me of the fragility of human understanding. Of our certain uncertainties, and our undeniable ignorance all-throughout. It entertains my shallow absurdist beliefs (I am by no means full-fledged, but certain ideas resonate).
It also prompts me to see myself, beyond myself. In other words, to wonder who I can be, if I don’t allow myself to be limited by an earth-bound life view. Instead, imagining the possibilities if I saw myself as a part of the world: another form of matter, bending space and time. As a blip in the circle of time. As a part of something incomprehensibly vast.
Humans often, sometimes inadvertently, focus the world around themselves. Forgetting that they are but specks on earth, one of billions of humans, and earth is but a speck in our solar system, rotating around the star that is our sun. And our galaxy, but one in the vast expanse of space, is infinitesimally small considering there are billions of systems like and unlike our own. We are but a part of a seemingly endless whole. Atoms interacting. Moments in time.
The final pages of the 5th wave made my heart feel remarkably large and incredibly warm. Like the stress of getting by diminishes as I change my point of view. If I knew the only thing I had to do to understand life is to accept that I don’t, I would have felt free long ago. Because in letting go of the idea of control, one is freed from the obligation that comes along with it. I honestly feel like I can be more than I am, by embracing the fact that I am what I am, no more and no less. Focusing on what I am, before entertaining the imagination: who am I.
There is also a theme, in the novels I’ve been reading, of accepting things as they are — not just oneself, but nature and respective occurrences. For instance, there is always more to a story. Not just another side, but layers with levels that can’t be deduced. It’s safe to say, one should never assume that they’ve grasped the entirety of a tale.
A sort of tension underlies this idea. To accept that there’s no reprieve. To admit that this will always be as it is, there being things you don’t know and things you can never understand. Common knowledge, it should be easier to accept than it is.
I still struggle.
Embracing new frames of mind seems to make me feel lighter. Knowing that nothing matters as much as we want to believe. Viewing myself beyond myself, as part of the process. I am learning not to worry. I am starting to appreciate what is, and letting this be.
Thanking my money for the permissions it has granted. Instead of fretting over the next source. Appreciating what the funds I have can allow me to achieve.
This is the longest brain dump, and I’m not halfway done but I’ll wrap it up either way with a musing about Rovelli and the thoughts he has inspired.
Happenings, not things.
“Life is an interaction.” A line from Rovelli’s book. I love his way with words. How he managed to make a science read interesting to my literary mind? Magic. Some of his phrasings even open the floor for romantic consideration, which is in itself a miracle. He breaks down the Big Bang in a way that helped me understand why people believe it. Hell, with further research, I might believe it.
Thank you for allowing me to share myself with the world. I’m not sure who I’m thanking, but it feels like the right thing to say. The right way to say it. I guess I’m thanking each of you, who have stumbled across my writing and chosen to read it. I thank the 30+ people who follow me, interested in hearing more of what I have to say. I thank the creators of Medium for producing such an unparalleled platform. The community of writers on Medium for keeping the site alive. Each publication that has accepted me with open arms. The internet? haha. I’m going mad. I’m just so grateful right now.
I don’t get to write as often as I did this summer. And I’m finally completing this piece that’s sat abandoned, for weeks. I need to write more.
It may be getting to me.
Update: This piece is easily one of my favorite personal writings
and I am now grateful for providing myself a platform
to continue sharing these words.
Adapted from my posting on Medium