So maybe my last post had an unintended Eeyore vibe. Or maybe people are prone to project how they would feel approaching 40, living part-time in a friend’s basement, which explains all the well-meaning you okay? messages. One, I’m flattered folks make time to read my fluff, especially after an 11 month absence. Two, I would like the record to show, I am okay. I am not depressed. I’m not even sad. There’s a fine line, yet spectacular difference, between depression and total awareness of exactly where you’re at. I’ve experienced a depressive state. This is not that.
Epic adventures (journeys, experiences, whatever you want to call them) inevitably impact you in some way, and my scrapbook moments redesigned the mental makeup of my brain. Since Metaphor is my native language, let me explain via a game of Hammerschlagen.
Imagine the smooth surface of a freshly cut wooden stump. That’s your life. Each nail represents an experience. The more nails, the more experiences. If you’ve seen veteran wooden stump, you know you can pack a lot of nails into life.
Only for some reason, instead of finding free space on the Life Board, it’s like all of my nails are stacking on top of each other, invisible moments jumping up and down on the tiny nail head, one on top of another, each adventure driving the epic-ness deeper into the surface of my life, pushing the normal down, pinning life as I knew it before down below the nail. With each experience, each nail, it takes longer and longer to crawl back to the surface, out from underneath where epic ends and normal begins. And as I claw my way up to the flat plane of the smooth wood, instead of breathing in the normal all around me, my flailing arms absorb splinter after splinter as I reach for the stack of nails, the epic of life just out of reach, so close, yet lifetimes away. I’m in this constant state of wait, searching for the top of a tiny nail, suffocated by the everyday.
I have yet to identify the role the hammer plays in this scenario. Maybe that’s the key to the puzzle.
A few months back I was trying to explain my state of mind to my sister and she said something that was both difficult and reassuring to hear, “So maybe this bad or what’s wrong with us, but I don’t think many people have the kind of fulfillment or happiness you are looking for in every day. I think what you’re describing right now, how you feel, I think that’s just regular life, for like, most people. It’s normal.”
So there it is. I’m normal. Think of me as that passenger in your car who’s reading out every sign they can read as the car zooms by. Street signs, store signs, billboards, neon lights, license plates. They aren’t announcing something good or bad or exciting, they’re simply announcing what is.
And I’m totally aware of what is.
Which leads me to my next announcement: the other fork in the road is dead.