Opening the box


A doodle of what’s in the box.

What am I afraid of? What am I not afraid of?

The uncertainty that lies beyond.

The lack of knowing whether what I do with what lies ahead is the right choice.

How does one know if anything is the right choice?

Maybe this is why people cling to religions, doctrines and dogmas. Having a manual for your life is a way to face the sheer enormity of our existence with at least an inkling of what to do next.

But what if you put all those books aside and face the universe as it is? What if the universe isn’t created to give our lives meaning? What if the universe doesn’t owe us anything at all?

Comfort. That’s why I fear opening the box. I’m not ready to leave it behind. The knowledge that if I just continue on as I am, everything will stay the same, life will remain safe.

But this comfort makes me uncomfortable. I want to embrace uncertainty. The place where not knowing is, that’s where the juice is.

How do I overcome the fear? How do I reach for the box and peel it open? How do I let the sunshine in?

For much of my life I have operated in crisis mode. I have fought to survive; even breathing was a struggle. When you’re struggling to survive, you don’t think about the future; you don’t plan. It’s one moment til the next, and the next moment after that. That’s what it was like living with depression from the age of 11 to my mid-20s. I didn’t know how long I would stick around. I sort of assumed I’d stop living at the age of 30. I had long since stopped dreaming of a future for myself or for anyone else. I just tried as best I could to keep on breathing.

It’s that part of me, the part that wouldn’t stop breathing, that I want to get to know better now. That part is where my strength lies, I think. It’s the part that, despite all logic, despite deep grief, and utter despair, just wouldn’t let me go. Why? Why do some people get through the darkness and other people don’t? It’s not because I’m stronger than any of the other ones, the ones that went through with ending it. Having witnessed the aftermath of a few suicides, I can honestly say that some of those people had so much more reason to live than I ever did. They contributed so much more than I to this world, to making it a better place, before they left.

Maybe it’s that my journey is still ongoing. Maybe it’s because whatever it is that I have to offer the world needs to be born first, before the world will let me go?

I can’t know for sure. I don’t know anything, really. Sometimes the very little I know frightens me, because it makes me feel like I have no right to exist in the first place. But here I am, alive, breathing, in this body, on this earth, in this universe.

What do I do with the box once I’ve opened it?


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