No wonder there’s an entire book about them. Have you ever realised that of the life you live, how little you actually know- about yourself, your family,your friends? Ever had the mask of understanding, even of those closest to you, ripped off and crushed underfoot?
With that dramatic introduction, hello, hi, hi. So glad to be back here, so glad to have got around the latest writer’s block! More importantly, so glad to still be able to talk to you, hypothetical reader. Assuming anyone is actually reading this. Okay, let’s gloss over this part (always the stickiest).
I’ve been having a few revelations these past few weeks.
I think the best I can say for them is… I’ve done a lot more with my life than I ever thought I would. There are a lot more sides to me than I ever thought I would have. I’m wiser now, a little bit, I think. I suddenly see some parts of the world a little clearer.
Love, for instance.
What is love? How is it any different from friendship? What do people mean when they say “‘I’m in love with you”? I’ve acquired such a distaste for this hackneyed bit of quotation that to say “I’m in love with you” or hear anyone say that, quite literally makes me shudder. The entertainment industry shamelessly exploits it. My peers boast of it at 14 years of age. My parents can’t explain it. Nor can the people who I know are in a stable relationship that puts them at peace, with someone who makes them happy. Why would I need such a relationship? How much does the carefully worded, delicately implicative “orientation” have anything to do with it?
What if one fine day you realise you love someone, and suddenly you know a part of you that you only suspected and joked about before? Suddenly you know what love means to you? Suddenly you know who you want to be yours?
Let’s talk about trust. That’s a tough one to come to terms with. One night, while wiping your tears and screaming, heedless of neighbours’ ears, you realise you don’t trust those who are closest to you. Society says it, they say it, even you say it- that you love them, that you know who they are, that they understand you, that with a little guidance they will know how you feel and always, unconditionally, they will help you. So you trust them. You do it and you do it until one day you find that only the ragged tears remain to tell the story of the illusion that fell apart. And revelation hits you across the face- what you were trying so hard to believe in just wasn’t true. It hasn’t been, for a long time. And it hurts the most when they angrily back off without once asking just why you don’t feel safe in letting them in. Someone once hinted that you have trust issues and you felt incredulous, you felt a little offended, just a little self-important… and suddenly one night you know it’s true. Hell, you can’t even trust yourself.
Disillusionment. This one hurts.
You know how, when you were a little child, you thought abut that one person who could do anything, who would always be there for you? When you’re in pain, they’ll kiss you to sleep and protect you from monsters under your bed? When you turn around, no matter what happens, the fact that they would be there to love you just won’t change?
You know how, when you were growing up, you believed this person is your hero? That you know them, and they’re wonderful and patient and the only one you could confide in? The only one who wouldn’t judge you for being crazy? The only one who would understand? Have you ever felt the pain of realising that it was all an illusion?
The shattering of the perspective of a child’s innocence has to be one of the most painful truths of growing up. And yet I can’t be sorry for it- I can only be sorry that I was so deceived and that the child in me had to experience that pain.
And we haven’t even got to the part about myself yet. You know, that part where parts of my Self were peeled back and crystal glasses fractured my notions of who I am? Suddenly, I know I have a very imperfect instinct for gauging other’s characters. That I’m gullible and naive and far too emotional and even, oddly enough, uncomplicated in my judgment. A part of me that I gaze at with wonder and that somehow makes me feel fuller, more sensuous, more beautiful suddenly crops up. Some of my longings and thoughts suddenly arrange themselves according to their subconscious importance in my conscious mind. It’s all very confusing, to be honest. And all so new! Is this what it feels like to grow up?
Revelations. We all have them at some points. Moments of astonishing clarity that hit you in the face like a brick and tempest-toss you into the sea. However painful they may be, however they may affect you and those around you, life would really be much too limited and narrow without them. And all you can really say is, “C’est la vie.”