Rants of Existential Crisis
You take trips out of yourself. On a ride back home, or on an evening stroll down the foot path of a busy street. You scoop out escape from the radio jockey’s smart-mouthed quips and the unintentional eavesdropping into a random stranger’s private conversations. You slither your way out of another tiring day’s stagnancy. You can use the word “escapist” if you have to. But this is it. There is peace in sneaking in somebody else’s grief or joy into your heart. Chaos lies in finding your own.
When did that happen? When did you become a stranger to your own mind?
A rust of neglect often settles over the thin cord that joins us to our deep-set feelings within. This cord is very tenuous and sensitive. When we get too busy trying to live up to the expectations of others, when we choose to avoid our emotions for far too long, we end up losing touch with who we are or what we are meant to be: you may call this your soul, if you believe in such things.
Pain is a difficult feeling. Numbness is harder. But what’s way worse is when you don’t know what you feel. The inability to reach out to yourself, the realization that your own damn feelings are intangible; when someone asks you “What’s wrong?” and you have to look around in the void for an answer, or tell a lie. Because you don’t know what you feel.
From time to time we bump into people who ‘actually’ care about us. As long as they are there, the impairment of feeling can be overlooked. If you are fortunate, you might get to spend some part of your life with such people who accept you with your inability to feel, who can live with the fact that you don’t know what you feel for them. It’s rare, but it’s not an endangered miracle.
And sometimes, like the moon on a cloudy night, people of the wonderful, ruthless kind walk into your life. They come out of nowhere, pull you out of your impairment and purge you into the emotions of bliss and fear, of agony and anger, of frustration and fulfillment. You are shaken up to this hyper existence where you can curl in and reach into the corners of yourself, stretch out to the edges of your being and get meet yourself. You are awake. You are alive.
And then, they vanish. That ruthless person you read about, or who strolled you’re your life for the briefest moment, they are gone. And you retreat back into your cocoon and return to a life where you’re doubtful of yourself.
But why should life be all about just the crisis of not knowing yourself?
Sometimes, seeing life from a bird eye view is consoling. Comfortable. Living as life goes by. Living one day at a time; isn’t that the uber cool phrase? It can be a relief, can’t it? Containing life in moments where you get to appreciate a cheesy piece of pizza, laugh at a poor joke, or dance like loony bin to a stupid song. Can’t tiles of such fleeting episodes build a worthwhile life? Isn’t it enough to just live in the moment and wave at yourself only from a distance, never getting too close? What’s the harm? We can choose to live the easy way, right? After all, those feelings – those feelings of taste and high – they are the only ones you are sure of. They are not dubious. One long drag, and you can fool ourselves into contentment.
You take trips out of yourself. Because the nagging of your own mind gets too much sometimes. How long will you deafen yourself with the earphones? Who are you fooling with that book or the newspaper you’re pretending to read on your ride back home? Your mind is too loud. Your thoughts and worries are monotonous. Your feelings are all over the place. You need escape. You want to drop everything and run. But you can’t. Because you are scared. And you’ll always have the excuses of the bills to pay, the responsibilities to shoulder, and the reality to check by. So, you will take the trips every chance you get. Eavesdrop. Listen. Let go.
And one day, you’ll become one with the noise.