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The Lies We Tell Ourselves

June 2nd, 2016 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
     Most people struggle to see past their own actions.  The world is dark, the light at the end of the tunnel dim.  I spent my life being told to doubt my intuition, to be more modest, humble, more open-minded, less naïve, to let go of what I think I know, only to realize later that was always the opposite of what I needed to do.  Others lie to themselves to grapple with what they don't know.  They convince themselves they are more knowledgeable than they really are and seek structure to shield themselves from the unexpected, to give themselves a false sense of control and certainty in their lives.  But my lie is to myself when I do know.  I close my eyes, purposely forget things, throw myself into the wind, whatever it takes in hopes that something might surprise me for once, to give myself a false sense of hope, the false hope that there might be more to the world than what I see before me, the mystery and excitement, the possibility of encountering something beyond my imagination, the thrill of the unknown.  For most people, it is their own life, every choice they have to make, that is uncertain.  They want to know, but they don't.  They want to see, but they can't.  For me, every choice and the consequences that follow are laid open like a book in which one could see the ending coming a mile away, and I wish everyday I could live in my dreams instead.  But as my dreams fade to memories of the world I tried to leave behind, I realize again that, deep down, I am just telling myself another lie.

     I wanted to find others with whom I could climb the mountain together, as a team, but I could neither wait long enough nor find anyone who even wanted to climb, let alone could.  I wanted to see the world from above the clouds when others around me merely wanted to keep their ships afloat, their sand castles from being washed away by the tide.  It seems it shouldn't be that difficult a trait to find nor so rare a goal to have.  You tell yourself that there will be others you meet along the way or those you meet once you get there, wherever there is, but with each step forward, I only found myself further and further away from everyone and everything, every beacon and trail I left behind only further highlighting the sheer distance.  As I reached the mountain top with no one in sight for as far as the eye can see, I realized that what I wanted, that shared experience, that shared journey that I held out hope will one day manifest, will actually never happen, simply because I've already finished the climb.  That hope, that false hope, is perhaps the greatest lie I've told myself but also the only thing that kept me going, the thought that one day I'll meet others with whom I could consider equals, perhaps even rivals, and have the fun of racing to the top.  Yet, now there is no deceiving myself any longer.  It is over.  The climb is done.  There will never be anyone else who can remember the struggles nor the moments of joy, let alone understand what it took, the sacrifices and boundaries pushed, the darkest hours but also the greatest triumphs, because no one else was ever there, in the trenches rather than simply watching from afar, taking the falls but also finding the footholds to get back up and continue, the feeling of always being pushed to your limits yet never tiring, knowing that as you go all out others would only try harder, not to keep up but to surpass you, just for fun, perhaps even just to spite each other, the satisfaction being to witness how far we go yet still keep going, the only thing stopping us being the sheer physical limitations of the universe rather than the emptiness.  At one point, I could do nothing but look forward to the dream I tried to run away to; now I could do nothing but look back on the memories that have become my reality.  The story I wanted to live simply cannot happen because it's already done being written.  The world I spent my life trying to create will never be one I actually get to live in myself because I will forever be outside it.
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