Where I’m not meant to be

I’m writing to think about something else that isn’t thinking about social media and dating which numb my mind. To not think about the place where I spend most of my week sitting in, I want to write even more and I want to be where I’m meant to be.

I think about people who have a passion and then succeed at it and I imagine them staying up late at night burning the candle at both ends until they free themselves because there is no gain without struggle or freedom without a fight. Those who succeed only get there with struggle right? You have to endure tears and pain to get it right. Right?

And then I wonder if I just float through life as I am, not devastated and relatively comfortable, can I live with this feeling that follows me around like some masked menace? And while sometimes I forget he’s there, as soon as I turn around he’s poking around and smirking at me like some smug asshole.

I know I don’t fit, that much is obvious and it’s pointed out to me everyday. I used to think it was socially but recently I’m realising that it’s more to do with what my place is in the world. Those around me, like the characters in a dream are very much aware of an outsider – they turn to me and say, “Why are you doing this? You know you’re meant to be doing something else right?” All I can reply is by using humour to deflect the fact that I know but I don’t know where.

My world falls quiet and everyone stops moving, speaking and expressing. They turn to me and each and every one of them holds up a sign that reads, WRONG WAY.

What am I? An imposter? A wolf in sheep’s clothing? A cuckoo or a Lyrebird? Possibly a chameleon? Sitting and waiting, planning, or just copying because mirroring is all I know.

You take a left step so I take a left step too.

You reach for coffee so I reach for coffee too.

You suggest this a holiday so I suggest that very same holiday.

Your eyes thin slightly in suspicion and so do mine.

You laugh and then I laugh.

I even express the slight discomfort that comes across one’s face when they feel they are being mirrored. Or is it you that is mirroring me? Deep down you know but you’re not sure enough to say anything and that’s all I need.

Now the train tells me I’m at where I’m not meant to be and I get off one more time. For another day I tell myself that maybe I take life a little too seriously and think a little too much. I see what’s ahead and I can’t stop chewing the inside of my mouth. At this very moment when no one is watching, I’m not copying anyone.

Wall

I made this wall to keep the harm out, it has served me well but there is something else. After years behind the wall, I’m getting this growing sense that I am somehow missing out.

I see you and you see me but as we go to touch, something stops us.

The wall keeps you out too.

Now I sit here in my space where I used to feel so safe. But now, it’s not just that I’m missing out but something else – I feel something sinister here with me, invisible to my eyes as I look around.

It’s just me, there is nothing in here, what could it be?
That’s when I catch a glimpse in the reflection of the glass.
It is in me, it has been growing in me and changing me.

I realise now is the time to let down the walls. I’m not ready but I don’t think I will ever be.

All I know if I don’t I will cease to be me.

Cocoon

I remember when I was younger, I loved exploring in the backyard. There would be so many little beautiful, mysterious things under rocks, hiding in a crevice or right there in plain sight.

There was this one time time when I found a cocoon and my parents explained to me that inside there was something beautiful but I had to wait,

“The butterfly comes out when it is ready.” Mum said to me.

At first I tried to wait and thought to give it more love. Should I make it a bed?
Maybe a little one out of tissues to keep it warm.
Both Mum and Dad said that I didn’t need to do anything, just be patient.

I watched it all day just in case something happened. But, to my surprise and disappointment – nothing.

I wanted it to hurry up. I was impatient.

No one was around and I couldn’t wait, so I decided something must be wrong – why didn’t he respond to my love? He must be stuck, I need to save him I thought to myself.

So I started to take away the layers of the cocoon and I felt wriggling inside. Ah! He’s stuck, I knew it! No one else knew but I cared for him the most so how was anyone else to know what he needed?
Excitedly, I kept peeling more layers off and it became more difficult. The wriggling continued – a little more intensely this time.
But then as I got to the centre I realised something was wrong, it was just gooey.
I felt hot and sick all at once.

The wriggling stopped.
He was dead.

But he was just wriggling and alive, how could this be?

My eyes felt hot and my vision became blurry. I fell on my bottom and started to cry loudly, real loudly because Dad came outside and asked me what was the matter. He scooped me up and I saw him looking down at the ground where it was clear what had happened. What I had done was evident. 

“He’s dead.” I said crying into Dad’s shoulder, I pressed my face so hard into his shirt that the darkness became a purple-red murkiness and I could feel the pressure on my eyeballs. My little nose hurt as I pushed harder.

After a time Dad started to talk, “Matey, we told you to be patient and wait. He wasn’t ready yet,” His hand stroking my hair as he swayed gently, back and forth.
“But I made him a little bed and he was wriggling.” I said, feeling snot mixing with tears.
Dad’s shirt was damp and slimy now. The light hurt my eyes and I tried to open them again and look through the tears.

Dad pulled me away from his shoulder and bought us face to face and said, “You can give all the love you like, that’s fine. But you can’t give that expecting something to happen sooner or something to go your way.” 

I shut my eyes and kept them shut, the tears still rolling down my cheek and my breathing slowing down. I didn’t understand.