“Everything in its right place”

It took only a few days, a couple of days to be exact, for everything to be back the way it used. The phrase I hoped to avoid using is that everything is back to its right place.

I don’t where the feeling that I shouldn’t be alive comes from, but I’ve had it for as long as I remember. Even if it went away, I wouldn’t know how to live otherwise.

It amazes me how I can have the slightest amount of confidence. Maybe that is how confidence works: you are confident as long as you are certain. It doesn’t matter what you are certain of.

It gets annoying to realize the right response only after the window for it has passed. But it is nothing compared to the helplessness of thinking that it has always been out of my hands. The very core of my identity is flawed, and it has always been that way.

It feels more helpless to see that flaw in the eyes of others. When your mistakes are immediately forgiven, and when you are not expected to be any better. I sometimes wonder how many people who know me looked at me and thought to themselves: “I have so much to be grateful for” in the same way that statement is said when looking at terminally ill people.

It’s me against them, everyday. Even the closest people to me seem so distant at times. Like everything else that’s flawed in me, I notice my flaw but I cannot fix it. At times, I wish I wasn’t even able to tell when I’m doing something wrong. But I’m paranoid, and I can’t stop it.
Because I believe that the moment I stop being paranoid would be the moment I am most vulnerable for those who are plotting against me.

My mind is going away. I don’t know the medical term, but I know what I feel.

Everything good in my life I sought because I knew I had nothing else. It was one-dimensional; transcripts, awards, and any physical evidence I could find that I was good. Almost every time I am mentioned, the evidence is mentioned too. As if to balance out everything else about me. An average of two extremes.
Everything good in my life was the compensation I offered for my identity.

What I fear is that my mind will go before I have more evidence. Everything is in its right  ugly place now. But in a few years it might not be.

Airplanes, the worst of me, and the best of others

I have a developed a technique for overcoming my fear of airplanes. I look at the laughing children. I look the elderly. I look at the lovers and the loved ones. I conclude that no good force would allow this plane to fall, not even as a punishment for my inherent evilness.
I conclude that even if the plane did fall, I would grieve the people who had more to lose than myself.

Maybe what I fear isn’t the physical part of flying, but the memories I have in airplanes. It seems every crucial moment in my life involved leaving someone or something.
I remember the tears that forced themselves out of the face I held calm, as I left home back to college. I pretended to be sick and asked my older brother to stop at a clinic on our way to the airport. I wished they would say I had cancer, so that I could quit school and stay home without feeling like a failure.
I remember the interview with the big company. I remember saying to myself as they showed us around their building: “If everything I’ve been through was the price to get here, then I’ll gladly accept it.” The captain flew over the city and away, and my final share of that place was seeing it from afar. Nothing professional about a man with a crumbled suit and crushed pride.

But, for what it’s worth, I’ve never cried over the same cause twice. Leaving familiar places get less upsetting after a while. This is what the optimistic would call grit and perseverance. I think that’s exactly what I fear; not death, but the loss of life. With every flight I take, part of me is lost. The unfortunate way to become strong is to leave the weaker parts behind forever.

Irrational Fear

I have an irrational fear, and it’s not my fear of flights.
It’s the fear that only when I overcome my fear of flights that the plane would crash. At my last seconds, the confidence that I most recently acquired would begin to quickly dissipate, and I would regain my fear of flights just the second before impact.

I tried to tell myself that even if my plane crashed, wouldn’t that be a relief of at least a few things?
But as soon as the plane shakes I firmly confirm that I don’t wish to be relieved today. Maybe the next flight, or some time in the future. But if it isn’t urgent, then maybe it’s best to be relieved much much later by the natural cause of old age.

When I was a kid, I tried to imagine what it would be like to be nothing. I tried to “feel” what it would be like if I have never existed. I imagined the closest thing to it is to be a cloud, or above clouds. What happens on Earth does not affect you, nothing affects you. You would be floating, but nothing ever happens, and you never die because you are nothing.
It’s not a perfect analogy, but every time I ride a plane and see clouds without being affected by the life that happens behind it, I feel very afraid.

I will just admit to myself that, for the time being, it is better to be something than to be nothing, and it’s better to be a living thing than a dead thing.
But after the plane lands, I might rethink.

To borrow the greatness of a mountain

I want to be good, you know? To have some value to someone.
Both by my own standards, and subjectively.

My story must be heard, an evidence that I have existed. And if I pass by a mountain, a great old mountain, I will engrave my name in it. I will borrow some of its greatness. The possibility will always remain that some passers will see the great mountain, and they might see my name engraved on it. They will know that I existed.

That’s the extent, isn’t? The limit.
Nothing is better than being remembered, and nothing is worse than being forgotten.

I have a feeling I will die thinking I was forgotten.
I would die the same way some wild animal dies in some of the world’s forests. A body without identity.
I would get eroded and withered, not like the summit of a mountain, but like some unremarkable rock.

The worst of the worst is that I will adapt to it, that it won’t bother me, that I will get used to that image of my silent forgotten dead body.
After all, I have become used to be forgotten in life. It shouldn’t be much harder to be forgotten in death. I wouldn’t even be there to endure its difficulty. All in all, isn’t my death easier than my life? Because I live to mourn being forgotten in life, but I wouldn’t be around to mourn over my corpse in the middle of the forest.

I am already getting used to it. In fact, I look forward to it.

I am tired, and mountains can never be tired. Even if I engraved my name, it will be weak and it will be eroded before anyone can see it. Even if I went up everyday, and engraved my name again to make sure it remains, I’ll die knowing I’ll be forgotten.