I don’t know.
How often have I said those words, spilling them just to fill the silence. I say them in finality and to end the long lines of questioning.
There are two ways of hiding: Saying you know when you don’t. Saying you don’t know when you do. The first is much easier to spot. I put on a show. I play the part of great and amazing and, dare I say, perfect. And, all I feel is emptiness. Perhaps if I smile long enough, you won’t see the fear that fills my lungs, threatening to strangle me. Perhaps if I keep you entranced, you’ll never catch me, and I’ll never have to see myself.
The second is more difficult. The second is proclaiming defeat and playing small. It is a seeming inability to cope. I say I don’t know where to turn, who to trust, what to say, what to feel. I refuse to know because knowing could bring action. Action could bring failure. And, failure could leave me broken. It’s easier to sink in to my fragility and pain because they are familiar. It’s easier to let you decide for me what to say or do or be. I won’t be hurt if I never let you see me, so I just won’t show up.
I saw Gone Girl last night.
The last few weeks of life have been so full of transition. My body typically has a way of telling me something is changing. Sometimes my body tells the truth when my mind refuses to accept it. Every morning my eyes have opened at 5 am. Not by conscious choice. I look at the clock. I close my eyes again. I turn over. And over. Till 7 am pulls the sun through the window and I start the day.
Last night I left the theater, head foggy, words caught in twisted thoughts, knotted from life and a plot that felt detached from any human emotion. I tried to find words that spoke of the disturbing truths of the movie and couldn’t. In it, a girl, that both pretends to be more than her insecurity and feels like she’s losing, essentially “kills” herself to get it back. I walked out with crushed compassion and fear. That was what it was about, wasn’t it? Fear and control, and ultimately hiding. There was no vulnerability and hope in the struggle. It was all self-preservation. And, self-preservation leaves us disconnected.
We are so afraid to be known and so terrified to be lost. And, in the end, it ends up being all about a shell of something we’re so afraid will crack. Can I make you want me? Can I push you away so you never will? Both leave us never truly seeing the other in our realness. In our humanness. We’re gone. We were never there.
This word rings and stings. It feels like giving up and giving in. Maybe it’s an end to hiding. Maybe it’s the choice sit down for a minute and realize we’re cracked and we’re beautiful. We can see the world as it is. We can see ourselves. And, the words will come. It’s an every day sort of thing. I have to choose to keep my hands open.
Go on, girl.