Almost every morning, upon waking up, I struggle to find the meaning in life. Yet, every morning, against the mind’s hazy desire to remain stationary, buried by the warmth of my comforter, I will myself to get up and move onward, into the day.
I rise, and follow through with a morning ritual that has changed little over the years—only has become more involved. Put the filled kettle of water on the stove, grind the coffee beans while awaiting the kettle’s whistle, cook two eggs, toast two slices of bread, prep the avocado, tomato, greens, then assemble the sandwich. Silence the kettle, and pour the boiling water over the freshly ground coffee. Steep, remove the filter and used coffee. Pour. This, now, is the most recent rendition of that ritual.
On Mondays, I water the plants scattered around my house. Laundry is tended to, as well as some cleaning. Eventually, should I have the money, I may leave my house to go grocery shopping. The time that is left open in-between these acts is filled with reading, attempting to write, and the search for a stable job.
This, mostly, is how my days off go.
Slowly, as the days pass by, turn into new months, I feel the growth of anxiety spreading throughout my mind. I’ll be twenty-six this year, and though it’s young in the grander scheme of life, I feel as if life is passing me by.
There are mornings when this thought becomes heavy and renders me immobile. Each day has become, more or less, the same. I look forward to my morning routine that I’ve honed, but once the morning has ended, it is hard to hold onto hope for much else to occur. I go to work. I come home. I repeat.
Time feels as if it has come undone, and I’m reliving the same series of events time and again.
Unsure as I am as to when things will change, I push onward. Go on with the morning routine, then the day, then the night. Each time I try to change the history of my life, it tends to repeat itself. Quite a few people have told me that I have to make things happen for myself; we must carve out our own pathways.
I believe this, and for a time it seemed to work. But the past few years have been a horrific struggle with depression, with anxiety, with loneliness, and it was only recently that one of those three issues has subsided, or transformed; I’m fearful for the day that I must share living space with another. There are days when I feel as if I’m a fish, hooked, and the more I fight, the more I struggle, the deeper the hook sinks, the closer I come to the surface of something terrifying.
The most stable and consistent aspect of my life is the instability and inconsistency I experience.
I push onward though through the uncertainty, into the unknown.
At times, when I was younger, I would have a recurring dream that I was stranded on a boat in the middle of some great body of water. Fog shrouded my sight. Waves rocked the boat, violently. Fear constricted my lungs, making it hard to breathe. This dream—nightmare—persisted for years. When I was about fifteen, this was the last time I can recall having the dream.
All previous occasions, I sat in the rocking boat, below the deck in the small cabin, and cried as water slowly poured into the boat as it washed over the sides. This final time was different. I felt fear, and I cried, but then I stopped and walked up the short flight of stairs to the deck. Without seeing any distant lights, hearing any distant noises, I moved. I pulled the sail—which I didn’t realize I knew how to do—and began sailing the small watercraft through the fog, over the swells, off into the distance.
There was no way for me to know how long I’d be moving through the fog, or if I’d run ashore, hit something and sink. All I knew was that I couldn’t remain still, or else I’d drown. So I moved. And, remembering this dream, I will move again.