"See I'll throw the weight of ten Earth over one shoulder/
and walk across broken glass/
Through every wicked world to kiss tomorrow's morning"
Fatigue makes victims of us all, and we all know the struggle of being Atlas in our daily lives. Whether it is the weight of academia, complicated family relationships or your own headspace, there is something you carry around that is your burden. There eventually comes a point where we cannot hide the pain or struggle anymore.
Aesop Rock calls this the Tugboat Complex.
Carrying that garbage around is arduous. It slows you down and grinds away at your mental and emotional self to the point where you do not know if you are going anywhere anymore.
My experience with Bipolar Disorder is one that I carry with conspicuousness. It has been my albatross since I was diagnosed at 19 years-old. I do not hide it, but that has not made it any easier for me.
For me, I have had to accept myself as one of the tugboats that you see along the surface of the bay and the process of acceptance has been a learning process.
You need to know a few things if you identify with this concept: First, you are not alone. Second, your garbage is yours to carry and yours to share. No one is entitled to it, except for you. Third, it does not have to be your entire identity.
I do not say this to belittle your individual strife, but to affirm that who you are is not based on the trash in your life. Being a tugboat is a state of being that offers its own unique beauty. When the world gave you a pile of trash, you gave it clean water.
Yes, it is an ugly sight when all of your dirty laundry is out in the open, but to hold all of that inside where no one sees it is how you let a wound fester. The pain sits there until it is too much for you to hold back.
Celebrate yourself. If you are finding that fatigue to be overwhelming and you think that you have been carrying too much for too long, take a moment for yourself. The filth is ugly, not you.
You are splendid. You are the beauty in the struggle. This moment is an appreciation for all of you fellow tugboats out there. This is to raise a glass and implore each of you to look at the water's reflection to appreciate what you see there. Float on my friends.