Bookmark #225

Like most kids who had a strong preference for staying by themselves, I wrote in a journal. I remember only one sentence now. I must’ve been ten or eleven when I scribbled: one day, I will show everyone what I can do. A very noble sentiment, of course, but to what end?⁣

While I don’t think of myself and success in the same sentence, I have collected a few laurels over time. I got out of the city, out of the house, and on occasion, out of my head. The last one was the hardest thing to do, still is.⁣

For the past decade, which is half of my life so far, I have not let myself catch a single breath. The kid who had journaled that sentence over a decade ago did show people what he could do. He became the poster child for how to carry oneself in his tiny corner of the world.⁣

He was happy. I felt this exhaustion I couldn’t describe in words alone. The appreciation was music to his ears. It was raucous to mine.⁣

“I like how you do things. How do you do so much? Can you tell me how to get started? Do you read a lot? I like how you think. Your life seems so balanced. You’re a lifesaver, thanks! Your presence in my life inspires me.”

The theatre got better, more people showed up. They sang the same tunes; the kid was happy. As for me? If I was useful, I was loved. So, I kept going even when I wanted to sleep. I did things sober, drunk, tired and broken—all that for a few scraps of love. ⁣

One day, a tiny rope snapped. I didn’t care; the stage held still. It was all good. All I had to do was fix it. Then, another, and another, and another. Everything I had so intricately built started falling all around me. I hung there, suspended between the rafters, trying to keep it together. Unable to hold on, I let go. The jig was up.⁣

I sat on the wreckage. I sat there for three days, I think, until I got off the bed to pick my journal up, almost spontaneously. I wrote: one day, I will be loved for who I am, not what I do.⁣

I’ve only done what I wanted to do since then.

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