Epiphanies are a dime a dozen. I state my learnings in passing conversation with friends and family, and if I can’t find someone to listen, I tuck and hide them within these words. All my tiny strands of understanding are uniquely public. I contradict myself through time, repeatedly in a grand display of indecision and cluelessness. But it occurs to me how everyone does this; I only leave a written record. I wonder if there’s any other way to live. If there was, I would not want it. Most of my flashes of insight are about myself, unique to this very regular life I lived, of course. I did not know how to talk about other people, not that I ever saw any reason to do so. I was too involved with myself, in knowing the inner workings of my mind, in observing how I am changing. To me, it was a more noble way, more palatable to live than to talk about others, to cry in outrage for every breathing second of my life, or to be bitter, in general.
Lately, I have learned how it takes a lot to fill the colour back in. I’ve also learned how you have to start somewhere if you plan to get anything coloured at all. A fresh coat of paint looks unnerving, odd, for the first few days. You have to give it time to settle in, to let it talk to your walls for a while, for them to arrive at a unique agreement of who they are; I often tell people they are not a coat of paint but a wall. They seldom understand the metaphor, and if they do, they don’t quite enjoy the permanence of the notion. But walls, too, can change. They can be brought down and built back up again—differently. In many ways, I have understood myself more in the past six months than I have in the past six years. The concrete of the past sets quickly; it takes a lot to break out of a wall you have trapped yourself in. But I am learning I can’t go forward with one foot in the cement of the past, especially when it has started to set. And just because I have been a certain way does not mean I have to continue.
I’ve learned that when a wall gets old and cracked, light often creeps into it. It was astonishing what a little light and warmth could do. I’ve seen fantastic things. I’ve seen flowers break out of debris.