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Figure.09

September 7, 2011

As I’ve attempted to find my direction in life, I find myself caught between various contradictory motivations, and am forced to either choose one over the other, or stagnate in a pool of existential indecision. There are many different directions for my life, but only a few of them can manifest in reality, and for those that conflict with these chosen few, they are limited in their expression to that of creative sublimation, and I must content myself with this compromise that is my life.

To choose what aspects must be compromised, and what qualities I can remain true to, I must first understand which layers are truly me, and which are merely the aberrations of a troubled past. For when I candidly look at my character, I know which aspects are truly me, and I know which parts are not. I also know, as I gaze upon my own reflection, that in truth I am not me, but the forced container of one who has been crippled from living life by a wretched, fearful past. Such substance is like a cancer eating at me.

I am not me, but I know what I must be- it is through the analysis of the layers of my identity that I can appreciate who I really am. For example, my true self is not cold-hearted, not invulnerable, not perfect. But neither is my soul possessive, jealous, or loathing or anyone or anything in this world. If I am angry at someone, I know I am not me, for there is not a reason for me to be angry. When I cut people off to protect them or to protect myself, that is not me, but merely the fear of change– and the subsequently inevitably alienation– acting on my behalf to protect me. Such elements of my character are not me, nor do they represent me, but they have (to quote from Linkin Park’s song “Figure 09”) become a part of me, as layers of my identity.

If I am truly live my life, it’s important that I understand who I am, who I was, who I am not, and who I want to be. I know that my true self wishes to fall in love, start a family, and enjoy the blessings of watching my kids growing up, and living a life happier than I did. But I also know that this first requires finding someone to love who will also love me, and the education, life skills, stability, and strength of character to properly rear my children properly.

This is where the fear begins, and the aberration begins to form a cancerous layer within me. I seek to overcompensate for my perceived shortcomings, becoming educated to the max in all areas relevant (and many irrelevant) to what might possibly prove a necessity when I have children. This layer, while presently beneficial, will (if left unchecked) cripple my ability to live a happy life, much less raise children who will be happier and more successful than I am, or can be.

Yet another layer is formed of my fear of not finding the perfect match, and I struggle to create a perfect image of my ideal mate. I feel that I cannot commit myself wholly to making her my wife, unless she is intellectually on my level, and able to understand my thoughts, beliefs, and desires. I want her to share similar interests, have a healthy body, and have the courage to go the distance with me, to the ends of the earth, and to trust me with her life, as I would also trust mine with hers. This is even a greater layer to rid myself of, as it appears to be justified– after all, are such expectations really too much to ask? But alas, they probably are.

There are many layers of my identity, creating this twisted and overly-complex “Figure.09” that is my life, but it is in this convoluted mess that I will find my potential, and will unlock the key to my own life, liberty, and happiness, and the means to pass on these essential merits to my family, my friends, and my future wife and children. It is the consummation of this fulfilling end, that I strive for.

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