Throughout my life I’d always been encouraged to go away. “Shut up! Go away!”
I dealt with a horrible home life by never being at home unless I needed to or was too exhausted to fight it. I’d often go for a two hour walk around the town because it’s all I could do. During one of those excursions, which I recall was clouded by a particularly dark mood, I saw my grade’s popular girl walking down the sidewalk towards me. Unlike most guys, I wasn’t interested. Even though she lived a block away from me, and we rode the same bus home, I don’t recall if we’d spoken previously to that. But as she passed me by she smiled and said “Hi.” I was struck dumb by her acknowledgement of my existence. Most guys wished they could get that girl to pay attention to them. I wanted nothing more than to shrink farther into oblivion.
I had attempted suicide on a handful of occasions but never went all the way. I didn’t have enough self esteem to do it. I became a ghost instead.
During high school I worked not to merely fit in, but to disappear entirely. Towards the end of my high school career, I once found myself hanging out in the kitchen of a guy I didn’t like with a girl I did and they both remarked that I looked like every other guy out there. Nothing noteworthy whatsoever. I was happy—that’s exactly what I was going for.
What follows is an uncensored snippet from today’s Morning Pages. I’ve been doing them off and on for around a decade now. Unfortunately, they’ve been mostly off the last few years. I’m doing what I can to change that.
I cannot control what you think of me, but I can come to grips with my fears. Unsettling as that may be, I’ve come very far, and grown lots as a person, by doing the things I’m afraid of because I’m afraid of doing them. It is my hope that by revealing this little part of me today that growth will happen again.
Here’s a curious observation though. I’ve put a lot of effort into building apps and writing code, but they’ve always been a distraction for me. I’ve used programming as a shield for writing. Yet I’ve felt insecure when I don’t produce. Are they related? Do I feel insecure because a lack of production fails to hide my true calling? The lump in my throat and my wet eyes point to YES.
Therefore, is my attempt to write code mere compensation? YES. Like a dude with a Hummer.
My real calling is writing stories. They all have an air of magic about them. A tie to a world unseen. I hide that because I am afraid. Of what? Of being ridiculed and mocked. Of being cast out. Of being different. But the more I’ve tried to hide my self, the more I’ve come to despise myself. Like a narcissist, I’ve created an illusion. Sports, code, programming, “smartness”—”It’s become the opium that used to be religion." By clinging so hard to it I’ve become fake like people I try to tell myself I’m not.
Worst of all, I’ve lied to myself. LIZARD BRAIN. I’ve lied to myself about who I am and what I can do, because I’m afraid. It’s been telling me what to do and where to go all these years because I’m afraid.
Whenever I’m not writing code, I’m writing prose and I’m damned good at it, but I’m damned afraid of letting other people read it. I’m even afraid to put this down on tumblr or whatnot because of fear. I’m scared, really, really scared, which is why I am telling myself I should do it.
Great work. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
Regarding what we want in life, it’s far easier to make excuses than time.
Suicide, it’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem.