A while ago I started this blog, during a period of doom and gloom. I had a festering case of the ole post-uni melis (melancholia). This post-uni melis was a regurgitation, an aftershock of my first mental breakdown, second year of Uni.
I was adrift on an ocean where the horizon day after day was devoid–absolute nothingness, “Nothing happens.” Just me and a melancholy sea. I wanted to be in water a lot, in fact I started to take long baths; I never liked baths before, I hated the plum puckering of your skin, the stranglehold of heat but now I craved it. I would lay in the chthonic blanket for hours after the water had turned cold. It was the only place where I didn’t think, I would drift but it wouldn’t be anywhere in particular. My happy place was a void, a some[not]where completely detached from my life. My mind was my worst enemy, it would constantly be telling me I sucked. I would envision the future before it happened, it wasn’t a living future, it was an internal manifestation, and it was summed up with large white capital words: YOU SUCK.
You see my second year of Uni, was a precipice where I was expected to start thinking about what I was going to do after I graduated. First year is like an endless summer, where you bake in the golden hues of a never tomorrow. Nothing could possibly hurt you in this first year cocoon, who cares if you had a shitty part time job, you were being educated and you were promised a second womb-coming of security and success, because well that is what they promise don’t they, not in exact words but they damn sure implied it. A suggestion is so powerful, it is a seed that once planted is nourished by how god damn special you are. Your mind fucks the hell out of suggestion, it multiplies and very soon you have a festering family of guarantees.
My fall, second year of uni was like a whispering Iago, a premonitory harbinger for post-uni. Post-uni I wallowed, scared of failure I never learnt to fail and in that sense I failed myself. Remember the game Stuck in the Mud, where you were tagged and had to stand still, until someone free crawled between your legs. Well, life for a little bit was like that game, I was stuck in the mud but it was a mud I had created for myself, to keep my pride safe. I felt completely detached to my younger self, she was fearless–she didn’t mind falling, getting bruised, climbing tall trees, going for long walks through the mangroves and mud.
I was walking past the flight centre one day and noticed cheap one way tickets to San Francisco, for once I was possessed by my fearless younger self and I bought a ticket.
Ah San Francisco my primordial bandage.
San Francisco was for me a year of healing, it was a plaster covering up my festering wound of inadequacy. I could Just Be. Time was stilled. I didn’t have to think about my future career or that I wasn’t pursuing writing. I was absorbing the absurdity of life and all it’s strange creatures. It was at this point I stopped writing my blog, I just couldn’t be bothered frankly. What happened in San Francisco was mine and mine alone. It twas a magical year but I decided to leave San Francisco because “if I stay [t]here I’d never leave.” San Francisco was an enchantress, my Brigadoon, she put me to sleep, but I couldn’t stay asleep, I needed to WAKE UP. I ripped the bandage and decided to take an Antipodean Plunge, not back home to New Zealand but to Melbourne, Australia.
I’m an absolute beginner. At 24, I still don’t know what I want to do. My life has been a series of escapisms so far, ducking from failure. Melbourne has taught me to fail, to say it’s ok to not succeed. Amongst a sea of young professionals who seem to know (but possibly not) what they are doing, I may look like I am drowning but I am actually growing. To learn to fail is to grow. I’m an absolute beginner and that is, for today, fine by me.