Essays

It’s Like Coming up for air

Today it felt like the ball and chain has been taken off of my foot and I feel like a heavy weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I feel grateful for writing because though it opened a can of worms, I was able to take out the trash and gain clarity because I was forced to really look inside of me and confront some of my truths that I normally would’ve just swept under the rug.

Everyday for the past two weeks, I had to delve deeper into my truths in order for me to write genuinely about them and I realised that being in love with a person and being in love with the idea of a person are not the same thing. Sometimes, the idea that you have of a person is not who they really are in real life. We get so blinded with what we feel that we would make up excuses for them because inventing an idea of them and falling in love with it is so much easier than being alone.

I find myself making excuses for him like “Oh, give him some time, he’s probably going through a rough patch,” while the rational part of me is smirking on the corner telling me “Yeah, like he’s going to try harder next week.” Now that I see the bigger picture, I find it hilarious to the point of incredulity because I keep asking myself, how did I become so blind? Even a third grader would know that that’s not how things are supposed to be. And the logical part of myself is shouting now, “Honey, he’s never going to try harder because he’s lazy. If he can’t even do it for himself, then what makes you think he’s going to do it for you?”

I realised that I have formed this idea of him in mind that is nowhere near who he really is in real life because I have seen the red flags and I have ignored them. Now that I look back on the red flags, I realised that he might be a chronic, compulsive liar and that he might not be ambitious enough. He might be a good person, I’ll give him that, but is that really enough? I mean, everyone can be a good person. Everyone should be a good person.

Coming up with those realisations made me feel like I’ve been submerged underwater for a good five minutes and now I am finally allowing myself to come up for air. Sweet, sweet air that fills my burning lungs and now I can breathe. The peace of mind knowing that I won’t have to worry anymore on what I should do or what I should say because there is nothing left to do and there is nothing left to say. He’s never going to try harder, so why should I? It all makes perfect sense now.

Although I find it weird that no one is pacing inside my mind anymore. My mind is now a vacant room, stripped clean and devoid of clutter, and is ready for the next occupant. It feels strange to actually think only about what’s happening now, and not about some distant person you really don’t know anything about.

I remember those times when I was a kid, when I still did swimming, and I had to do the strokes perfectly while ignoring the burning of my eyes and the rush of chlorinated water into my nostrils which would eventually spill into my throat. The struggle of having to move fast against the water and the occasional cramp are all worth it when you finally touch that tiled wall and gleefully realise that you beat your previous record and you come up out of the water, and you breathe in that sweet, sweet air. Nothing beats that glorious feeling of finally coming up for air. And now many, many years later, although I can’t swim like that anymore, I am still finding myself coming up for air and it still feels marvellous.

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