This reflection was written on the twenty-fifth day of NaNoWriMo in 2020.
I do not know why I do not meditate more often. I know that it would help my mental health — I always feel so much better about myself, and much more centered in general when I meditate, but for some reason I never let myself get in the habit.
Honestly, I think that is the main thing. I never let myself get into habits. The most consistent thing about me is my inconsistency. All my life I have thrived on instability and chaos. And by “thrived” I mean that instability and chaos are all that I have ever known. I have always been physically safe. I have always had a warm place to stay and food to eat and people who cared about me and took care of me the many times I have been ill or injured. And yet the location and the circumstance and sometimes even the people themselves shifted, and I have struggled with psychological trauma.
Recently I discovered personal romantic heartbreak for the first time and I was shocked by how it was both eerily familiar and unlike anything I had ever felt before. It is amazing in the worst way how someone can be a consistent feature in your life and then suddenly be gone. There is an anger and a sadness and a deep, resentful, agonizing rage, and I was amazed to realize I’d felt it all before, but rearranged, as though my life is a puzzle where I’m constantly learning and relearning how the shifting pieces fit together, break apart, and back together again.
I am almost twenty-five, and so this is the time where some people are thinking I should be settling down and others are thinking I should be using my freedom to explore the world. Not that there is much world exploration to be done during a pandemic. That would obviously be on hold for the moment. It feels like the whole world is on pause, except it is not, is it? Things are still moving, even though it feels like they shouldn’t be. So much has happened in so little time that I feel like I’m screaming at the conductor to hit the brakes but the train is careening onward, full steam ahead.
I’ve been reading books and articles and fanfiction like they are all candy, hoping that by imbuing my brain with the words of others I can find something of my own to say, but all the same I feel… speechless. I listen to music pound in my ears, but every new song, as much as I delight in it becomes just noise. It is only when I meditate that I truly get to know myself, and I think that might be why I refuse to do it. Knowing myself is scary. Knowing what I want out of life is scary, when the world is so tumultuous and is built into a system of overlapping zero-sum games that make me feel like wishing for my own success is synonymous with wishing for someone else’s failure.
When I do meditate, I often focus on the symbol I have tattooed on my right forearm. Ouroboros. A snake eating its own tail, symbolizing the everlasting cycle of life and death. An infinite loop unto itself. With so much death recently, it has been hard not to have it weigh on me. And at the same time there continues to be new and young life in this world which lives and thrives, and that gives me hope, more than anything else.