Living Uncertainty: Thoughts in Progress
Inside. I’ve gotten used to it now, living inside. Before this, the quarantine, I felt stuck somewhere
in the depths of my mind and for the last three years, I’ve been afraid to write.
But this is not writer’s block.
The uncertainty of events and outcomes has always made me anxious. I’m afraid of my voice, the voice in my head. I’m afraid of a voice outside of my head. I’m afraid of entering the unthought
zone. These unexpected circumstances have given time and space for me to notice the thoughts
moving with me, in me. To uncover the silenced noise pulsating over the course of our busy lives and this buried voice of mine, the tension in my body waiting to escape.
I’ve been living in my head a lot and I’ve been hating it. Alone, with strangers or friends, I tend to
feel detached. Detached from the present, drawn to distant memories, trusting my own fears. The fear keeps me in. I guess some of us tend to hide from our insides.
There was a time, back when I was still living in my hometown of Montreal, I would always write the thoughts roaming in my mind. In between the four grey walls of my bedroom, on subway rides in the old STM trains, even during class when I would feel or think of something and had to write it down. If someone would have asked for my notes, they’d probably just see my thoughts all around them. I don’t know how or why I wasn’t afraid. Recently, I have to force myself to write. It feels strange to admit because I chose to pursue writing. But I guess something in me changed sometime along the way.
I’ve been afraid of writing. Afraid because I don’t know what to say. Afraid if I say something, I won’t say it right. Afraid of the thoughts in my head, they never seem to make sense. I have been inside my head but trapped amongst thoughts I simply could not grasp. Perhaps I crave control.
When you look for a way out, not being able to find it makes you feel miserable and it’s what you think about the most. Your body desperately wants you to escape, your heart’s always racing, waiting for an opportunity to breathe in. Reality slips out of your head and you’re trying to control something that has outgrown you and your thoughts. You feel like you’ve become someone you’re not. The truth is, you can’t predict when the perfect moment will appear. You’re inside, always staring out, waiting for answers to arrive.
I tried to simply live in the moment, let the stream flow, quietly. I tried staying away, breathing in the gap. No trials, no errors. Living in a void. Avoiding the questions, the thoughts overloading my
head. Leaving the page blank. But I’ve only created more space, allowed enough time for my longing for words to grow. But my voice won’t even crack under pressure.
Inside the one-bedroom apartment I’ve been living in since I moved to Toronto in
2017, I notice the walls are also painted grey. I can see the sun shining through the cracks of the blinds. It’s been maybe a week that I haven’t stepped outside. I never thought I’d find myself thinking in the unthought zone.
I’ve noticed my furniture catching dust sooner than I’d like for it to happen, that sleeping
longer won’t make me less tired and that taking a shower in the afternoon helps me move
through the remaining hours of the day. I’ve noticed that I skip meals when I’m stressed and that there are times I know and pretend I forget. I’ve noticed all the anger towards myself. I’ve noticed that love saves - love saves the few bits of self I have left in me. I hear my neighbors turning on the radio when the sun is rising. The sound vibrates through the concrete walls, but I can drain the noise and sleep through it. I’ve noticed I haven’t sung in a while - I don’t want anyone to hear me. I’ve been calling my mother and can hear her smile through the phone when we talk about music. I’ve found discomfort in how my silence speaks.
Life will hold more unknowns, the heart will keep on remembering old wounds, the ones we haven’t touched.
Staring into the bathroom mirror, it hits me how much I’ve grown. I know I shouldn’t have to fear so much and trust a little more like I did many times before.
And when I write, I write in fragments for I doubt what it is exactly I’m trying to say. Too many thoughts I haven’t thought about. Too many unrealistic expectations I’ve set for myself. As an overthinker, you can imagine the worst, but as a writer you can think beyond. The noise in your head, the silence in the room. The things you either focus too much on or never really notice. Writing brings you into the unthought zone. Though mostly confusing and even embarrassing
for trying to understand such a heavy load, you can write more confidently when you allow yourself to wander in your thoughts. The words will be there, wherever you might be.
So here I am, noticing my body tensing up in front of a page. There’s no point in waiting, my voice can finally break.
I’ll keep writing because I need to make sense of my mindscape. To calm my body. To move through doubt with a little less fear. This kind of knowledge can set you free and keep you writing.
It’s scary, breaking the silence. It’s scary breaking out of my head and into my voice. But I’m in the unthought zone or perhaps I’m right where it begins, I don’t know. What I know is that this is just the beginning, the rebeginning of my voice.
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