And just like that, it’s gone.
Eleven months of 2018. Just about nearing my eighteenth year of being on this planet.
Deciding to take up blogging was not so much in anticipation of gaining a following. It was more that I wanted an archive of my life, some etching-down of this endless stream of voices, for this self that changes so quickly I’m afraid it’ll all slip through my fingers if I didn’t even attempt to put it into words.
“Continue writing whenever it hits you,” Jonathan had said, the instructor of my philosophy course— what is it— now four years ago. It’s strange to think just how much started there, the beginning of many intellectual journeys and sleepless nights, and how much returns to that one letter he wrote me at the end of the course. In fact, that summer was what inspired me to start my writing blog at all, although it was on Tumblr at the time.
“May the shifting truths of your life nevertheless be an atlas of meaning,” he wrote, and I have held that quote to my heart ever since. For it reminds me just how shifting all these truths really are. Everything changes; my soaring happiness on a summer morning, wearing a clean blue shirt and looking, in my head, absolutely radiant, like someone you would pay attention to in a cafe if she was sitting by herself. Or the brooding blackness in my eyes as I ride home in a crowded subway, letting it wash over me again and again, with no resistance, just how anonymous I am. Career aspirations. Relationships that I thought simple. Ambitions I used to crane my neck up at. This young body. Even my Harry Potter house changes.
“Nevertheless”, he wrote. Because he believed that despite all the insanity of this world, we can still find meaning in it. And maybe I can believe that despite every soiled part of my psyche, every jealous, juvenile, materialistic, vain, calculating, narrow-minded, disgusting part of me I’d rather march two steps ahead of and never turn my head to look at, I can still believe that I am a person, and that I would be the same person if almost everything changed, and that I am still a good person.
Isn’t it sad to think that every precious sentiment reeling through my head is commonplace, endlessly reproducible, just another rendition of what a million people have thought before me? Sometimes. Sometimes not. Because it’s beautiful, too, how shared the human experience is.
And now, turning the final corner of this year, I marvel at how okay I am about all these mixed feelings. I think I am, finally, at peace.
So as I built the structure of this blog, it made sense that I titled the posts up to 2017 “flux”. Because I was in such a constant state of rapid change.
2018, then. What to call 2018?
No milestones have been made. But stones, that’s a different idea— something strong, with stamina, and slightly less temporary than most other things. I’ve added some stones to my character. A bit of mettle. One could call it backbone. And I did.
It seems that the new-year reflection is coming a bit too early, but how can I help it, when everything feels just a fingertip away?