Trying To Be Better

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Trying To Be Better

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I’m tired of the fake shit. I’m tired of everyone competing online, only showing the highlights, only showing the good parts. I always wanted this to be a place where we talk about real things. And in some ways, I’ve strayed from that a little bit. So, I want to get back to being authentic.

And with that, I had a few bad days recently. Over these days I kept a journal of thoughts and these are some of those. They highlight insecurities, feelings of loneliness, among other things. I’m doing fine now. But I wanted to show that I’m not always doing okay. I think there is an assumption that my mental health is always good because I Talk about it so often. But the reality is, I talk about it so often because my mental health fluctuates so much.

I keep having dreams of alternate realities.

In many of them I am happier than I am here. My back isn’t always so sore. I don’t feel so insecure, so filled with pressure like my heart’s about to burst, I’ve been having chest pains for years but hopefully they’ll just go away once I hit the next goal. After the next achievement I’ll be happy but this is never true. In the other places I stare at the sky and this is enough. I’m jealous of how simple it could be. I have memories that don’t belong to me, like I snuck into the back of a theatre and stole some art.

Sometimes I nap just to disappear into another life for an hour and change. Funny how we fear death but love sleep, two branches of them same plant. It’s not nothing, you see, the end. It’s not nothing. You become nothing here to experience every other path you could have walked. And sometimes, if we’re lucky, we get to walk these roads while we’re still here. We oscillate between worlds, exist in both simultaneously. And every time I do this, I am jealous of how simple it can be to find peace.

Since arriving back here, to my new home, I have felt unanchored. We always think distance will make the problems smaller. But they come along with us. They hide between the rolled pairs of socks and headphones. No one looks up at the moon and feels pity for it, we have to imagine a man up there before we can consider it to be a lonely place. I often wonder if lonely places and can feel their own loneliness, if it seeps into the consciousness within it. I can’t feel the way others do, I always feel without, unanchored, floating. Like the moon. And so I think it must feel like a lonely place because we are the same, and I feel empty most of the time.

I don’t mind if people unfollow me for the most part. Social media, ultimately, is not real. I do, however, care when people I like choose to opt out. Because it feels more pointed. People I know, who I have cared about, choosing to remove me from their digital lives is upsetting. And I don’t want to pretend that it isn’t.

Often it is women I used to have some sort of romantic intertwining with. Things that didn’t work out. And I understand their desire to remove me, to move on, to forget about me. But this understanding doesn’t stop it from stinging. Some of them, I let down. I understand their disdain. Feelings left me and I never told some of them, I just faded and we stopped talking. I could have handled things a lot better.

Sometimes I am given out to. ‘You never texted me,’ as if it is my sole obligation to start conversations. But they never texted me either. They refused to text, let ego and pride stop them from doing so. So when things fizzle, it is my fault somehow, rather than a shared blame. And it is always a shared blame, but pride shrouds this truth from us. And so when another woman from my past unfollows, I understand, but I do feel hurt. I haven’t always been a good man. I have never claimed to have been so, either.

I’m trying to be better. And I think this trying, is uncharitably taken as a claim that I have always been good, always had integrity, always been upstanding. And I have not been. But they see me trying and think it means I am trying to ignore any misdeeds. I see my mistakes and accept them, but I refuse to settle on the past.

Here’s the thing. I am trying to live in the light. Desperately, I am trying. Leading people on is not good for anyone. It hurts them, it hurts me. I become a person I do not like. I am working against my nature, to live in the light. And I know this.

I don’t wish to dismiss my transgressions. They plague me, keep me up at night, cause me self-contempt. So if you feel I have not been punished for what I have done, or not done, I have. If I turned cold on you, this has never been personal. If I suddenly felt different, shifted energy, without communicating, I acknowledge this.

I should have given you the respect of an explanation. I’ve always run from the hardness of a difficult conversation. It is easier for you to hate me without my knowing than it is to let you down firmly. This is weakness. I have been weak. I know this. You deserve more, and I should be better. I am trying to be better. I am trying to be better.

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