Do dogs ever realize they’re chasing their own tail? Round and round in hilarious circles, jaw snapping to catch that elusive flash of fur. It’s always funny to watch them spiral about madly. But in my case, I didn’t realize I was pretty much doing the same thing: running after my own shadow.
It wasn’t as humorous when I noticed (well, in a self-deprecating way I guess). But I’ve been chasing my shadow, desperate to grab hold of its sable mass and fit myself into the vestiges of who I once was.
That sort of desire was so irrational — so pointless — but I kept panting after it. Cried for it. Because I was convinced that within it were the parts of myself that I no longer had. The best parts of me. I couldn’t write like I had once before and the more I felt that way, the more something inside me began to crack.
I was hit with this notion that I’d already exhausted what I liked doing. All the ink flooding my veins had dried up. Writing — trying to write — made no sense anymore.
I still doodled though. Still scribbled words in a clumsy manner, like a nervous hand pouring juice and missing the glass, splashing liquid all over a table. I kept writing one line over and over: what would it be like to reemerge from obscurity? And I couldn’t answer that question, because I still felt completely buried beneath this new ineptitude.
But then, there was a moment of clarity. It ricocheted through my head and shot itself all the way down to my stomach. It came with a warm feeling that eclipsed my resignation to just put away the books.
What I came to understand is that there’s a process of shedding bits and pieces of yourself. It’s never been limited to the physical; our inner selves go through it too. And our methods of expression change overtime. Nothing stays the same the more we do something, because we start to grow. And growth doesn’t always feel right in some cases. It can be painful, sometimes so scary that we want to reject it.
But if you follow the path and keep trying, squeezing through the walls threatening to crush your will, you’ll make it to the other side of an experience nothing short of exhilarating. It’s never a matter of “If” you make it, in this case, only “when”.
I wrote this for whomever reads this and may be going through something similar and may need a little encouragement. Just keep moving forward. Keep writing. You will make it.