The first real bite of winter is swirling outside in the form of white dust on wet pavement and there is the formation of a breath for the eyes to see. The cold has arrived I have to take a moment to slow down to appreciate the stillness that the air is holding today. I just said to someone earlier that I didn’t feel like I was ready for winter, so why does it feel like the cold has been around for a while? Maybe I’ve been secretly waiting for it. Maybe it never left. All I’ve been doing the last two days has been waiting…but for what? Answers to the questions of confusion I can’t seem to stop asking? Like a pang of hunger that only lasts for a moment; reminding you you’re a human. Ignore it long enough and it might go away. But what if it doesn’t? What if the thought of what you desired started to consume you and nothing tasted sweet anymore? I try to resist it all the time, but usually end up falling to temptation to satisfy the idea that I am the conductor of my life. What an untold lie that idea has become. I make decisions and create circumstances, yes…but I am making those decisions based off what comes into my existence; and that is not within my control. If it was, I would know exactly what was going to happen to me in the future moments that have yet to happen and the simple truth is that I don’t have the ability to know what these things will be. I can try to guess or hope to know, but that only creates an expectation and based off my past experiences with expectations, it’s better just not to have them at all.
Disappointment is a shitty feeling and will always come hand in hand with expectations if things don’t go the way you want them to. We are really great at creating these amazing, idealistic situations or people in our heads, aren’t we? It’s unfortunate that they aren’t always comparable to one another. I’ve consistently felt confusion and despair when what I think was going to happen doesn’t end up manifesting into my reality. Lately my head has been trying to tell me one thing, giving me logic to try and reason with myself to accept certain things are the way they are. Any action I take won’t change the outcome. Then there’s my heart whispering something different…telling me secrets of all the things unseen. Which one do I choose to follow? Head or heart…I can’t decide. The moon is void of course and direction and so am I. I have been emotionally confused, physically sluggish and mentally fatigued too often lately. Inconsistent and detached from reality; not having a place to plant my feet, floating along with nothing to grasp. I let the feeling of non-control take over and engulf me to a point where I’m spinning in every direction and don’t know how to move forward…
Look what you’ve gone and done.
Filling my head with thoughts,
ideas to succumb.
I’m losing my ability to see what’s real,
Through your words I’ve come to feel.
But I’m living in an illusion,
While everything around me deforms into delusion.
And there you (I) go again.
Looking at me with your face of pretend.
Pulling me into the story of your pain.
Tell me…what is it you are looking to gain?
Smiling in the eyes of a mirror.
Gazing further in attempt to see things clearer.
So tell me the truth.
Of all the things that you don’t want to embrace.
Are you running scared from the things you don’t want to face?
These pictures you’ve painted
Leave questions of myself strewn on the floor.
Guiding my directionless direction
In my search for more.
And here I am,
Chasing the infinity.
While confusion sets in and warps my sense of this vicinity.
I see two arrows flash green in opposite directions…
But I still think the light is red.
Poem by Kirsten Toth
Photograph by Kirsten Toth
It was over before it even started…
Do you ever feel like this? Something in your life gains even the slightest amount of traction and for a brief pause of a moment, you sit there and think to yourself this what I’ve been waiting for…or I’m finally feeling good about this…And that’s about as long as it takes to completely dissipate into nothing right in front of you. You are left bewildered, anxious and heartbroken with the reality that the things you were working tirelessly to acquire are now no longer yours. The potential for you to achieve this thing you want is erased and sinks back into being a far-off dream. A shift occurs and you are left to figure out the next step and choose a new direction. Direction in of itself is an interesting concept; does anyone ever really feel they have a full confident grasp on the direction they are headed? Or will there always be a small knot of doubt lingering at the root core of all of us? Is that what keeps us moving in any direction at all? Always looking for “what’s next”. I guess if one becomes content with where they are, they wouldn’t find it necessary to choose a direction; they are simply along for the ride where life is happening to them and all they can do is react. Read and react. Something happens and a reaction takes place…and by reacting it causes the next “thing” to happen and you react again…situation = reaction = situation = reaction…are you dizzy yet?
What if I want life to happen for me, not to me? Instead of being a bystander to the events of my life, I am conscious of each decision I make to form the path and direction I take. I’m the captain of my ship and as I head out to sea…I know where the waves will take me I know where I want to go and how to get there. I’m feeling confident and self-assured and I’m in control…But did I bothered to take a minute and think of all the unforeseen things that are inevitable to happen? The waves will never be consistent and easy to maneuver and there will always be the unexpected. So I guess I’ll let you know where I end up after all the storms have passed; until the next one comes, at least.
This idea of control is merely an illusion to the simple fact that no matter what you choose, shit is still going to get thrown at you. You will get knocked down, fail, doubt yourself, be hurt by other people and possessions will break (like my computer did in the middle of writing this piece…). These are the inevitable realities and situations we experience all the time. So why are we tirelessly trying to make things easier on ourselves by painting this idea in our own heads that we have any control over anything past the second of time that is happening right now in the present moment, or anything that resides outside of ourselves? We don’t even have control over our own emotions or thoughts. Although, we should still take note of the times where we need to take ownership and responsibility for the things we do and say. You’re still the master of how you react. All I’m saying is if we let our need to control what happens to us or the events in our lives consume us, then we run the risk of disconnecting with the flow of life as a whole. Letting go of control will give you your power back, not take it away. If you can trust in the realization that even if we make a decision and feel in control, there really is no existence of control at all; it remains a simple idea.
If control doesn’t really exist, then what mindset is needed to ultimately live as close as possible to having a still and peaceful mind? I’m going to try something different this time. It’s the time for my void of control. This way of “being” is not productive anymore; what I’m doing now and what I did in the past just isn’t cutting it anymore. What isn’t working? Where am I lacking? Where can I improve? I have to dig deep for these answers and reflect on which of my responses is outside of myself and which are things I can choose from a place within myself. Each time I slow down and think about this, it gives me the ability to let go a little bit more of my need to control my situations in order to feel comfortable and at ease. Even if we can come to accept that control is an obsolete and idealistic idea of how our lives will unfold, at least we can try to perceive our ability to differentiate the things we do have influence over within ourselves. Maybe then we will be able to loosen our grip a little, relax those shoulders and just…
Hold control to lose control
Give up control, or it will control you.
You only control you.
We are out of our own control.
“Fatal Gift” by Emily Haines (on repeat while writing this post)