ESCAPISM: Turbulence

Taking in the fresh air and the coolness of the evening breeze, it seemed cruel that, in the midst of admiring the beauty in nature, I am reminded of the bitter reality I can’t seem to escape. What is reality, if you ask? I don’t know: you tell me. 

As if the world only asks me to fall, only endless darkness.

At times, I recognize the darkness. Sometimes it feels familiar, even in pitch black, I could make of myself better than when I am standing in bright light. As ironic as it sounds, sometimes the darkness feels terrifying to walk in. What if I fall into an abyss and never come out of it? 

At the end of this road, where should we be? What should we become, in what form?

The thing is, I don’t even know who I am most of the time. I show pieces of myself to those I call my friends, but none would ever come close to knowing the real me. But how can they? How much of my authentic self have I shown to them, anyway? I wouldn’t be able to guess. If I can’t recognize my true self, how would I know and love myself for it? 

I’m already overwhelmed to be myself barely, is anyone listening? 

What is my purpose?

I may look like I have figured out things that I want in my life, maybe only a few aspects, but trust me, I don’t know what else I should look for. Call me ridiculous, but I don’t have hopes for the future. Some may not believe in the world ending, but I do. It’s not like I have a choice but to ignore it, how can I? 

So then I ask: Why am I here in this world if I’m going to witness its destruction and then be judged for the choices I made here?

I don’t know how I came to be, maybe somewhere, at some point in my formative years, I lost sight of myself. 

Can someone just embrace me?

And so, I cling to whatever temporary form the world can offer for now. Fictional world, stories, music, food, cats, and a few people I still care about. Fleeting as they may be, they’re the closest I can taste of what it means to be alive. Alive and breathing. Capable of feeling emotions, though it seemed that I can only feel too much or none at all. 

But of course, how can I forget writing? I still have reservations about calling myself a true writer, if all I could write (and share) is my suffering. And yet, if I hadn’t been able to form words, I don’t think I would be sane enough to go through what little I have in life at this point. 

At the end of this road, if we must become something in this form, I hope to be myself.

I’m sorry dear reader if you leave feeling drained after reading this. I just have to get this off my chest, however much I can, though I don’t think I’ll ever be free from this. But if you are like me and are still finding your true self, I hope you know you’re not alone in this. I know we’ll be okay. Hang in there, alright?

I hope you feel the same way, it’s okay to be here, just as we are, just like now tonight.

Written by Elly Zulaikha

Photos by Shawn Wong

Design by Megan Ching

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