**Author's Note: mostly looking for whether this autobiographical work is interesting enough to continue, as well as punctuation mistakes/alternatives :)**
Young Lady in a Fishbowl
It is almost a survival instinct to deny personal life regret, but when you emerge from a bedroom in a house in a small town to a world of strangers who swoosh by without a second glance, the regret starts to laugh at you. It laughs and laughs and laughs from all around, until the intensity of it burns like ice pressed onto bare skin.
Am I too young to regret? I think that’s a remarkably unhelpful question.
At one ambiguous point in time I possessed enough pride to misidentify this comfortable trap as “reclusive soul-searching”, and in some sense it was, but I have since been stripped down in the most gentle of ways. No one warns you about the kind threats, the maternal thoughts that console and forgive and offer sweetness instead of personal power.
My wavering female palms reach out to the world – the smiling people before me, the lights, the noise, the things I don’t understand, the tall buildings, anything “out” – only to grasp a mirage of closeness.
I never fathomed how unfathomably lonely a single existence could be until now. Really. This face of loneliness is immortal, and it is terrifying.
I am twenty years old. Something about that number has changed me, as if I have become a puzzle space reshaped to fit the piece marked with that represented age. I didn’t feel this way at nineteen, nor eighteen… especially at eighteen.
My past is dull like the stairs I wore out between high school classrooms, floating back and forth until I forgot who I was and where I was going. My eighteen-year-old self wriggled impatiently within her private school uniform, longing for the horizon at the end of the graduating year.
This longing was not all good, I’ll have you know. In many aspects this horizon looked awfully similar to the edge of an impending waterfall, and what came after it was either resurrecting hope or doom in descending slow motion. Either way, it was something new and destined, and I longed for it the way Shakespeare characters long for a noble yet tragic death.
But this is no angst-ridden tragedy. It is a story of contradictions and consequences of all flavours for being a young person who is alive and who makes choices… even if that choice is indecisiveness.
Because I got out of that place. I graduated from the mandatory school fishbowl I’d known for most of my life – not spectacularly, but enough to pass. For right or for wrong, I busted out of there and seldom looked back – and here is where this adult story begins.
This is a story about a young lady of the 21st Century who likes to stay home a lot. Some may say a little too much… however that is but one fishbowl perspective. It took me a couple of years to realise we all live inside unique fishbowls, even in adulthood. These fishbowls are constructed out of habit and commitment, and can trap us for years and years – potentially our entire lives. This makes us all very much the same and forever amiss from each other.
Not to put the blame on fishbowls, but they can drown you with regret and make you mindless, until one of your attempts to escape flails outward and latches onto something else.
Or fishbowls can be so beautiful at times that all you can do is cry in bright, sparkling colours.
***Find the continuation at my blog page: Young Lady in a Fishbowl