on walls

in may of this year, i came to the sudden realization that a good chunk of the things i assumed were true were flat-out wrong. this was all a long time coming, but may of this year is when i finally let go of the tangled mess of a sense of self that i had developed and started from the beginning. you'd think this would be frightening, but it was honestly a huge relief. it felt like waking up from a coma, like i could finally start living life the way i wanted to. i kind of feel like Pink at the end of The Wall, except i went into graduate school instead of becoming a fascist rock star. honestly still not sure which is worse.

the central metaphor of The Wall is one that has resonated with me since i first heard the album at 14. i didn't realize it at the time, but i really had been building up a mental wall to keep the outside world away. every slight, real or perceived (and more often than not it was perceived) became a new brick in the wall, another justification for becoming an isolated misanthrope. this was always a defense mechanism born from fear, and the only way out of it was either for that fear to magically disappear, or to grit my teeth and get over it somehow.

so that's what i did. i smashed the shit out of the wall i had built. this was a time of extreme vulnerability for me, and i thought that it would take me forever to really get back on my feet again. but that's not what happened. once i took down that wall, i found so many people willing to help me. old friends, new friends, family, strangers, you name it. it shocked me to my core. not because this was the first time i ever felt loved, but because of the sheer scale and immediacy of it all.holy shit, is this what people think of me? and it's always been this way? i felt like a world-class fool. i still do. it's genuinely hard to process how much love has been thrown my way that i was just unable to properly appreciate because i was so obsessed with my own warped perception of reality. but that love was there. i honestly don't think i'd even be here if it wasn't always there. thinking about how i would (and sometimes still do) cope with hard times by isolating myself... it still boggles my mind. how could i have done that? why is that still even an impulse? i guess these things take time to fully go away. but i am doing a lot better now.

as this year comes to a close, i wanted to say thank you. thank you to everyone who kept beating their hearts against some mad bugger's wall. thank you for loving me when i couldn't even love myself. thank you for seeing what you see in me, regardless of what that is. i don't think i could ever express my gratitude properly even if i spent the rest of my lifetime bowing my head while saying "thank you" over and over again. i love you all. thank you.