I have a confession to make.
Disclaimer: If you know me even moderately well in real life, this won’t be news to you but –
I can become
slightly very unhealthily obsessed with other people.
Just a few minutes ago, I caught myself a few months deep into an old friend’s Instagram account that I’d just discovered. When I tried to pull myself out of the #valencia rabbit hole, more than a few familiar faces flashed past as my phone painstakingly recreated the tenuous links I followed to find my ‘Alice’, seemingly in an effort to remind me of a fact that I’m well aware of: I’m a little bit mad.
Instead of focusing on how intrinsically creepy my behaviour is, I’ve decided that I’m more bothered by how much ‘Alice’ & I’s paths have diverged and all I know about an ex-friend are some pixels on the screen.
Should I be happy that we live in such a narcissistic and technologically advanced society that I’m able to access her life in this way? If it was back in my parents’ time, I would have nothing but fond memories and a colourful imagination but somehow, this feels sadder. Witnessing what feels like intimate moments of someone’s life whilst being fully aware that they’re broadcasted to an audience including strangers makes the experience decidedly less special. This takes an even more sombre turn when you can’t even recall when you’ve become one of the outsiders too.
I know I am too sentimental about it all. This is just one more of the many new concepts I have to come to terms with as I am transitioning into adulthood – I simply don’t have time or space in my heart to hold onto everyone and everything and that hurts.
It’s going to be hard habit to break. I have been a hoarder for the last eighteen years. Stacking my brain from floor to ceiling with the minutiae of every single day, there is too much to tread around that I no longer recall how to live with reckless abandon.
People come and go, and so it goes but the overnight crushes, failed friendships and people that were supposed to fade into afterthoughts still rule my mind and I am scared of spending the rest of my days sorting through what’s already in my head with nostalgia rather than being present.
At the same time, I know that’ll never happen because how I’m living is unsustainable. I am nearing the tipping point and I don’t want to hit system overload when I will have to survive a disaster that I know cannot salvage all of myself from.
This whole situation feels like the first time I was at a beach with black sand and I thought it was so rare that I tried to carry some home but it just kept spilling from the cracks between my fingers. It only got worse when I tried to hold onto the tiny shards of glass and quartz tighter. I don’t know how many handfuls of that worthless sand I tried to carry as I treaded across, guess what, more of the same thing.
I eventually realised the futility of my efforts, said screw this and just enjoyed walking on the beach at sunset but it’s a lot easy to let go when it’s just sand, isn’t it?
I think I’ll always be a little bit of a stalker and a hoarder but I’m willing to drop some of that metaphorical sand. Maybe I’ll be lured back every once in a while and build sandcastles only for the tide to wash them away but I will try my best to spend more time looking at the skies.
I think I can do it: “why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”