There I was, emptying the laundry basket and pairing up all of the socks, when I stumbled across just what this whole thing reminds me of. By “whole thing,” of course, I mean life.
Can you remember back in grade school, when a teacher would call in sick and you’d get a substitute teacher for a day or two? There were some substitutes who were really gung-ho about their job, and when they took the helm, it was basically like nothing had changed. You’d still have a coherent lesson plan and homework, the whole nine. But every now and then you’d end up with a substitute teacher who was basically just a placeholder. She’d sit at the desk, looking vaguely bored (and maybe a little frightened), and the class would spend the entire period pretending to do some busy work, but really writing notes and doodling in the margins, whatever.
I’m not saying I wasn’t like other kids; there were times when I celebrated in this kind of time wastage. It was always fun when the substitute would show a movie, or give us art exercises. But most of the time I hated the empty space. It always reeked of “waiting around.” Everyone was waiting for the next thing. Now was pointless. The busy work wasn’t going to get counted towards your grade, other than maybe towards participation. No one wanted to be there, and everyone knew it. You were all stuck together, sharing the same time suck against your wills, waiting for lunch, or recess, or the bus ride home, whatever came next. Even math class was preferable to the emptiness of substitute hell.
Anyway, that’s what this feels like. Empty. Endless. Monotonous. I’m tired of being here. It is pointless to exist, and at the heart of it, I believe that there is nothing else but this pointlessness. How disappointing.
But ultimately, this realization is what I’ve been trying to get to, I believe. An understanding of what was at my core, what I’ve been overlooking, blanketed as it was by the symptoms of my anxiety and comforted by my food addiction. Now that I can feel it properly, I know that it’s something I’ve felt before, and tried to ignore (many times, in fact). But I’m a different person this time, so I’ll try a new approach. I’ll try being mindful of this big empty closet that is life, and see if I can put a few things into it, to make the void seem a little less like an echo chamber. To find a way to be comforted, and to comfort, until I can finally be done with being.