Sometimes writing things down can be a kind of therapy. A way to empty out all my thoughts, clear my head, and make sense of some of the loose ends. So today, I’m writing something I need to read myself. The other day, I was feeling a little similar to Charlotte in Lost in Translation, someone who ultimately wasn’t really being neglected by someone else, but was actually neglecting or not acknowledging a part of herself. (I included a clip from the movie above, a beautiful scene that happens to include one of my favorite songs by Air).
Isolation is something I’ve fought feeling and understanding for quite some time now. Just recently have I allowed myself to acknowledge that I’ve been feeling this in my subconscious for years. Not all the time, but just enough to let it silently throw me off kilter sometimes. It’s a difficult feeling to put to words, but I’m guessing there might be thousands of other people out there that will instantly understand my sentiments here without me writing another character. It’s not really about wishing things were different, because I’m extremely happy where I am in life today. It’s more about a silent state of mind that hits periodically; a reflective, almost anxious but not quite, tingling that tries telling me I shouldn’t venture out too far because I’m different. Really different. By nature. Once recently, I let this feeling slip over me and talk me out of going for a day trip alone, trying to eat out at a restaurant I really missed, and just exploring somewhere I’d never been before. I wasn’t afraid of the possibility of getting sick from food, having an allergic reaction, or getting lost. I just felt a melancholy thought that if anything happened, no one would understand or could understand. “How could they understand?” I thought. Sometimes I didn’t even understand what I was reacting to and still slip up in my own kitchen at times. I realized how very wrong I was to let this deter me. This day trip represented more than just a day trip. It’s living life.
I think periodic feelings of isolation began for me when I started to feel the physical symptoms of chronic disease some 5 years ago. I felt stabs of mortality, pain, fear, anxiety, and sadness before all my diagnoses. I truly felt alone for the first time in my life, even though everyone around me was trying to help. Since then, I’ve overcome so many obstacles and I’m proud of how far I’ve come. Things have changed drastically for the better. I will never complain about the blessings that many severe food allergies and Celiac disease have brought me and these things ultimately taught me great lessons and great joy. I will never curse them away. But I’ve changed so much as a person through this journey, I don’t quite recognize who I was before all of this happened. Sometimes it results in a more reserved, reflective form of myself who shys away from uncertainty. These waves of isolation represent more than I think they do though. Maybe I’ve been thinking about this all wrong. Feeling isolated is not the same thing as feeling different. Isolation is really something you create yourself. It is not just a byproduct of circumstance. It is a closed state of mind, an un-celebration, if you will, of what makes you bold and beautiful. Maybe isolation isn’t that you think other people won’t understand you, but that you aren’t fully understanding yourself.
I’m mainly writing this down so I don’t forget what I’m now understanding, however rambled sounding it may be. Isolation is a choice. It can be a detriment, or it can be a catalyst to challenge the status-quo of your own life. If I had given in to feelings of isolation before, would I have ever reached out and started this blog? No. Would I be snapping photos and contributing to a magazine I love? No. Would I be a freelance writer? Certainly not. Today, I’m using this understanding to go even further towards what I might be unsure of and what might seem challenging to me.
I was just going to end this post on that note, by was struck by a strong memory. In one of the first conversations I ever had with my now fiance, he said something simple yet profound.
Life isn’t waiting, so neither am I.
Funny how fragments of life well lived come back in the moments when you really need to see them the most.