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It is easy for me to get lost in the fray of the seen world, prioritizing performance over experience. The newness of vulnerably creating public artifacts reminds me of this, as I find myself distracted and sullen with counts and views. The ground under my feet shakes as it births walls of fear.

In a breath, I am reoriented back to my creation’s prime directive.

I have used a tremendous amount of life force building an admirable life in the seen world. College educated career woman and mom. Good marriage, respectable career, nice house, affluent neighborhood, cared for children… And yet, finding at each summit satisfaction moving farther and farther away. My body breaking down more and more. The path ahead appearing increasingly urgent and treacherous.

Donning the coveted I don’t know how she does it badge, I always continued on. Surely, wholeness is just beyond the next ridge. One foot in front of the other, motivation imperceptibly transforming form desire to fear to rage. The farther I trek, the more boxes I check, the tighter I squeeze those accolades, the higher and hotter the flame. Until I am completely engulfed.

It becomes undeniable that I cannot continue on like this. The comfortable walls of expectation are undeniably closing in. Suddenly upside down becomes right side up and I thrash desperately to orient myself. I broadcast from this new place sermons of nihilism, desperate for validation and finding none.

Exhausting every other option and myself, I surrender to the reality I resisted my entire life. I exist in a space that very few can or want to see. The efforts to resist are just a drain. The efforts to anchor my peace in the reflections of others, futile.

I do not live in the place I should. I live in the place I am. And it is time to make it a home. So, I create where I live and publish where I should, stabbing my mirrors into the sand like surfboards. Reclaiming my realness alone in this primitive space.

I say this and compassionate eyes squint in pain at the word “alone”. But this should not be confused for isolation. This is my path to connection.

Barking at the world to validate my experience like a rabid dog and withering in petulance and betrayal when I remain unsatisfied, sows the seeds of disconnection. Snuffs Eros. Eliminates possibility. Closes my heart. Weakens my spine.

I am taking back the responsibility of satiating the cravings of my Self, my experience, my body. I will no longer outsource my worth, my trust, my reality. My creations forgive the unpaid debt between me and the world that I cannot find my reflection in.

And I wonder, is this the intersection of dissonance? The lack of evidence of my angst in the performed world and the lack of joy in my experienced world? Does it lie in my disavowal these uncharted lands because I found them, and they were not shown to me? Did denial petrify the betrayal?

Is this the relentless quest? Does a relentless pursuit for satisfaction qualify? The inability to ignore the din of dissonance? Or is it the indomitable will to breach the caul of fear and pain over and over and over? Even if for a mirage? To keep moving after every failure, even if propelled by rage?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that the sand perpetually quickens under my feet and the harder I try to pin down those grains, the farther I sink. When I stop resisting, I float into the fireworks. The fear melts and possibility explodes.

So, for now, this is where I will make my home. On my own.

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