I don’t understand how some people can’t see all the options that lay before them. We have free will and we make decisions every day: we are the choices that we make, both consciously and unconsciously, are we not?
Today is the summer solstice and in the cozy, rosy room that I let occupy the majority of the active space in my mind, that means today is the symbolic beginning of the most joyful time of year. The vernal equinox may prompt the rebirth of everything green, but in summer, life reaches its apex. For whatever reasons (and the pit of my stomach reminds me that there are several) I don’t feel the exuberance I seem to think I should. Summer is fullness. Summer is dog days of unexamined joie de vivre. Summer is the gift of Time for recuperation from the year past, for the celebration of now, for the pursuit of Greater Things. But at this moment, I only feel an empty uneasiness at the thought of the next 3 months, and the potential they have to either fly like the flap of an insect’s wings, or drag like an unwilling child’s heels through dirt.
The disconnect between my rational brain and my irrational everything else seems especially harsh lately, as though I am being punished for wanting to distinguish between the two. Perhaps I am. I find myself, and those around me, constantly acting against their better judgement, in ways of various magnitudes. The more I think about it, the more I think about Joan Didion’s memory of being twenty-eight: “That was the year…when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and every procrastination, every word, all of it.”
I can’t tell what part of me wants to believe that this summer doesn’t count, but I do want to believe it, wholly and fully. It doesn’t feel like the apex of life – it feels like a season of transition, signifying change of overwhelming proportions. I am troubled by the nagging belief that I am not adapting as well as I can. I am capable of acting like the adult I know I now technically am, but instead choose to hide in the humid summer heat, letting a haze of mediocrity envelope me. I can feel this lack of motivation maturing into slothfulness at an alarming rate, and it’s terrifying.
But then, everything is. I see all the options, all the decisions that demand to be made, and I don’t want to make them. I suppose no one really does. But now, I am vaguely conscious at all times that every choice matters. Everywhere I turn it seems I see nothing but duality: two parts struggling for balance, for control. I want that balance, and all the beauty of life that balance indicates. But I don’t know how to make the choices that will lead to it.
I should probably stop thinking and just do it. Whatever “it” may be.