Have you ever experienced a moment so intense or unexpected that it feels as if you can feel the vibrations of fear and anxiety?
I don’t mean physically, per se, although that might also be true. What I am referring to is like how it feels when you look at this image:
Two things are immediately juxtaposed that your brain cannot rationalize.
I imagine that is how a lot of people felt right after the election, how they still feel about it, how I felt as well. Like my lifelong experience told me something was completely impossible, and then it happened. Maybe like watching a magic trick that is so realistic it actually frightens you instead of dazzles you. An experience that is too real to be fake but not possibly true.
Except it is true. That is what makes it so difficult to swallow, what intensifies those vibrations.
When an unexpected reality becomes clear, and sharply contrasting to everything you thought you knew it can really throw you of course, right?
I imagine you’ve experienced this many times as well. You woke up knowing that you had a secure job only to be fired that day. And part of what you think about is how long this had been planned. How many people discussed your future before you had any idea? Who fought for you, who fought against you? Was there anything you could’ve done to change it?
This gets deeper for everyone too, of course. The big questions about life, our deepest insecurities give off these vibrations. What am I worth? Does anyone truly love me? Why am I here? Where am I going?
And people hate to experience this vibration. Isn’t this why we so commonly reject objective fact to favor our opinion and bias? The reality that what we have believed so strongly for so long not being true is much too difficult for people. The vibration given off can feel earth shattering. Simply rejecting it is easier and faster than riding out the vibration until you accept a new reality.
This is a large part of my daily experience. My brain tells me that things that are not possible are happening all around me every day. And the most surprising of those things, the hardest to grasp, those send me into the darkest and deepest spirals.
The experience in my life that I cannot ever wrap my head around is that not only am I not as brilliant and successful as everyone expected me to be, as everyone told me I would be, from a young age; but I’m not even as brilliant and successful as most of the people in my life. Almost everyone I ever acquainted myself with my whole life has gone on to achieve much greater things than me.
I am nothing more than a lump of misused expectation. This is my most major obsession. It is something that consumes hours of every day for me. It is rare that if a day passes that this doesn’t consume me for at least an hour.
And I have to wonder how and when that went wrong. I feel like maybe I was never actually talented, and people saw something that wasn’t there, or they were being nice to me because I was kinda angry or not the best behaved kid or whatever. The reason I think this is most likely is because I’ve never really done anything. I never played varsity sports, nor was I ever any good at any of the sports levels I did play. I never won any academic or artistic honors. I was never the best in my class at anything. I was never considered the cream of the crop in anything.
My achievements were always pedestrian.
At some point you are the things you have accomplished; I guess what I am is pedestrian.
But I don’t need to compare myself to great people to feel inadequate. I can compare myself to all the people around me. Facebook is often a field of misery for me. I’m genuinely happy for all of my friends living great lives, but I’m also jealous and confused as to how they ended up in such a better position than me.
I had all the opportunity anyone could need or want. I had talent that made school easy for me. I had the ability to work hard. I never really faced much adversity. And I married a woman with similar circumstances.
Yet here I am.
Everyone is passing me by. People who always outperformed me still are, and people whom I always outperformed are beating me now too.
And the vibration is deafening.