I can feel myself growing, I can feel myself changing. That Edna St. Vincent Millay poem of this morning? That was a celebration of that sensation. I feel as if I am coming alive, as if I am dusting off a radiant silk gown and putting it on to go dancing beneath the moon.
At the end of senior year in undergrad, after a long, intense immersion in cultural theory and post-modernism, I had one of those late-night, mid-finals crises wherein I suddenly realized that the world had a different shape than I had believed it to have had. The world was instead what we made of it, the beliefs we placed in it, the shallow constructions that we supported with our daily actions. I was a good little post-modernist. And my choices afterwards were to sink into nihilism (“What the fuck does it all matter after all?”) or to have a merry old time (“Well, none of this means anything anyway.”). I chose the latter, of course. I didn’t become a horrible person, mind you. But I did become comfortable with my own selfishness, I lost my drive to excel, I stopped seeking to improve my mind, and I read romance novels instead of 19th century poetry. I needed a wake-up call, I will agree.
The most curious thing about all this? My desire to read poetry again. I used to do it all the time, prior to undergrad. And now I want to do so again. I can see beauty in the world again. I have faith that its mysteries and its symbols are real.
It’s just…this is all well and good, but why did it come at this price? Why did I have to hurt someone in order to finally realize how fucked up things were? Why couldn’t something else have rekindled my soul?
The end of the day is always the hardest part. You no longer have the energy to be cheerful and can only remember the disappointments and the heartaches.