myself - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
I hide behind an exterior of social interactions with others. I speak to them, and they to me. We discuss everything, but nothing of true importance. Every so often, I let down the clothe of invisibility to show a small part of myself, and they do the same, but for the most part, not. I am a counsellor to the depressed, the oppressed mentally and/or socially. They sometimes allow me to view the interior of their troubled lives, and the exposure of these secrets usually allows them to get better. But, the vast interior of invisibility remains even then. Too bad that we do not have the eyes of God. He is the only who can see the whole workings of the soul. The Apostle Paul says, "Now we see in part, and know in part,"
I am selfish, but to me it's a form of pragmatism. If I am in a room with three chairs and three people, we all sit. If I am in a room with three chairs and five people, three will sit. If I am in a room with three chairs and two hundred people, I alone will sit. On the other two chairs will be my bags, my backside and my feet. I will save those seats in case a friend or family member needs them and to hell with the faceless two hundred. Perhaps that should fill me with guilt and shame, but it doesn't. We're the same beings we were thousands of years ago, evolved to live in small groups of kith and kin. We aren't wired to care about the masses, though our culture demands that we do. I'm not unkind, I don't hit puppies or lash out with cruel words. But this world is set up like the room with two hundred people and three chairs. It takes a billionaire to make any real difference. Wake me up when my meagre resources are more than a band-aid on a lost limb.
There is part of my nature that I keep in a steel cage. I don't know what it would take to unlock the door, I just pray it never happens. It's the part of me that only cares for myself. It doesn't think your baby is cute or your kids are adorable. It doesn't even care if you take another breath. It doesn't feel bad for the less fortunate. It wants only what benefits itself, myself. The rest of my cognitive functioning built its prison long ago, something strong to keep it from infecting the rest of my brain with its poison. I would go to the ends of the earth to protect you and keep your heart safe. I will serve God and be a pillar of my community. Just don't ask to see what's really inside the layers of goodness. They don't radiate from a heart of gold, only serve to mask the blackness within.
There are family and there are “marks.” A cruel person wouldn't even make that distinction. That's not me though. I pride myself on my family ties. Blood before water. There are people out there that want to save the world, they feel guilty for every over-privileged breath they take. I'm just here to take them closer to those they pity but never actually help. Not that I'm saying they should, I don't. But once I'm gone with their life savings there's just one more bum on welfare to add to the uncounted masses of poor in the world. They mean as little to me as the famine and tsunami victims meant to them. Only difference is that they cry those crocodile tears and I don't. It's true I steal directly, but so do banks and somehow they aren't the bad guy. I'll have a string of fully paid for homes to rent out by the time I'm thirty, I'll be taking care of my Momma, my Dad, my wife and putting my kids though the finest schools. I don't shoot people for a pay-check. I sleep just fine.
You could call me “selfish” but I see it more as “honest.” No-one wants to give away the things they may need in the future. No-one wants to give up their day off to volunteer at a soup kitchen. They may need to do it to have that “good person” badge, but I just don't give a damn, not the way thy want me to anyway. I didn't create this world. I didn't make all the bad choices that lead the homeless to their life on the streets, no, they did that themselves. I didn't make the education system, shot-gun approach that it is. I didn't design the low-income housing system or raise the cost of energy and food. I didn't decide that society would judge people based on how much in taxes they could contribute. So I'm not taking on the guilt either. I am a good person, good to my friends, good to my Mom and Dad. I help my brother out and babysit my nephews. But my days off are for fun and my money is mine. I worked for it, no-one gave it to me. I'm not a trust-fund baby. Let Warren Buffet give,
After all this time I cannot be myself without you- else the person I have become will erase, self destruct. I will be consumed by invisible flame until my sanity is forced to remake me as someone different, as someone who does not trust, love or give herself away. Where I am soft will harden like molten rock, where I am giving will become empty. Without your stability my chaos will send me spinning into a place where I am lost.
I want to be as nonchalant on the inside as I am on the outside. I have perfected a mask of calm and competence; the person I present is mature and capable, professional. On the inside is the same kid I was at fourteen, scared that someday someone will pull the rug out, tell me my ideas are rubbish and I have no talent at all. I want to be one of those people with a rock at their centre, someone able to stand alone and not be lonely- someone who attracts people because they are strong. In a way I do, but it's just a charade, a tower of cards. Should my foundation get a good jab, the whole thing will come down to reveal the abandoned child within- the child who still mourns for who they were before the world exploded. Before they learnt that “forever” could be frighteningly short and “unconditional love” was subject to the whims of a selfish parent and that information is still burnt into my cerebral cortex, writ large in scars.
I soak in the sorrows of others. I think of myself like a sea anemone, tentacles floating out in the ether taking in their pain. So I take myself away and live cocooned with the few I can't live without. It is selfish no doubt, someone able to understand grief as I do could help. But sometimes with all the starving, war and death that's out there, I have no choice but to turn my back on it and seek the beautiful, the inspiring, the eternal. I thank God for the stronger people who spend their lives as humanitarians, doctors and nurses, people who make a difference every day with concrete actions. I will never be a warrior, a hands on world changer; I'm just a dreamer who loves the written word.
I feel unique, yet I behave just like the rest of the herd. I want to be skinny but I adore cookies and cupcakes. I revile the cult of celebrity, yet click on stories about movie starts and royalty, soaking them up just the same. I want to be fit but I find excuses not to exercise. I boost my self-esteem with stories that by rights should be out-of-date, what is a reasonable expiry on achievements? At forty what you did at twenty might as well have been a different person. I seek to be defined by inner qualities, but I look for external markers as evidence for them. I want to not care what others think of me, but I do, so much so that I often cut connections with others with rather than risk a theoretical rejection.
There are times I think I will loose myself in the whirl of other people's needs. How long can a person go without investing in their own mind, body and spirit? How long can they put the needs of others first, even those they love? I've seen mothers do it, mothers with more children to care for than hours in the day. They suppress their needs, their wants, their dreams and submerse themselves into a world of caring, where they can give everything they are and still be found inadequate. Husbands trade them in for a younger model, someone without stretch-marks and time to take care of their beauty. Children want more and better, then break away in a bid define themselves as individuals. And after that lifetime of selfless love, what it left? Bitterness? I won't allow myself to go that way, I have to be an individual, rope off part of my life for myself and guard it jealously. Perhaps then I can be respected for who I am as a person, not just as a wife and mother.
I want to love everyone, but I hate people sitting too close. I want to be sharing, but I snag the last cookie and hope no-one notices. I want to always be there for others, but sometimes I make myself unavailable so that I can bathe in silence. I want to right the wrongs of the world, but I'm too busy making money for food and rent. I want my kids to have fun, but I don't want to do all the chores myself. I want them to have friends and activities, but I don't want to be driving somewhere every night, both ways, twice, or more. I want to genuinely enjoy the achievements of my friends, but jealousy often gets in the way. I want to focus on my life, my family, my friends, what is reasonable for me to achieve, without seeing the lives of others displayed like adverts on Facebook. I want to like myself, but sometimes I don't. I honestly feel like I try my best and still fall short every day. I will never be perfect, but maybe I can become a better version of myself.
I am not the sum of my thoughts or the sum of my words. I am not the sum of my actions, though perhaps that is the fairest measure. I am more than flesh and bone, yet small in the vast expanse of the world, the universe. I am spirit but no more or less important than any other. I derive meaning within the personal relationships I hold, by the love I have for others and the love they reflect to me. I am one person, a simple human, no more able to figure out the mind of a God than a cat can figure out algebra; yet I will never stop moving with His will, allowing His guidance, listening to His calling. I am but a dull stone and He is the river, washing away my rough edges so patiently that I cannot see the change day to day. But with the perspective of years I can see His hands, never saving me from harm I can learn from, but still guiding with love.
It took me three, grueling years to realize that I am but an ore; yet to be crafted to perfection and still in its purest form.
I let people down. I let them down so far that there is not enough light for them to see that I didn't mean it, they cannot see the look in my eyes that says that I would do anything to change it, they cant even find a ladder to climb their way out of the deep misery I put them in. At least, that's what they tell me. That I descend them so far into darkness that there is no getting out. And so, that is what I tell myself.
I walked up to the office door, as I pushed the door handle I felt goosebumps arising all over my body, “I can do this I reminded myself." I pushed the door open and stepped inside I looked around, there was a middle-aged lady typing away on her laptop, behind a white desk that was so refined that it grasped my reflection. The lady looked up from her computer as she felt my presence and frowned, “Can I help you?” she questioned, her piercing blue eyes looking intimately at mine. A sense of overwhelming uncertainty washed over me and in that moment I just wished the ground could eat me right up. “Miss Can I help you?” she repeated in a slight British accent I could feel the frustration coming off her. I worked up all the courage I could and exhaled. “Yes, my name is Amal Nuux and I’m starting here, I need my timetable”. She scanned my body, examining my clothes, took off her glasses and leaned back on her chair...