Horrible hanging question

I get it. I do.

I really do.

I get you’re scared. I get you’ve been scared all this time, scared of what comes next, scared of that horrible hanging question mark over the future.

I get you. I get the one thing you held to in your childhood and your youth was your intelligence. I get that you built your whole self around that, and let it eclipse all else. Because you might earn fuck all and you might have had a shitty job you hated for ten years but it was all OK because you were smart and you could prove it. You were studying and studying and when you finally graduated you’d finally have proof that it wasn’t all somehow a waste and you were somehow worth something.

He said he fell out of love with art in the months following his graduation. A messy divorce from which he’s not yet recovered and maybe never will.

I get you’re scared.

I get that things fucked up and you’re angry, angry because they fucked up thanks to the same old devil that’s haunted you since your youth. The one you’ve tried to ignore, the one you’ve tried to embrace, the one that you fear is slowly chipping away at your self and your soul and your smile. I get you don’t want to face the world because you’re afraid you’ve seen it, and it’s another shitty job and crying in the cubicles and wondering where you went so wrong, for another decade and another, and another. Wishing sometimes it would all just end.

It’s easier not to think about those things, I know. It’s easier to pretend you can go on forever suspended.

I remember sitting in the dentist’s waiting room as a child, holding my mum tight while she read an Asterix comic to me. I don’t know if they were running late or we’d just arrived early but we waited and waited and she read and read and they didn’t call my name, and I thought ‘just hold on, just focus on the story and the story will keep them away, and when the story ends we can just get up and go and go home’.

I get it. You’ve fallen out of love with science, updates from nature which sit in your inbox like unwelcome bank statements. Fallen out of love before you’ve even graduated and that’s a dangerous and foolish place to be, you know that, ignoring a knot of anxiety and anger and ignoring the horrible question of what next, who are you next, how do you do this. I get you don’t want to do this.

But unfortunately the drugs have worked and you want to stay in this world, at least for now. They’ve worked and you want to keep on living. And I get it, I do, that the world is scary and full of frustration, grief and heartache. But the future will come whether you will it or no.


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