I was listening to this song on repeat last night as I was creating a video for Instagram. Even though it’s in Russian, it had meaning for me. I’ve been feeling off for about the last day and a half, and it was the perfect soundtrack to the gloom.
There are things that stick with me. I don’t know if it’s a mental illness thing or a normal thing. One of the things that keeps coming back to me is the dread that comes on still, humid nights.
Growing up in one of the biggest metropolitan areas in Texas, I saw orange skies at night quite frequently. Light pollution is a problem, and there is only a handful of stars visible. It’s worse on cloudy nights. Add humidity and no wind and you get this persistent feeling of dread, like something horrible is about to happen and you know it will.
I remember Christmas Eve of 2016 was like that. I was hanging out with my aunt’s house. I had written a poem that morning, and I read it to my aunt. I couldn’t shake the feeling of foreboding.
there are no words to find here
in this hollow town of memories
that aren’t mine
except a sunset I’m halfway convinced
but the sensation of the world turning
time slipping through my fingers
is all too real.
that’s all I have.
I had a lot to learn here. I was about to head to Idaho for school after attending one of the most liberal colleges in the nation. The school in Idaho was the direct opposite of my school in Maryland – conservative, encouraging of homogeneity, and highly religious. I didn’t know that on Christmas Eve of 2016. I thought I’d fit in there and be fine. I was wrong. I stuck out like a sore thumb. My experiences there called everything into question. I asked these questions and got some answers. Not all of them.
The half-imagined sunset was something I wouldn’t get over for awhile, either. I had a ton of baggage, and the flashbacks that came with it took a long time to even start to get over. The friends I made there got me to start trusting again, and I started to recover. Some things – like my gender – took a longer while to discover. And rediscover.
This discovery/recovery process is something important to me. It takes me from still, humid nights to dawn on the other side of the world. I believe that self discovery is an important part of growth and recovery. I’m continually reinventing myself, trying to find the best version of me. One that feels like home.
So if you are experiencing an ominous calm night, it gets better. Keep reinventing yourself.