On the Mental Prison of Personal Reality

Today marks the (probably) twenty-somethingth time that I declare:

A Fresh Start!

Technically, the last time I wanted a ‘new start’ was when I was preparing for this move to Utrecht. By all means, even before day one, I decided that this is my last chance to redeem myself. I still cannot forgive/forget the big chunk of life that I had literally wasted – just like that …

The idea is simply that I am not satisfied with who I am as a person. In more accurate terms: I’m not happy with what I am doing with my life. Recently, I have realized, quite intensely, that I am super, super fortunate and privileged. It is to the extent that I believe if I die without doing something great in my life, I’ll be deserving punishment in an afterlife, whatever religion you take as a reference!

It saddens me that I had to declare a “new start” after only one month of literally having a fresh start. I knew no one here. Nobody knows me here. I have never been in this country. I have never even heard a conversation in Dutch before! Of course moving to a new country like this is never easy. And I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. But the point that freaked me out was how I felt today as I woke up and lethargically walked to the bathroom. I was looking through the window in my room, then from the kitchen, when I realized: “I feel trapped!”

It is that very same prison where I have been literally tortured for years. It was a point of total panic when I saw it actually starting to take form here too… in this fairytale land… For years, I was living in Boston, one of the most beautiful cities/communities one can think of. Yet, I constantly felt trapped. I felt there was no where to go. And seriously believed it. I lived it. It was a constant feeling of hopelessness. It was not spatial, it is temporal, it is mental.

For so long I have been building this (seemingly inescapable) prison. Day by day, I strengthened its bars. I erected its pillars. And eventually, I got swallowed in it. In one sense, my analogy is misleading. Because this analogy gives the impression that my prison is something out there. It isn’t. It is not even something. It is basically who I have become – literally. It is the personal reality that I have been consciously and subconsciously constructing for the past 10 years. (And it is awfully scary that I am actually at an age when I can so casually write this previous sentence…) My mind has gotten accustomed to so many illogical things that I keep doing, then keep blaming myself for doing – why the hell do I spend HOURS cycling between the same 4~5 apps and websites? Why would I then spend HOURS trying to decide which courses I should take during my master’s (because I like 90% of the offerings), whereas I struggle to convince myself to study? Why do I own so many books but read so little? Why do I take so few pictures when I enjoy photography so much? Why is God giving me this much talent, money, opportunity and support, then I just throw it away for silly, meaningless pleasures?

I have for so long adhered to some hidden doctrines that turned my life into a prison without even realizing it. Probably “doctrines” is a big word, but it is the outcome. Initially, they are just little pleasures. Little pleasures. Repeated actions. Then suddenly they are habits. Until one day, all the original meanings are gone, and I am left with a (seemingly) meaningless existence; A broken personal identity; A wasted life

In other words, I have to fucking own my life and freaking grow up… Maybe finally become the person I have always thought I’d be

But how the hell does one break out from their personal reality?!

The Drift

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