I cross through the dark apartment, hearing only the sound of EM's claws scratching on the hard wood floors. Somewhere in the hall, she is playing with her crinkle ball. She is nearly hysterical - the scratching sounds increase to frantic and suddenly she is quiet. I know that she has won and that the crinkle ball is clenched in her jaws, her paw still batting at it as if it might put up a fight. I smile.
I find AJ on the porch. He has tried to patch the hole in his bicycle tire. His tools are spread out on the dry wood deck and he is covered in grease. I watch him remove the tire from the rim with a flat and hooked piece of plastic. He holds up the tube to show me the tear. It is not fixable. He will need a new tube.
I have many tears. Many times I have tried to patch them, but, like AJ's tire, they always seem to let the air out. Like AJ and his tire, I have the right tools to find the sources of those leaks, but often I feel powerless to fix them. Unlike AJ's tire, I can't just go to the store and purchase a new me. A shiny, undamaged me.
I am filled with anger and envy. I compare myself to everyone around me. I find ways to cut down people who threaten me - but I don't do it to their faces...I just hate them from a distance while pretending everything is okay.
I don't want to feel this way. I don't want to compete with the rest of the world or feel like I'm not enough. I have a decent life - a great boyfriend, a decent job, the opportunity to do what I've always wanted to do.
How do you do it? Can it be done? Is it possible to live in a world where we're constantly told we need more more more and still feel content? How do you even begin to love yourself, regardless of what everyone else is doing? At what point is it "only human" to feel this way? Is it possible to transcend that?