My bike’s back tire blew out today.
The last couple of months have been kind of interesting to look back on. It’s all fallen apart so magnificently and I’ve been helplessly watching all along.
I build my life, and by life I mean the byproduct of hobbies, talents, thoughts, ideas, interests, and time-consumers, always half-knowing it’s going to come crashing down eventually, but I do it anyways, whether out of instincts that don’t know any better or a desperate need to have something to show for my existence is another matter, the point is, I go on laying the bricks to a life, and again by life I don’t just mean essence or the matters concerning the spirit or the soul, but life as in the ways we waste our time while in this passing haze, that I know won’t hold up to scrutiny and will ultimately end up a disheveled rubble. It’s become a habit, this deconstruction-reconstruction, one that leaves me in a sinusoidal nausea and a perpetual state of spiritual paranoia over parts of my personalities I seem unable to take the reins over, and even knowing full-well that the proverbial reins are never really meant for my hands I feel the panic and madness over not having them in my clutches anyways, which is silly; but then again, paranoia in itself is silly, so there’s that. I build, circumstances destroy; and in surveying the damage I still myself into newfound dignity and calm as I clear the debris, only to begin building again as soon as the memories leave my mind’s eye, turning dignity into excitement and calm into stupidity.
So it’s all falling apart again, and in feeling all-the-wiser for knowing what to expect, I still act with no more wisdom in just watching it all come tumbling down, leaving me to wonder if age ever correlates with wiser choices, and how much of that rite of passage is actually earned through the bartering of scars and callouses, and whether what you get in return is actually ever satisfying enough. A hardened heart is one in denial of its own insecurities, and I wonder how much I can bargain for it in this twisted marketplace.
I lost my back tire on this gorgeous day, and one of the last avenues of pleasure I found in riding my bike around my neighborhood is gone until I can afford replacement tires, which in itself isn’t a big deal, but sometimes when your life begins to wear at your self-stitched seams, your insecurities seem that much larger, and the way you see yourself becomes so warped that perspective becomes illusion, and your reality fogs with fragmented pieces of yourself that don’t give you a complete picture of yourself at all, only the ones that you most fear to have under scrutiny, and then you become nothing but an aggregate of your worst parts. Or so you begin to think so, anyways.
Losing my tire didn’t just mean another event in an already growing list of displeasureable series of events, it also handed me a divisive mirror through which to see my worst parts staring back at me.
I was telling a friend today that it’s not so much specific circumstances that take us down, but it’s in our perception of those circumstances that trigger the certain strings tied to our deepest anxieties that we find our demise. Unfortunate things happen to all people, but it’s the baggage we carry that determine if and how we buckle at the knees.
An unrequited crush may be easy to deflect for one person, but could be the end of the world for another; an overdrawn checking account could barely make one person sweat, but could cause heart palpitations for his friend experiencing the same misfortune; a season-ending injury could be a shrug of the shoulder to one recreational athlete, but yet be a depressingly tragic blow to suffer for his more serious teammate .
Unfortunate things happen to all of us, but it’s only the ones that remind us of the things we fear the worst that put a stop to the turning of our small worlds- we are crushed by these events because they expose the traits we desperately try to convince the world we don’t have, and in the exposition it confirms in us the very things we strive never to be, whatever those insecurities are: unlovable, bad at finances, good for nothing, untrustworthy, untalented, unmissed.
So we build and we build, cardboard forts that we delude ourselves into thinking are formidable enough to protect our deepest fears, even though we all know they will all come falling down eventually.
I can’t afford new tires for another couple of months. I can’t afford much, actually. It’s a choice I’ve made, and for the most part do enjoy, this living minimally but with the freedom of time, except during contingencies that remind me that I don’t have the financial muscle of what an average 27-year-old should have. These contingencies don’t change my perspective, but I do find it interesting that my deepest insecurities about being irreversibly stupid are so quick to the forefront once I begin thinking about money, that a busted tire meant paralysis, an instinctive metamorphosis into a destructively introspective vegetable. Busted tires happen, busted identities shouldn’t.
To kill, to steal, and to destroy- the cunning and deceptive ways the thief comes knows no limit, but one thing is certain: maybe it’s not our self-made forts that we should be worried about protecting, but rather the best parts of us that are told to us through the tiny whispers reminding us of what’s good inside. After all, bad things happen to everyone, but if we all came out of as nothing more than re-stitched versions of only our worst parts, then we all become hopeless.
We are not our insecurities.