As I was cleaning the house, I stumbled upon college brochures to universities I ended up not going to. Meanwhile, the house had erupted in dust, my nose was running up a storm and I sat there wondering what this feeling might be called.
It reminded me of a site called the dictionary of obscure sorrows. True to its name, it includes obscure sorrow after obscure sorrow, from exulansis [n. the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate] to altschmerz [n. weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had.] Note: completely on empathy-board with the second one, particularly at 3AM as I jotted down: there’s no time elapsing space passing I’m just lying here still paralyzed and wishing–
And I wondered if there was a term for the sense of “would have, could have, should have (didn’t)”. Would have taken this path, could have gone down that road, should have backtracked, but in the end I didn’t. Every second, it seems, we’re veering left-right-and-center onto multiple forks on this road o’ life, making decisions that culminate into this giant knot of now. And now I’m wondering small thoughts like oh, what if I’d gone to this school? Been on this campus? What if, instead of being surrounded by city and lights, I’d been surrounded by, oh, trees and school buses? And maybe I’d have felt different but maybe I’d have felt the same, but I don’t think I’d be the same or that I’d be who I am now.
And I think that’s okay.
Sometimes there’s a voice in my head quoting something I must have read, and it goes: “has it ever occurred to you that maybe you are exactly where are you supposed to be?” Well. Not really. But then again, maybe I am and we all are, y’know, right where we’re supposed to be….
So despite whatever obscure sorrow this has yet to be coined, I look back and like to believe that there’s purpose, if not order. And even though sometimes the world seems to be blowing to shit and we’re huddled in fear and sadness and so much fear I think back to a poem I read and saved when I was 17:
as a reminder
the world is heavy but your bones (just a cubic inch) can hold 19,000 lbs
ounce for ounce
they are stronger than steel
atom for atom
you are more precious than diamond
and stars have died
so that you may live