The brain is an amazing attribute. I’ve come to realize this with all the time I spend trapped in my own head. Every memory is stored here. From personal experiences to random trivia to what I did yesterday and everything in between. Every thought I’ve had is here somewhere. All the knowledge I’ve collected throughout the years. All my theories and curiosities as well. Now that I can view it all I see that the human brain is a prism. My past reflects my future. When I turn around I see my past. My birthdays, first days at school, meeting new people. Embarrassing moments, achievements, my childhood. When I look ahead at my near and distant future, it appears hazy. On both sides of me are all the faces I’ve ever seen, all the people I have ever encountered. They’re lined up, staring at me with lifeless expressions. Straight faces, dead eyes, and unmoving. I see my fourth grade teacher with her short dirty blonde hair and brown eyes. The note she wrote me encouraging me to always follow my dreams falls to the ground in front of her slowly. I try to pick it up, but my hand goes through it. Two people to the right, I see the love of my life. The promise ring he gave me on our first Christmas together falls from above. I try to catch it before it clashes with the ground, but again, it falls through my hand. It hits the ground and breaks the total silence for a split second before resting against the tile floor. Next I see my best friend, standing tall on the other side of me. This time something different happens. Words show up around her, circling her and moving quickly. I read them as fast as I can and notice the words are inside jokes from years of conversations. Words are starting to materialize in front of everyone. I step in front of my mom and dad and pictures float down in front of them. Pictures of us. These people are the people who have shaped me into who I am today. Each person has made a significant impact on my life. My grandparents, other former teachers, and even people who I haven’t spoken to in years. When I look in their eyes, however, it’s like they don’t know me. Or maybe I’m the one who doesn’t know them. Overthinking causes some of them to move closer and some of them to move back. The unsettling feeling sends chills down my spine. There’s an empty spot in between the row of people on my left. Standing in front of it, I realize it’s a mirror. It reminds me of the Greek tale of Narcissus, when he sees his reflection and falls in love with it. Except, it wasn’t falling in love I felt. It was confusion. I was looking at myself but it didn’t feel like me. Maybe it’s because for once I could see all of me. The silence breaks suddenly and all I hear is noise. Inner thoughts screaming self-doubt on one side and confidence from the other. Pages of paper flipping and the sound of laughter penetrates the sound of my own voice. The sound of stories being told joins along with the sound of an audience applauding. More and more noise collides together until nothing is distinguishable anymore. Every feeling I have ever felt hits me at once. Pride from winning awards at school. Heartbreak from loving too hard and too much. Love from meeting my soulmate at a young age. Anger simply from being born with a short-temper and a fierce attitude. Once again, they continue to pile among one another. I cover my ears with my hands and close my eyes. I can’t stay here forever. Then, I register the fact that I am faced with two choices - the past or the future. Was this the purpose all along? Pacing back and forth for a few seconds, I make the decision I know is right. The future is blurry but I choose it. I begin walking towards it. The more I advance, the blurrier it gets until I’m running. Nausea builds up in my stomach when it gets too blurry for me to even see. The sounds grow distant and the emotions lessen in intensity the closer I get. Hope fills me despite not being able to make out anyone or anything. My vision grows black and I never make it. Instead, I awaken in the present.
January 5, 2018