Hello, it’s me. Have you missed me? Most probably not. I wish I could say that my short disappearance is down to some mystical adventure I was involved in, but that would be lying. The truth is that I have been absorbed in my own cocoon for a little longer than usual.
Growing up as an only child (a situation which was quite rare in the Pre-Net times but a common reality for those growing up now) being a solo child meant that I’ve spent the majority of my time alone. I remember how as a child I would play for hours on my sleep-hab, or by the seashore (remember this is before the ocean contamination) or by the forest (me and trees huh?). Nothing was impossible, for as long as I could imagine it, it would be no less real than what surrounded me. My imagination was my safe haven, my rock, my perfect escape.
As the years passed me by, my relationship with the outside world had no remedy but to change. Moving from terra to terra meant that I had to be ‘outspoken‘ and ‘bubbly‘ and other words that fill me with dread. But in the world that we live in, it is very much a sink or swim situation, and I learnt the hard way that if you sink, you are never coming to the surface again. So swim we must do.
But this endless race is tiring, don’t you think? The struggle to keep up with appearances becomes a bore – the constant need to be feel relevant and important keeps us glued to our comms unit. We spend precious hours perfecting every single aspect of ours that is shown to the world, because at the end of the day, the race is not about winning, it is about not coming last. No one wants to admit that they are lonely, or angry or upset. No one wants to admit to the struggles of simply existing, specially if you live in the Citadel. To the outside, we are bundles of joy and happiness. As if! Nonetheless, the façade is fading, and by the looks of the world as it is now, it is fading faster than we anticipated.
Anyways, why am I saying all of this, you may be wondering? (Or maybe you are wondering what is wrong with this female humanoid, which to be honest, it is a fair question to ask too) And the truth is that I’ve been reminiscing. I am not just talking about a thought that unexpectedly interferes with your thoughts as you update your social feed – I mean something deeper than that. A conscious decision to sit still for a significant amount of time, and really travel back to the past – to your past.
For me, as I bet it is for many, the past is bittersweet. You are bound to look at it through rose tinted glasses, or that is what people always say, but the truth is, even if the past was uglier than how we imagined it, it still was a better place than now. I was born at the end of the Pre-Net era, and so, I was the last generation to enjoy the Common Era – We had technology but its presence was a simple light touch. We lived in physical communities, and the time felt somehow slower. The small community was our own cocoon, and anything beyond the terra was an exotic wasteland to us. Life was about living, and small moments were all that mattered to us.
Things back meant more. The culture of new and shiny wasn’t really embedded yet – we were fixers and we took pride in that. I remember how proud my father used to be when people failed to believe that his speeder was 2 decades old and still looking brand new. The same was for the fabric spinner. Everything had at least a decade behind them, and it all worked just fine. Nowadays my comms unit dies way before the contracts ends and I am more than certain that this is done intentionally. Meaning also meant relationships – we made time for meaningful interactions, and not just a few words on the comms unit. We cared.
If I think back to moments where all I felt was pure happiness, a handful of memories come to mind, and I am very blessed to have these, as they have become my escape during moments of darkness. One particular moment, however, keeps coming back, and I am surprised of it because in all honesty, it is not that long ago.
A few years ago, while I was still with my first life partner (yes, I did already failed once) we when to an island on another terra. This island was in the middle of nowhere, and so, cyberspace was almost unobtainable. On one particular morning, we hired a small four wheel solo speeder and decided to drive from the top of the cliff to the shore. This drive involved turning and twisting around a mountain, while I was holding on to our caffs and trying to not fall off this solo speeder. I remember the wind in my hair, the taste of sea water in my lips and the sound of laughter in my ears. But what I most remember is the warmth in my heart, a feeling of contentness, peace and stillness. I knew that moment was rare, so in the mist of it all, I took a moment to really let it sink it. I closed my eyes and told myself to enjoy that moment – because life was rough and I knew it was about to become worse.
So these past few weeks, I’ve been reminiscing. I’ve been living in my memories, and relishing their the warmth and safety. It may be that I am too caught in the past, and that is okay for me. I can only do the best that I can, and for me living in the past suits me just fine.