There's no easy way to come to terms with the revelation that the life you've planned for yourself isn't going to pan out. It's just... not that kind of revelation. Once you realize it, allow it to sink into your skin instead of just hovering in the air around you, it becomes this painful, all-consuming reality that has to be dealt with, acknowledged, lived.
That's where I am right now. There's too much happening underneath the surface - too much to talk about, too much to think about, even, & I wake up out of breath, struggling to catch up before the day's even begun. I'm in a constant state of panic. The questions never stop, just beget more questions, & no answer feels secure enough to satisfy me.
Sometimes, it feels manageable, surmountable. Some days, I'm able to sort of float out of my body, away from this moment, to look at this point in time from one further down the road. A year into the future, what will I think about right now? Will it feel worth it? Will I be OK? I know I will be - at least, I think I will be - & for a few minutes, that brings me pacification, is enough to calm the static that eats through the soundwaves. It doesn't last long, though, & soon, I'm buzzing again, trying to breathe again. I've always believed in futures but I've never been particularly adept at planning for them, & so for now, there's only this. There's only fear & self-doubt & did I mention fear?
Right now, I'm not OK. I will be, soon, because that's how life works - either you're OK, or you're dead, & there is no in between, not for long. So I'm trying to focus on that moment, months or years from now, when I'll look back at today & think, "You did that. You made it through, again, & goddamn it, you are strong & brave & admirable." I wish I were the sort of person with enough perspective & peace of mind to recognize those things right now, but I'm not. I never have been, & now's not the time to try to change myself, not when I'm trying so hard just to survive.
I know, though, that for better or for worse, I'm the kind of person who excels at retrospect, & a year from now, or two or three or 10, this will be one of those times that stands out as life-altering & praiseworthy. In the meantime, I breathe & panic & breathe & panic & repeat, indefinitely, waiting for the day I can take in air without choking on it.