:havings feelings not aligned with your actions.
What more can you do when two things seem like they should fit but simply don’t?
On paper, things seem easy. Pieces feel like they should tetrise their way together naturally, but they don’t. Something's not right, like jamming two puzzle pieces together which look like they should fit. It’s frustrating and you blame yourself.
At some point or another, I think we are all confronted with the fact that there is more than one version of ourselves, and we may or may not prefer certain facets over others. We jam these versions of ourselves together and call it identity.
We learn it from a young age - what can we get away with when we are not under the guise of those who filter who we really are? Some of these filters are necessary for the development of maturity, kindness, coexistence. These are lessons we receive from our carers, our teachers and our mentors.
But when we’re with friends, who are we?
When we’re with colleagues, who are we?
When we’re waiting in line, who are we?
When we feel free, who are we?
When we’re completely alone and at our absolute best or worst, then who are we?
This period of time has asked me this over and over again. Who am I without all the people, activities and places that give me my identity? What’s left when the achievements and labels are taken away? Can I sit comfortably with this version of myself?
I can’t stop thinking about a simple maths class in high school where we were taught about congruent triangles - how shapes could look different and still be the same. It couldn’t be more simple, really. How too can we appear differently to others but still stay true to who we know we really are?
Here arises the idea of incongruence. Incongruence is the lacking of congruence, or having feelings not aligned with your actions. I’ve spent the past few months searching for congruence between how I feel and how I act, and I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of it. But it’s also involved a confronting and honest question of what I want and, more importantly, what I need.
More than that, it’s realising that as humans, we all have needs, but this doesn’t make us needy. It makes us aware, it makes us real and it makes us relatable. It also allows us to be kind, to be understanding and to be fucking human.
I turn 23 tomorrow. I guess I always had an idea of who I would be, and where I’d be, and who I’d be with and what I’d be doing on this day. The last 365 days have constantly revolved around this; what more can you do when two things should fit but simply don’t?
The truth is, some things don’t fit. Some things don’t work because of circumstances, timing and things you can't even begin to understand. But for the first time in months, I’m happy. I’m really content with the simplicity of it all. I’m okay with the things that worked and the things that didn’t.
The only way back to the semblance of congruence is to walk away, knowing that there is a true version of yourself which will eventually thank you, even though the current one isn’t so sure.
And it’s okay, because you know it’s the right decision for the version of yourself which has been there for you the whole time beneath all the other labels.
Above everything else, you’ll know it’s right when the only feeling that remains is freedom.