Updated: Nov 10
I feel some great sea-change. Quarter-life is a time of evaluation.
But goddamn changing yourself in the middle of an illustrious law school career is hard knocks.
It is like the feeling of sensing a body newly emerged in the heavens. Heavy. Pulling. You can feel it tugging you off your axis. And you are awestruck at its magnitude. To feel that insistent pull. Across the years of your soul. Across your need to be in one place, to know where you are at all times, to follow your known elliptical pattern. To know it is yours, it is an anchor in an empty, unanchored universe.
Then, a new body. Pulling you off the course you have followed since you began. And whatever the new tilt, however slight, changes your course irretrievably. And two things form the constant refrain in your mind: I dare not turn my mind towards the contours of this new body; I dare not turn my mind away.
It can be malevolent; it can be benevolent; it can be impartial to you and your kind. Certain and inescapable as breathing. It is changing you. It is showing you glimpses of your own mortality, your own fallibility, your absolute rootlessness in the sweeping expanse we roll along in. There is something larger than your volition, a greater power than your desire, your best laid plans for yourself to not fuck up. It is showing you that your course…will be fucked up. The narrow course all your life. The tiniest variation and you do not know what to do. You are being confronted with the dream of the sheltered: to know your walls, perhaps to destroy them, perhaps to destroy yourself.
So what does it mean? Powell is unable to cope with large-scale change? Yes. This is for sure. But what else? That I do not know who I am. The answer hit me with slapstick force. I have structured my life precisely so that I will never know who I am, so that I will never be at the mercy of my fallibility. I have lived my life ensuring that I will never know, I will never truly be challenged, I will never discover how I rise or fall to that challenge.
But this is fallibility of its own sort. To live within a circumscribed orbit. To be ever safe and cold. Unknowing even myself, so afraid of my weakness I will never know my strengths. As I said, the dreams of the sheltered. The questions of the circumscribed.