Dreaming to Forget

Dreams keep me awake at night.

Past loves.

What ifs.

What might have beens.

Regrets and fears.

“I should have done it differently. I’m so stupid. Fuck, this hurts. Why isn’t there a reset for this?” I can’t escape my thoughts. And every chance I get to improve the situation, I sabotage myself. I’m afraid of success because I don’t know what it is. I’ve never experienced victory before. It makes it easy to fall back into dreams. But my dreams aren’t dreams of “what could be,” they are dreams of “what might have been.” What do you do when your dreams are also your regrets?

Last night I was up until 5am because of my dreams. Youtube videos help to pass the time, but they don’t quiet the anxiety that keeps my skin itching. An inability to act. Fear.

I want to dye my hair pink. I’m in-between jobs. Why the fuck not. I’d be happier in life. My next job isn’t going to be corporate. I know enough to know that isn’t me. I’ve “independent” written into my DNA. “Independent” fostered by a body that was annually playing catchup with the other lads. “Independent” because even my teachers didn’t understand my thought process. And finally, “independent” because kids are awful and afraid of outliers and non-conformity.

Independent is what I should be. I should own that shit and stop holding back. Holding back because I’m afraid. Anxious. Full of regrets. Unable to be myself around anyone. I’m afraid of life.

Multiple bosses, acquaintances, and family members have told me that no one really knows me. I don’t open up. Because no one listens when I talk. “When people think you’re dying, they really listen to you instead of waiting for their turn to speak.”

That’s my experience when trying to open up to someone. Eyes glaze over. Interest fades. Empty stares and half-hearted replies. If this is all I encounter from people, I’d be pretty stupid to ever open up. Never got me anything except rejection or indifference. It’s how I’ve become a great listener; no one has ever had any interest in what I’ve had to say. So, I’ll learn all about you. And don’t worry, after we’re done exploring your story, I won’t ask you to participate in mine. I don’t expect your ears to function as designed. I bet if I cut the ears off of humanity, daily conversations wouldn’t change a bit.

On a side note, humanity needs to learn to be better actors. Ya’ll are so easy to read.

But I’m also so stupid and quick to fail.

And I’m easy to doubt myself.

And quick to fall into despair.

And quick to regret.

So I fantasize in quiet moments about ending up with someone from my past. With staying in Japan. About walking the streets of Tokyo. Being someone important. Doing something worthwhile. Dreams that are equal parts soothing and damaging.

So why do I dream? To escape. To find hope. To forget. Even if it damages me more than cures. There is a me that follows real dreams; future possibilities. Now, I dream to forget. But I want to dream to and forget.

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