In Greek mythology, it is told that the world began with Chaos. One huge cloud of noise and confusion. From this tumultuous haze came the gods, demigods, and humans, who then established order in the world. We built cities, developed governments, discovered lands, created art, fought wars, had families. We began to preserve our existence and history through writing to be passed down from one generation to the next. Everything and everyone had its place. As humans evolved, we learned to combat, tame, and vanquish Chaos. Or so it seems. You would think that we’d have relinquished Chaos forever. But the truth is we’ve only learned to internalize it. We’ve grown to conceal the very thing that shaped us.
Call it what you will – chaos, madness, anger, uncertainty, delusion, fantasy, fear…It goes by many names, but the sensation is one we are all familiar with. It’s a loss of control, a dizziness of life.
We’re raised thinking that Chaos is a bad thing and something to be avoided. As a result, when it begins to boil up inside of us, we have no idea how to react. We think there is something wrong with us. We panic. We blame each other to assign some tangible culprit to the discord that lies within.
At this point in my life, it feels as if Chaos is all there is. Like any other person this age – or like any other person, period – I find myself in transition. Recently transplanted a handful of times from one setting to another, I’ve made a profession out of adjusting. I miss people I’ve met recently; feel disconnected from those I thought I knew; and am in the process of deciding what’s next. At times, it doesn’t feel like a whole lot is happening. Coming down from a lot of momentum can make you feel an overwhelming sense of stagnation.
Without things going on around me, my mind often compensates by stirring things up within. If there was ever a competition for worrying, I would probably win the medal for it. That is, if it were something to be rewarded in the first place.
What I need to remind myself is that Chaos breeds new beginnings. I needn’t be afraid of what is uncertain but instead embrace the opportunity to create a path toward what I envision, even if it means I can’t see very clearly at the moment. A deconstruction of what we’re used to can create enough space for us to start over. While my own stubbornness keeps me from seeing the bright side sometimes, I need to let go of my own desire to be in control. And allow life to surprise me.
For now, I’m grateful for the support of those around me. Being at war with yourself can easily feel like an isolated experience, but the people in my life have reminded me time and time again that I don’t have to go through it alone, that there’s a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, that tomorrow is another day, and there’s plenty of time left for change.