Clarity       Final Fantasy VIII

Let me be the first to say that I don't

Have a clue I don't have all the answers

Ain't gonna pretend like I do

Just trying to find my way trying to find my way

The best I know how.

~Lifehouse

The heavens above me are an infusion of colors; jumbled hues of cerulean, lavender and crimson swirling together until it becomes an unfeasible task to distinguish them from one another.  An upheaval of colors and moods—sky bleeding raw emotion, so much like the turmoil I find within myself. 

            It is sunset.  The very symbol of end; the closure of day, an invitation for darkness to filter into every hidden crevice and fissure of the earth.  Have you ever heard that saying?  That people who favor the sunset rather than the sunrise tend to be more negative, more pessimistic.  Maybe that alone says much about my personality, I don't really know.  But somehow, I've always loved this time of day.  Always been drawn to it, and it is these times, silently observing, that I have found the few moments of true clarity I have ever known.  It is clarity, however, that comes with the price of questions and doubts and uncertainties.  Confused?  So I have been, for almost as long as I can remember.

            It must be hard for anyone to imagine what it is like to be living a life feeling as if your very being consists of an empty shell—sustenance outside, devoid of anything inside.  I am barely out of my teenage years, and yet already I feel as an old woman must feel.  They never cease—the nightmares torment me, the restless thoughts plague me.  I don't know who I am, what I am.  What things make me me.  The truth is, I don't believe I know a single certain thing about myself.  I thought I knew once.  Thought I knew exactly what I wanted, exactly what I wanted to achieve.  But dreams are just that—dreams.  Now my thoughts are like wisps of gray mist wafting around the murky landscape that is my mind: try as I might to grasp them, they always manage to slip away, dissolve into nothingness before I knew I even had a hold. 

            I remember vaguely the days when I was still a young child.  Childhood is the time of self-discovery and awareness.  Maybe that is the reason I am what I am now.  I don't think I've ever had a proper childhood.  When I search my memory as far back as I can remember, all I can see is an image of a golden haired girl, already bearing responsibility for her younger friends.  Responsibility.  It's a heavy word, and it carries with it a heavy burden.  A heavy price to pay for maturity.  I lost my innocence a very long time ago; an event that came with the awareness that there were cruel things that happened in the world.  And ironically, it is the cruelty in the world that has shaped me.  An empty shell.  A china doll, about to shatter.

            Everyone thinks I'm strong.  Perhaps I am; I can be strong when I need to be.  There are masks I wear daily, to put up an appearance of calmness, coolness, composure.  No one needs to see what lies behind the masks.  They would never understand.  How can they, when I don't even understand?   The masks are there for my friends.  The few people I have grown to truly care for, after all that we have gone through together.  I can be strong for them.  I have to be strong for them.  I only wonder if I am able to be that strong for myself. 

            People have told me time and time again that I am beautiful.  Ironic, isn't it, that though everyone may think I'm beautiful, in the end, no one ever truly sees me?  What good is it being beautiful when no one ever sees you for being your true self, when you're always alone, when there is no one in the world that loves you?  To tell the truth, I don't believe I even know the meaning of love.  How can I, when I have never experienced it?  I have never known love; not as a child, and not now, as an adult.  Yes, I have known infatuation; I realize that now, but never love.  What is it?  An abstract idealistic concept, but nevertheless, the one sure thing that I have always wished for, held out hope for.  More than anything I have always wanted to have someone who could see the real me, who loved me for who I am, with every fiber of his being.  Someone whose arms I would know I belonged in, and whose kisses and touches promised me forever.  Another silly and naïve fantasy, I know, but despite it, I have never stopped hoping.  I would trade my beauty in an instant to experience for a mere moment the feeling of belonging somewhere.  

            I honestly thought I would feel different, coming back.  Surviving probably the toughest ordeal of my life.  I saved the world, damn it.  I should be invincible, arrogant, stronger than I've ever been.  In ways, inhuman, even.  But I'm not.  I can still feel.  And it hurts.  So much, deep down.  A gaping hole within me, bleeding, always bleeding.

            Lying back on my elbows, I watch silently as the brilliant orb slowly begins its descent.  Its scarlet rays caress me, bathing my whole being in a wash of gold.  They cleanse me, whispering secrets in my ear, and at the same time soothing and smoothing out the surges of anguish and sorrow within me.  Maybe I will eventually find the missing part of me, the last piece of the puzzle that will complete me.  Maybe I'm stronger than I think.  

I'm trying to find my way, traveling upon an unfamiliar path.  And I am continuously searching, whether for a purpose, for peace, for love, or for myself, I'm not quite sure.  All I'm sure of is that I will know it when I find it. 

            It is sunset.  A time of end, bringing the closure of day.  Yet, now I realize that it is a time of beginning as well.  It is the time when the cool blanket of evening first begins to spread itself out over the land, encasing everything in a whole new light.

It brings me clarity.  And in this brief moment of clarity, I realize that I have already found a part of myself, after all.            

~*~