While I was driving, I started thinking about life. I realized that as much as I wished there was not some greater force in the universe, that we were the master of our fate, that we determine our own future...I can no longer bring myself to believe my ignorant delusions because some things are simply out of our hands.
At first, I exhaled a sigh of relief. My shoulders lightened as the burden of trying to control the uncontrollable lifted. Finally, I knew that I didn’t know.
I didn’t know what the future held. I didn’t know what would happen to me. I didn’t know what my life would be like tomorrow or a week or a month or a year. I didn’t know if I would live up to the precedent I’d set for myself. I didn’t know if I would be somebody or a nobody or anyone at all. I didn’t know anything.
Not knowing scared me terribly.
The first thought that popped in my head? Holden Caulfield.
I kept replaying his quote over and over in my head:
“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be.”
I couldn’t help but agree with Holden. I wished I was there to protect the innocence. I wished I could protect those who didn’t know what was coming. I wished I was the catcher in the rye.
For some reason, this scared me even more so. I started crying, and it grew difficult to breathe. I bled emotions; they started pouring forth from the expertly bottled-up depths of my soul.
I don’t have a point in sharing this. I wished I did though. If only a profane meaning shone gloriously from my epiphanies and fears and tears; however, there isn’t one. There rarely is a defining moment of gloriousness.
Most of the time, there is only truth.
And the truth is, I wished I was the catcher in the rye.
We tell ourselves those little, white lies to help us through the day. We tell ourselves we will be okay, we will be strong, we will not make the same mistake, we will be…something.
Sure, it’s a shame to lie to ourselves. It almost feels so wrong for it to feel so right, you know? Maybe we subconsciously know we can’t handle the truth. Maybe we are more aware than we lead ourselves to believe. Maybe, just maybe, we are as naïve as we hope we are.
After all, worry consumes us. We worry what will happen if we don’t live up to our lies. We constantly worry “what if?” until it eats away at our souls.
It’s called self-fulfilling prophecy. By telling ourselves we will be okay, we in turn strive to make it happen. That is just how we are hardwired as a whole.
See, lies get us by. I lie to myself all the time. I lie. There. I said it. I’m a big, fat liar. But you know what the best feeling in the world is? When those little, white lies turn themselves into truth.
Those are called goals. And I always reach my goals. I will be…everything I want to be.