I am a stranger, on the most familiar street.

 

I have recently returned home to the place that I grew up, after almost 10 years. There are often moments when I am alone that I feel like a stranger in my own town, a foreigner in this country that is home to my parents and my home, once again. There are screams from football supporters which attack the innocent ears of passerbys as they solomly stroll on the cobble stone streets. It is just after noon, the smell of cigarettes and alcohol is assaulting. I keep walking. Images from my past flash through my mind, the sounds from the bar have opened an old archieve of memories that had been long forgotten. I feel part relief and part envy. If only I didn’t always have to question absolutely everything in life. Things would be more simple, I would probably be at that bar in late afternoon revelling in sensory assault.

The things that used to fill my days here no longer hold any temptations, if anything they slightly repulse me as I see the weakness that surrounded me in those days reflected back at me. I still have weaknesses now of course, but of a very different measure. The main change is that my strenght comes from within and not from external objects. I don’t rely on alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to give me a false sense of social strenght, a crutch to lean upon in a awkward moment or an image to hide my insecurities behind. I am concerned with reality and truth now, not pretense and lies. I used to feel ashamed of myself, that I needed to pretend to be someone else, someone cooler, someone stronger, careless and carefree. But underneath it all I wasn’t and I lived in fear of someday being discovered. Now, I embrace my insecurities, they come, they go. It’s all good. They’re don’t have nest anymore, I watch them fly by.

I have an acute understanding of human nature, this allows me to enjoy a slightly more objective view then the one I had 10 years ago as a young untravelled, rightous rogue, obstanate and opinionated. I can relate to others more and more but it feels distinctly obvious to me that that many people now, cannot relate to me. I have to keep many topics of conversation on a surface level, suppressing how I really feel and what I have to come to know about (my) life because most people just don’t care. They ask you but they really don’t care, the answer is irrelevant, it’s just people do, ask a relative question to maintain the flow of a conversation. Sad really. For me at least. I never get to talk about myself.

 

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