There's a Queen song I always loved, Too Much Love Will Kill You:
Quote:Too much love will kill you
If you can't make up your mind
Torn between the lover
And the love you leave behind
You're headed for disaster
Cos you never read the signs
Too much love will kill you
It always appealed to me (not least because of shadow references!), but it has a new resonance about now.
Short story. About 10 months ago, I became ill. Now I'm finally on the road to getting better, I can evaluate just how ill I really was - and it scares the hell out of me. At the time, I could say "There's a chance I will have permanent brain damage" and it washed over me, but now I understand all the implications. And it's caused me to take stock of my life a bit.
Now, I'm one of these people who doesn't really like making choices. You should have seen me in school, working out what university to apply for. Archaeology or medicine? Can't I do both? Can't I be a doctor who spends the summers on digs? And of course I ended up packing all THAT in to do an English degree, which was a way of avoiding reality while I thought to myself "Ooooh, if I was a writer, I could write EVERYTHING and thus BE everything."
Part of this stems from being multiple. There's more than one me in here; when I say "I have always dreamed of doing such-and-such" it's pretty much impossible to see who the "I" even is.
Anyway, until my recent thoughtfulness, my life plan was pretty clear. I'm a (very) junior lawyer. So the plan was study my ass off, eventually get fully qualified, shift over to criminal law, and put bad people in prison for as long as possible. This is not only something I believe I would love doing, and something that I believe would improve the world I live in - it's also something I would be very, very good at. (No-one who has argued with me online could doubt I was born to be a lawyer!)
Except . . . do I want to do that because it's what drives me, or because I very strongly identify with my late father and that was the path he was on? (There's a whole long story involving medical problems there, but it's not too relevant.) Being a multiple, specifically my kind of multiple, makes it difficult for me to tell the difference between "me" and "someone almost exactly like me". My father and I were like clones of each other; do I want to spend the next ten years suing people for not paying for their kitchen upgrades just so I can live the life of someone similar-to-but-not-quite-me?
Then there's writing . . . ever since I was a very young kid, I loved writing stories. Not to tell to people - just to create them for me. And every now and again I get into that again, and in my time off work recently I've been writing; thinking of maybe trying to make some comic books or even novels. But . . . why did I write, as a kid? Was it because I had this burning desire to create, or was it just because I was trying to make sense of a mass of baffling and contradictory identities and memories? Write about twenty great characters and I can be them all. No need to find my own identity if I can build as many identities as I can imagine and live inside of them. A multiple's way of not having to choose anything.
Then of course there's my other half. And what does my other half want to do? His entire nature is set up to protect people. What he wants to do is find bad guys and beat them into a bloody pulp so they can never be bad again. Make society safe, take care of everyone and everything who needs to be taken care of. And of course it's no joke that a big chunk of my life has been spent looking into law enforcement. In fact right now I am planning a Masters degree in Forensic Psychology & Criminology. Except that I don't know if I want to get that degree and go to work for the Home Office making my world a little better . . . or my other half does.
Because I have a sneaking suspicion that what *I* want to do - assuming I could ever point to the bits of me that are "I" and not him or me-reacting-to-his-presence - is really simple. Get a job - not a career, just a job - that has enough vacation days and enough of a salary that I can go on a couple of holidays a year, spend a lot of time with my friends and family and cats, and enjoy myself with music, games, and fiction. You know. Screw the rat race, screw ambition, just spend as much time as possible on being with the people and things that make me happy.
If I could describe my ideal lifestyle, I'd be a fully qualified lawyer working in behavioural profiling of serious, high risk criminal offenders, while writing comic books and making them into movies, playing international ice and inline hockey, and kicking ass at the MMORPG of my choice.
See how I have no real concept of how to fit one life into, well, one? This time a year ago I was practically living three lives anyway - the massive amount of effort I put into otherkin forums and discussions and other matters (a lot of which doesn't get seen in public); the massive amount of time I put into hockey; the massive amount of work I put into my job. (Plus, of course, socialising and downtime relating to each of the three.)
And I'm sitting here, juiced up on medication, wondering where my life is going.
That's the thing about being a multiple. It isn't just my life; I isn't just me and I'm not making decisions for one. But while I get more than one personality, more than one batch of memories, more than one set of desires, more than one dream that makes my heart lift . . . I only get one day every 24 hours to deal with it.
Quote:I'm just the shadow of the man I used to be
And it seems like there's no way out of this for me
I used to bring you sunshine
Now all I ever do is bring you down
How would it be if you were standing in my shoes
Can't you see that it's impossible to choose
No there's no making sense of it
Every way I go Im bound to lose.