“Questioning Hell”

I have a confession. I absolutely hate talking about a kintype I’m questioning while I’m actively questioning it. Afterward, when all’s said and done and I’ve either confirmed it or not, then I’m more than happy to talk about all my thoughts and feelings. But while I’m uncertain, while I’m still trying to understand my thoughts and feelings, I find it almost impossible to articulate them. I don’t know how to describe the feeling of holding a specific puzzle piece and not even knowing if it goes to my puzzle let alone where. I feel like the three blind men and the elephant, at any moment touching one part of a whole and making guesses without understanding it. 

For me, the process of looking at a character and asking myself if it’s a reflection of me in the mirror doesn’t have neat little steps that I can talk about; it’s not like remembering the ingredients of a recipe, or steps in a dance. For me it’s just one long full body shudder. A desperate and almost overwhelming seize, for however long it goes on. It’s better the shorter it is.When I can just say ‘no’ and move on. The longer it gets drawn out the more unsure I become, and the more vulnerable I feel, until I get a feeling like I have the soft exposed belly of a formerly shelled creature. 

When I’m questioning, I don’t have the answers. If I had them, I’d be done questioning. I don’t know what to say beyond Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, and that also makes me feel stupid, and slow and vulnerable. Shouldn’t I know myself sooner? Shouldn’t it all flood back in an instant?

But of course, it doesn’t work like that. And that’s why I often call it “questioning hell”. It’s not an experience I like, asking myself if another life is one of mine. I’m stuck there now; looking at another reflection and asking myself if it’s my eyes staring back at me. I keep hoping the waveform will collapse and I’ll know one way or the other. I keep hoping I can just move on. Maybe soon. Maybe soon.

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