There are few things in life more painful than realization. The loss of love or a loved one is in essence the same pain, as realization often comes in the form of death, the death of a dream or an idea, or rather, the idea of who you dreamed to be. They say that time heals all, but sudden realizations can take forever to fade. The realizations I refer to are the ultimate understanding that you will not, or simply cannot be or do what you always imagined you would; that the life you have lived in your mind will run parallel to the life you live in actuality forever; their paths will never cross.


We create an idol of ourselves and we hold this idealized figure of ourselves sacred, more precious than our own being, for it was created by our dearest dreams and conceptions of our own potential. However, the concept of potential rains with clouds of ambiguity, a storm that never passes, even after the true opportunity that existed in the world has gone and the skies have cleared, we still believe in our own forecast.


The majority of our pride resides within this fantasized version of ourselves as we place more significance on what we could be rather than what we are. We desperately protect this self-constructed identity because hope is all that keeps some of us alive. If one were to realize and lose their hope, there would be no difference between the certainty and the end of it all.


We come to know this man in our mind more than we understand the man in the mirror. We grow fonder to the idea than to our being. The two become enemies of each other and we come to hate ourselves for the incongruity. We begin to distrust both of the voices in our head.


 Realizations can be sickening, avoiding them becomes a form of self-preservation. "Could have been" is less damaging than "I never was", and when the value of your existence is derived from hypothetical worth you simply cannot afford to suffer a realization. Perhaps the ignorance is not only bliss but necessary, perhaps it's the fear that forces it but perhaps it's the only true form of freedom.


-Ryan Anthony Dube