Nothing in This World is Harder Than Speaking the Truth

“Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth and nothing is easier than flattery.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

I don’t know about flattery being the easiest thing to say–I’d argue for evasion–but the truth? The truth is near impossible.

Mostly, you just don’t have the nerve to say it. You’re too caught up in fulfilling expectations and becoming your imagined self to risk the vulnerability. Shame and humiliation turn something that was once simple, something possibly understandable, something that ought to be revealed and dealt with into a giant impasse.

And the longer you wait, the easier it becomes to dance around admission. You’re skilled with excuses, white lies, and avoidance. But now it’s snowballed and somehow managed to get even bigger than before. You carry it around with you like an emotional tumor that’s always weighing on you, messing with your thoughts.

If you ever manage to screw your courage to the sticking point and spit it out, maybe because you got tired of the pain or because it was the lesser of two evils, you know the way that the truth catches in your throat, somewhere between your vocal cords and tongue; you know how it’s spoken slowly, haltingly, carefully and then all at once in a deluge of words and fear and shame; you know the scary moment before the other person responds, when you stand naked before them, waiting to see if the world is going to collapse around your feet; and you know the conclusion when the judgement is rendered and you are free to breath in gulps of wonder and relief or be buried under loathing, disappointment, and shame.

The truth can be so painful, like you’re dying while you’re alive, and I think that toying with saying it is the worst sort of emotional sickness to suffer.

In other words, tomorrow is going to be brutish. But I’m ready. Bring it on.

The Truth and Hybrid-Powered Roller-Coasters

I started writing this post yesterday, but, for some inexplicable reason, stopped in the middle, forgot about it, and wrote this instead. Sometimes, I don’t understand myself.

Today was not a good day. In fact, it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I had started a new medication last night, and it was throwing me for a loop. I was rather woozy and all of joints felt tingly and weak. So I spent all day lying in bed. Thankfully, there was snow on the ground and lots of flurries to watch. I also read “Twelve Angry Men”, which is my third favorite play, after “The Crucible” and “Inherit the Wind”, of course.

So as I’m lying there feeling oh so fabulous, my mind starts to wander as it’s wont to do, and I started to think about this Vlogbrothers video that I watched on Wednesday:

Because the truth really does “resist simplicity”, and there are no easy answers. Even in maths and science. Though sometimes I really wish that there were. Because I’m no good at maths. Except not really, because if the truth were simple, life would be boring. Incredibly boring, in fact. Because we would have nothing to question, nothing to continue to test. We continue running into apparent brick walls, because we are convinced, and in many cases rightly so, that someday, we’ll be able to smash through them because we aren’t entirely sure of their durability.

But back to my ineptitude at maths (Why do Americans drop the “s”? It’s “mathematics“.). I want a simple solution; I want it to be easy. I want an entire amusement park to run on hybrid drive. But nothing works like that. Because that would violate the First Law of Thermodynamics and, well, the nature of life. Even my go-to solution of duct-tape isn’t entirely simple. Sometimes it sticks to itself and sometimes it just doesn’t work.

So as I was laying there thinking about truth and simplicity, I realized that there wasn’t a panacea for the funk that I had fallen into, because it wasn’t that simple. It’s going to take a heck of a lot of different factors and a heck of a lot of hard work to come up with a difficult solution and the truth of where the problem lies.

And that is my convoluted philosophy for the day.