“How will I ever escape this labyrinth?”

Simon Bolivar’s last words, and a quote discussed largely in the young adult novel, Looking for Alaska by John Green.

On one hand, I know the final answer to the labyrinth, but on the other, it’s not a matter of the final answer, but the twists and traps necessary for the getting there. 

When I was young, I had the world figured out. It’s a very cliche notion that usually involves some nostalgia about the naivety of youth, or how simple life used to be. Yet, in my experience anyway, I believe that the issues themselves do not grow more complex; we do. Sometimes I think that “adult” reasoning can be absolutely crazy. 

It’s things like- say a friend does something very rude, something most of us would consider common courtesy. As a child, you know when people do something rude, and most likely would frankly call them out on it. This might embarrass your parents, but the other child then understands what is expected. As an adult in the same situation, it is polite not to say anything of it, for fear of shaming the other adult. What I want to know is, why should children be subject to humility checks or correction, when adults are not? Do we not err, even as we grow older?

When I was about 13, I never could understand why women would stay with men who didn’t treat them considerately, affectionately, respectfully. I was outspokenly frank, headstrong to a fault, and ridiculously stubborn. People might suggest “I didn’t understand” the world of adults, and they would have been right in the respect that I found them ridiculous. Now older, I understand why- the sentiment is always “but I love him” or “he will change in time” or “I could be letting a really good thing go.” Still not much sense, but since I have spent a large portion of my life being impatient, I am trying desperately hard to be patient and to see if there is actually an advantage to that.

If I want to be at peace with people, it means dying to myself and letting God take over. Myself is selfish and controlling. I want everyone to respond to me how I want them to respond, and if that doesn’t happen, it can really bother me sometimes. I just want to know what is realistic- I think it comes down to, unless it is harmful to me or someone else, I ought not complain. I’m trying to break myself of the habit of being a picky type A personality so I can kick back and be a little more easy going and not worry so much.

I just don’t want to watch Slumdog Millionaire or Pride & Prejudice or listen to any love-themed country songs until I can get over myself. It is so conflicting it makes me cry, trying to swallow my heart and still my impetuous nature. The almost laughable thing is that to the unaware observer, I must seem very silly, crying at movies, seeming occasionally distant, or running away. Why would I do these things? Because I’m convinced that my selfishness is ridiculous and that I must be very manipulative indeed to have to actively ignore what I want to blurt out. Sorry if this makes no sense at all- I’m still awful at hiding when I’m ignoring things, despite the fact I may have concealed what I would otherwise blurt out. Maybe my whole view of this is screwy. I am an imperfect human being.

How will I ever escape this labyrinth?

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3 thoughts on ““How will I ever escape this labyrinth?”

  1. Hi Rachel,
    I’m glad I found your web page! You are a gifted writer, and in this post i love how you have so clearly articulated your feelings within the context of “labyrinth.”

    Getting over ourselves is a daily exercise “…If any man wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 so don’t be too discouraged…there’s always tomorrow. 🙂

  2. Firstly, I love John Green and that book, but I’ve likely told you that. I agree that the world seemed simpler when we were kids, and maybe that was just because I was more oblivious then, but I don’t know. Certainly people get more complicated, though. The problems of right and wrong have some complications but only because people get themselves into such complicated situations. Sometimes friends get themselves into bad situations, and it’s clear what needs to happen, but I still have to think about it because I’m afraid of pushing them over the edge by being anything but exactly what they want to hear. I wish I always knew what was right.

    • “5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
      “16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16-17

      I think it might be difficult sometimes, but I really believe that we can know what is right if we ask God and study what He says.

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