free.

There are times, slow in motion, soundless, no memory of time passing, where a change can happen from one clock tick to the next. A truth, forever before hidden, steps forward, gaily dressed and obvious. The slow trudge of sameness over in the pause of clicking on a small square on a small screen; this one, on this day, a documentary called ‘Sensitive: The Untold Story’.

I watched for a few minutes, enough to recognize, enough to stand my mind still. Highly Sensitive Person, how did I not know this? In every book and corner cobbled search I had never stumbled across evidence of the possibility I wasn’t abnormal, wrong. I have lived a many cautioned life of being too much, too deep; pushing through peopled weeks, followed by days of blanket silenced retreat, the television a minefield of grim news and startling scenes. Never have I not been fixing this, trying to fly more middle, staying longer when my eyes burned with escape, holding my hands in fists against noise and need, equally forcing myself toward normal and regretting that I wasn’t. I have flown into the dark then landed in light, always searching for higher air. I needed to be better, to heal the places I endlessly didn’t fit.

And then this; this was a trait, not a disorder, a way of a brain built in a different way, not a wrong one. For days my stories unraveled behind me in a retrospect of understanding, the Jenga puzzle putting itself back together. I could see so clearly how I had coped by moving faster, the skipped stone forward keeping me from dropping into the dive of another compulsive trying, the concerns of the people who loved me, that I made my life so hard, so unrelenting. My agreement kept my wings ever open, proving I could learn to lean away from the overwhelm of these days, showing I was lighter than what weighed me.

The truth is I live a life I have to recover from, all the time. To try to be normal is to feel splayed, lit too brightly, noticed. I would love to love what I love. To live unjarred, unrattled — to leave a room and find the calm in a quieter one. To recreate the stark magic of my younger solitary years in the middle of these noisy ones.

It is a revelation to be understood, to find out that under all these flighted days there is a shared road to land, with souled friends and sister selves, a found recognition and relief. To know there is an open door, a not so hidden world that I was born to; gloriously soundless and built to be free.

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