When I signed up for this voyage, they failed to mention how confining it could feel. Maybe it was never expressly stated, but it was supposed to lead to happiness, the life you have always dreamed of. How nice it all sounded in the brochure.
Everyone seemed uncomfortable at first. That’s what the years if training were for. All those hours learning the role they meant for you to play. The others settled into their role effortlessly. They probably thought the same of me. I appeared to, at least. How could they know how unsuited I was for my role. I never said anything. Why would I? If I did, I might have endangered my spot on this trip that was going to be so amazing.
Now we have embarked and I am trapped. The role I was so uncomfortable in at first has become unbearable. I am stuck in this tiny craft, stuck with pretending to be something I am not. I have to keep pretending, the others are counting on it. It’s not their fault, I am the one who led them to believe I wanted to be here and wanted the role I accepted. I may not have asked for it, but I sure did jump into it with both feet.
I know there is only one way out now. My earliest training taught me how dangerous that way is. “You must never go there, that leads to unimaginable horrors.” It is the way I must go now, though. I know there is no other choice for me. I can’t stay confined in here, I just can’t.
I am sure no one saw me come in here. I reach to open the hatch. Look how much my hand is shaking. By focusing my concentration, I am able to open it. It takes all my will to step out into the nothingness. I am still tethered to the spacecraft, but I am not confined anymore. I am free. I am standing on the edge of space.
My hands aren’t shaking anymore. The nerves are gone. Unhooking the tether takes little effort. I didn’t think it would be like this. The unimaginable horrors aren’t here. Nothing is here. As far as I am concerned, no one has ever been here before. Oh sure, I have heard the stories of the others. I can’t say I am following their path though. There are no footprints in space. Everyone’s path is their own out here. I won’t leave a path for anyone else, either. If I ever get to where I am going, I will gladly do what I can to help, but I can’t leave breadcrumbs for them to follow.
The tether is still in sight, floating around just like me. If I stretch maybe I could still reach it, but I don’t want to. I am floating in an utterly empty world, watching my old life drift away. Someone else will fill that role I never felt right in.
Now I am thinking about a new role. Maybe I haven’t been training all those years for it, but it already feels comfortable. I am still in the middle of nothing though. How long will I float out here before I find what I am looking for? Will I be welcomed when I find it? Maybe this is unimaginable horror for some. Floating with nothing in sight, no anchor, no role to call your own. It is the antithesis to what we were told it was supposed to be. We were supposed to glide along in a safe secure and oh so solid craft, insulated from nothingness, being who were trained to be. Now that safe secure craft is out of sight.
I am all alone, drifting towards the unknown, with nothing to grab on to, no security, no insulation. It is quite peaceful in reality. No one telling me my role. Until my destination comes into sight, until it’s clear, I will just float. I will just be.