The “Other Side”


Natalie Elischer, Staff Writer

 I love superhero stories. Always have, always will. The only bad thing about them, other than all of the Fantastic Four movies and the first attempt at Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, is that when you leave the theater, the adventure is over. The characters, in some weird little pocket dimension, get to live out the rest of their badass lives, presumably kicking butt, content with themselves and comfortable with their role in their universe. You get to walk outside with your wallet eleven dollars lighter and with an ache in your heart because you have a glaring lack of purpose.

 I guess I’m feeling particularly philosophical in this moment, so I’d like to capture my thoughts before they eventually fly off into oblivion and are shrouded by memory relays of my most embarrassing moments from the fourth grade to present day.

 I love stories. I love reading, and I love shows, and movies, and plays. You get to see through the eyes of another person who, in most cases, goes through trial and tribulation and makes it to the other side. I watch or read for the entire experience of their story, but some deeper part of me watches just to see someone else’s “other side.” I don’t know what my other side is, and I think that’s why I get so easily lost in all these different characters and their lives. I defend characters like I defend myself, because for the amount of time I read or watch their journey play out, it’s my journey. I want to create my own story, produce or publish it, show it off to the world. More often than not, actually all of the time, I open up a document and I start to type and eventually run out of words. Not literally, I’m actually quite proud of my vocabulary that I’ve obtained so far, but I run out of story. I hit the second act and my mind goes blank.

 I’ve been alive for sixteen years. That may seem like a minuscule amount of time to the majority of the population, but it’s all I’ve ever known. That’s all of my life, all of my thoughts, feelings, and experiences. I think I’m unable to finish any story I start because I don’t what mine is. Every week I think I’ve found my something, my purpose. I make a ten year plan and I tell my family, and they’re proud. And then when the sun makes another rotation I’m an empty shell, a blank canvas. I repaint and reinvent myself and go back over with primer the next day. I’m an adult inside the body of a child that’s scared of growing up. I’m scared of the future because I don’t know what that is for me. I don’t know what my other side is or what will get me there.

 Despite how crushing this feels, like you’re watching the world around you function perfectly as you’re trying to break out of your Plexiglas bubble with about three holes for air that are smaller than your fist, it’s okay. You may be in a Plexiglas bubble, unable to thoroughly communicate with people because every time you talk it sounds like you’re underwater, but you still have those three openings. Those air holes that you curse for being too small to slip through are the things keeping you alive. If you’ve made it this far, there’s got to be a reason, right? You may not know why you’re still breathing, but there is a reason. You’ll find it, eventually. I know, eventually is a scary word. For some people it may mean a week, others years. I have a feeling mine is going to show up soon. I mostly think that because I put out an APB on it.

 Believe it or not, you’re here for a reason. Whether or not that reason has shown up yet doesn’t determine your worth as a person. What does is if you plug up those holes before you find it.