It was 4:30 AM, pitch black outside save the yellowish glow from the street lights. I cycled up the final bend before seeing the corner of the block my house was on, exhausted from the five odd hours I’d just spent playing volleyball. I could feel my my legs aching, my left hand throbbing from the bruise I’d acquired and my throat parched once again.
Then I blinked, and snapped to a third person view of myself.
In an instant, it was like I experienced the evening once more in a rush from a spectator’s point of view, watching myself go from warming up before the night tournament’s games began to (subtly) gazing at that pretty girl across the field to leaping high into the air for a jump serve to the present, sitting tiredly on my bike in the cold. I disconnected from myself; it was as if someone else had done all those things, and I had just watched. I hummed out loud, and even that sounded a little foreign to my ears.
I drifted to a stop in front of my house, feeling, for lack of a better word, strange. I locked my bike, walked to my front door and then shook myself, as if to try and switch back to first person.
I’m not sure what brought this on, but it might have been complete and utter immersion in what was going on. Normally, I think being absolutely engrossed in what you’re doing is a good thing; it implies that you feel happy, engaged with what you’re doing. This was different. It felt like I’d been upset all night, but only just realized it after everything had finished happening and I had a spare moment to blink. It also wasn’t as if I suddenly became upset, rather as if I detachedly noticed that I had been upset earlier. It was like I watched myself, as if from the sidelines, trying too hard to have a good time.
This isn’t the first time I’ve felt momentarily disconnected from myself, but I don’t think it’s entirely unpleasant. It’s like a realization that I’m (and people are) more than the sum of my parts. There’s a mind, a soul somewhere in this body, behind all the things I say and do. Knowing this is powerful, I feel, because it allows you to redefine who you are as a human being. Recognizing why you’re feeling something or that you’re even feeling something to begin with is important to changing it. The same goes for why you do certain things or act a certain way.
Blinking momentarily and thinking about how the night had progressed and how I’d really been feeling helped me tell myself: “Hey, next time don’t do stuff if you know you’re not gonna have fun. Stop being upset over something that already happened, and move on.”