I look over my shoulder as I hear a faint voice calling out my name. It sounds so sinister yet so inviting. I try to fight the urge to go nearer, but inquisitiveness takes over me once more. Inches away, the light starts to blind my eyes, but I muster up the courage to jump in with both feet. A few seconds pass, I hesitantly open my eyes. Click! The door behind me suddenly locks. The sound of the keys jangling trails off, and I hear the same voice that was calling out my name. This time, I became certain that whoever was on the other side of the door lured me here for a dark reason. But why does the voice sound so familiar? With nowhere else to go, I decided to explore. Why do I see blurry videos and pictures of myself wherever I go? Why does it seem like I am so in my head? It took a while for me to realize, but it turns out that I was really in my head. I am in my mind maze, and I cannot seem to find a way out.
Our mind holds a great deal of strength. It has the ability to make us believe truths and lies, and it also has the power to bring out the best and worst in us. Personally, I view my mind as a diary and a very powerful, influential weapon. Its intellect, wit, and creativity have helped me blossom and grow accordingly. However, its ability to degrade, humiliate, and overthink has been a cause of my occasional decay and withering.
Diaries are meant to be a safe space where one can air out his or her sentiments and judgments without feeling the need to hold back. Although my mind serves as a safe space, the only con about having it as my diary is that I cannot rip out the pages that contain messages that I want to forget so badly. Whenever I go back to my old classroom, I remember that one time that I got embarrassed by a teacher. A test comes up, and memories of stressful cramming and staying up daunt me. I visit an old hangout spot, and I get flashbacks of the people that used to be in my life. From there, everything bad suddenly starts to resurface. One unpleasant memory comes after the other. Then, I start to spiral.
Afraid of falling into a pit of self-pity, I decide to do what seems like the only option: manipulation. I may not be able to rip out some pages, but I can definitely cover up and tweak a few things here and there to make it look more appealing. When I do not reach my expected grade, I tell myself that I just did not study hard enough because I had other responsibilities to fulfill. Any loss can magically be justified with the lamest excuses… at least in my head. Maybe, this is I trying to compensate for the fact that these distressing memories are here to stay no matter how hard I try to forget.
There is only one diary like mine in this world, and I know that I am never going to lose it. On the other hand, I feel relieved that it will be there whenever I need a replay of one of my core memories. Be that as it may, when everything in my mind gets too much, I have no way of disposing it or shutting it down even just for a little while. My mental diary holds my most precious memories and my worst thoughts, and I have no choice but to simply let them coexist.
All of these pent-up frustrations continue to arise as I try to find a way out of my mind maze. The voices that I hear sound like different people now, but then I realized that I was just listening to different versions of myself. I look straight ahead, and I see the five-year-old me giggling over a storybook. To my left and right are the tween and teen versions of myself; one is grumbling at everything and everyone around her while the other is screaming and singing her heart out. I then look behind me, and I see the same door that locked me in a few moments ago. I walk towards it, and I hear the same voice again. Only this time, there was something bright about it. The voice sounded good, and approaching it felt right.
“Are you there?” The voice kept repeating the same question, and it hit me. It was not someone else calling out my name and asking questions. It was I all along. I pushed myself to enter the mind maze, and I was also the one who managed to get myself out. From sinister and skeptic to sweet and sure, I still do not know which voice of mine got me in the maze, but what I do know is that the mind works in mysterious ways. We simply learn how to navigate our way through the messy mind maze that we all have inside us.