On Birdsong and Changes


Chukwukwe Eugenia Adaku

I never really liked birdsong. I always found it distracting. When the world is quiet enough that the only thing truly audible is the trill of nearby birds, I’m usually sitting still, staring off at nothing, thinking. Curt, cheerful chirps usually yank me from pensive silence, and I’m at once annoyed and thankful for this. If I’m allowed to sit, uninterrupted, for a certain amount of time, my thinking often wanders back to the same paths, like a recovering addict saying “just one hit will be okay, I’m cutting down.”
Of course, that just opens the floodgates to self- abuse. There’s an affliction that I have that is a bit different than being unmotivated, and it goes a bit deeper than such a trite description. It’s like the drive to start doing what I want to do just isn’t there–the energy required to begin is absent. It’s like I’m unmotivated to be motivated. It seems like a temporary rut to be stuck in, but what if it’s the case that the longer I’m mired here the closer to impossible it becomes to ever claw my way back out?
Maybe I just need a fresh start, a clean slate. But I doubt I’ll ever truly be able to, or want to, just say “life starts again now” and move forward as if the door I’m now stepping through was never connected to the hallway behind it. I’ve walked a long, convoluted path and managed to–with a few instances of tripping and stumbling–make it through without breaking stride. Am I just supposed to leave it all behind?
I hate the thought of choosing to discard something I worked so hard to achieve. It not only discredits the success, but it undermines the whole effort behind it. It makes nothingness where every primary and auxiliary emotion, wish, desire, motivation, was directed, invested. And in a lot of ways, the transition in my life that October will bring is precisely that.
What is it I want out of life? I used to think I knew exactly, if not how I was going to achieve it. I didn’t need to map out each and every step of the way, because as long as I knew where my feet were firmly planted and the end destination, I would be able to figure out the intermediate journey. Plans are already changing–some by choice, others by circumstance. Personal, career, social goals all seem to have morphed and changed, even if only slightly. A dedicated push for school looms on the horizon: something I had hardly considered and certainly not desired even six months ago. I’m determined to take life more in stride, adopting a more carefree and slightly less devoted attitude until someone or something truly makes me feel like putting myself fully into what I’m pursuing won’t just lead to empty hands and broken spirits. I want to find an outlet for my natural athleticism that I’ve been unable to do for the past year, to find something both fun and challenging that changes how I physically feel.. But right now, I’m just sitting here thinking, dissatisfied and in a stuporous semi-malaise. The birds have stopped singing, chirping, squawking trilling. About fucking time.

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