I just watched This Is Us, the episode called “What Now?” Every episode is a tear-jerker. I mean by the end of each one, you’re a blubbery mess. But this one hit me hard. Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched this episode, please do not read any further because I have to lay some stuff out first.
So I identify with Randall in this episode. A lot. Randall tries to control everything in his life, but after his father dies he’s reminded to “roll down the windows and listen to some music,” which is metaphorical and literal. When he leaves the hospital after his father dies, he does just that, but when he returns home, he also does it.
For me, what Randall’s father William was telling him, and me, that it was time that he set himself free.
I have spent much of my life trying to be perfect, like Randall. I thought that if I was perfect then it would erase or mitigate terrible, not-so-perfect things that happened to me when I was 5 or 6 years old. I have spent my life trying to make it right, get it right, and I have failed miserably.
Because instead of focusing on how to make up for those terrible moments in time I needed to focus on being free. I have never felt free in my life. I still don’t feel free. I feel like I’m living my life in a prison (of my own making apparently) with invisible titanium bars. Bars that keep me neat, safe and perfect while all this really awesome, cool shit happens just beyond the bars, just out of my reach—or so it seems.
As I sit inside this prison, I dream of how to live while I watch as others grab hold of life and wring out every moment. I cried during this episode of This Is Us because I want so desperately to not only feel free but to be free. Free of shame, free of demons, free of running, free of numbness, free of fear. Just free.
Randall walked into his office and quit his job, not knowing what he was going to do next. I just want to find the key to unlock this invisible prison so I can know what it’s like to live life on the outside, in the sun, where everyone else is soaking up the rays.
I’m so frustrated living in this cell. And I know there’s not one key that will magically unlock it, but I will work on picking the lock till I’m outta here.