I wonder hopelessly in the mundane. The brain begins to create that which it longs for. If the world does not provide it, I will create it. I exist in the inverse of the many, my mind seeks that which others fear. When the world is mundane, my mind creates trials and tribulations. It recalls the past and present. It reframes, evaluates, and deconstructs. It identifies what to sustain and what to change. It inputs new information to adapt to the changing world. It considers the unbelievable, that which is highly likely on the brink. The mind begins to create new challenges. It rehearses over and over. It considers its strengths and weaknesses. It plays tactical chess with perfect opponents. The odds are in their favor. How do I adapt and overcome? What will be my cost?
It creates a world where sacrifice is acceptable and inevitable. I must sacrifice time, life, limb, and all that lies in between. Every scenario solidifies and reinforces what will be needed in the future, what was once needed in a past life. “The mental is to the physical what 3 is to 1,” Napoleon. It is my system 2 rehearsing over and over so system 1 is prepared. In lieu of a life on the brink, I create a dream on the brink. I create what others seek to escape. When the world comes crashing down, I enter a state of peace. I am calm and ready. I strive towards that which others run from. In their minds, they seek a safe and peaceful place. When the world is mundane, the majority finds peace while I find painful torment.
The mind withers away like a thirsty flower. It atrophies like a sedentary muscle. My mind has known struggle since its creation. Without it, it feels alone, I feel lost.
Jake Smith is a law enforcement officer and former Army Ranger with four deployments to Afghanistan.