She hated being confused. She hated feeling so wishy-washy on every topic, every inclination, every desire that sprang to mind. It was like she was in a constant, tiring dance of taking one step forward, then one step back—moving confidently in no direction at all and surrendering her only movements to wandering gusts of wind. It was hard to explain, and frustrating to keep pent up inside.

One moment, she felt as if she knew so many things, had so many things to say—but was without any good, clear way of turning that knowledge, those beliefs, into something useful. She was trapped inside herself—a mute, thought stupid or incapable by others, but containing within her a storm of unexpressed ideas. Then, the very next moment, she would feel as if in fact she really didn’t know anything, that her certainties had been misplaced, that she was overcome by too much choice; and then she would be stuck with some strange and irritating guilt at having had the pride, the audacity, to have once thought so confidently otherwise.

She would feel a desire, then mistrust it, and a whole debate ensued about accepting desires with simplicity and grace—acknowledging that they were natural and good—versus being in a state of surrender to whatever was meant to be—desireless except for a single desire, which was to do the will of God, or to have that will be done.

The complication was a mess—and not helpful in the least. It was an exhausting business to be so at war with herself that she didn’t even know how to think, how to want, how to move, how to look at herself in the mirror.

Of course, it wasn’t always as bad as all that—and after a while, she learned to mostly ignore those thoughts as phenomena which diminished when not paid attention to—but having such music as the soundtrack to her mind could be exasperating. She envied the people who simply moved with their intuitions, uncluttered, uncomplicated, undivided—not backtracking, or doubting, or entertaining interminable dialogues in their heads. How nice it would be to know what you wanted, and to believe that wanting those things was good. What a simple relationship!

The secret to that freedom she craved was to stop thinking of herself—to be lost in the contemplation or doing of other things. But how she could get there when she was so deeply entrenched in the habit of introspection—when she was so apparently and frustratingly obsessed with herself—was a mystery to her. Falling in love was probably the best remedy—but what could she do when she couldn’t find anyone to fall in love with? She just huddled up in her warm bed at night and wrote little journal entries to pass the time, I suppose.