I have been gifted with an especially blank mind.
It hasn't always been this way. I remember the thrumming in the back of my head, where the flat behind my ears curves upwards into the apex. My consciousness would play melodies on loop - sometimes music, sometimes words, sometimes revelations - and sought opportunity to perform, without fear, even in early stages of understanding.
I used to lean into the rhythm of math problems and outfit planning and chances to share advice. In the most mundane of places, I found myself in conversations lush with understanding. I defaulted to presence and connections came to me.
Today, I sense the new state of my brain. It makes less sound and holds fewer objects. It is there, in its rightful place, like the period at the end of a sentence. But it is not preoccupied or energetic. It lacks its previous underscore, and communicates, falsely, that I am in a soundless production. The small dramas of everyday life go unmarked, and so I soon forget them. My iteration of self is limited to post-worthy announcements. Things of little consequence remain that, and never have the chance to build to discovery.
It took me many months to fully recognize and accept this passivity within myself. Along the way, I felt that I was losing my wit, or perhaps descending into a stupor. Surely, the minds of geniuses are always buzzing with ideas and intrigue, and mine was slumbering. To disguise my nervousness, I made off-hand jokes about the irony of education dulling my brain. But I also found it lovely to be so close to calm, to say goodbye to the nagging that used to tug me away from sleep.
I am feeling the effects of isolation - of losing social partners who echo and duel and challenge me. Perhaps it’s natural after leaving my college years and their exciting ricochets of self-discovery. Perhaps it’s the good kind of settling, where I am prioritizing rest over creation. But maybe I am selling myself short when I believe that I am too tired or too boring or too stupid to structure my consciousness into words. If a girl speaks into the void and no one is around to hear it, does she make a sound?
I often find myself staring at nothing, thinking of nothing, or thinking of more and how I am not it. I crave free time, but do not know what to do with it when it arrives. I am not sure if I am peaceful or numbed, if I am grateful or disturbed. I value stillness as a precursor to solitary transcendence and fear it as a sign of mental decay.
I have learned, accidentally, to navigate to idleness in spare, unfocused moments. I have bookmarked the blankness of my mind to revisit over and over again, like a pit stop at a familiar diner on a longer road trip through the mountains. I am writing to remember that my two hands are on the steering wheels and there are many more places I would like to go.