Limbo – Enjoying the In Between

Jack Thistlewood, Writer

The past few days have been an amalgamation of little sleep and a lot of work. Which meant that I would often be stuck for minutes (or even hours) on end in a sort of daze when I got caught on something. When I returned to reality, the time I’d spent in my head felt like an eternal moment so brief and so long that I couldn’t fathom its existence. The fact that I tend to lose my train of thought doesn’t help those matters, either. In fact, I’m pretty sure I just went on a mental tangent between this sentence and the last one.

A state of limbo is fundamentally static. What does that mean for me? It’s odd to think about how many revelations I’ve had in my life – and to think about how many of those revelations have been forgotten. Epiphanies regarding the whole interconnectedness of a book, for example, can and are easily forgotten the moment a hand grabs at their coattails. That means that I have to fight to obtain my opinion on a matter, which is no small matter of required diligence. Sometimes, I envy the instinctual reactions others or even myself have. An opinion is formed immediately and concisely with a small amount of evidence. I may not envy the result of such haphazard opinions, but creating them on the spot is something I find difficult to do in the first place. 

I don’t know where that last paragraph went, but it helps a lot more than I thought it would to just record my internal monologue. As I’ve said, keeping track of my own thoughts is a tenuous process at best. It reminds me of something, where someone exclaims that their brain is like an internet browser. Twenty to thirty tabs are open at any one time, ten of them have plans scheduled for the same exact time, there’s something to turn in, and some form of company spyware is idly observing the chaos unfold. Also, audio is playing from at least one tab at all times. But that’s just my overactive head thinking about thinking. And before anyone asks, yes, I have actually written an essay that discussed how strange it is to define or even discuss the process of thought.

Now that I’m looking at everything I’ve just written, there’s an odd connection I’m making. I enjoy all of my hobbies because they allow me to enter into that aforementioned ‘limbo’ state. Time stops being a concern, even for five minutes, and thus I’m allowed to experience and observe without worry. Limbo might just be the only time that the world stops trying to lap me. When next I look at the clock and an hour’s passed in five minutes, I look back with abject surprise. Part of me might think that I just wasted an hour of my life doing whatever it was I was doing. Another part of me probably chooses to play devil’s advocate and claims that it was the most useful experience I’ll ever bear witness to. 

I don’t know how to feel about limbo, even with all of these branching thoughts on the matter. In a sense, it’s my favorite thing to see and feel. In quite a different sense, it empties my head of everything. Maybe that’s a good thing, though. When I overthink my situation, there’s always some complex misstep in my logic that I have to manually search for. There’s rarely, if ever, a ‘Ctrl+F’ (a very helpful command for searching for specific words in a document, if you were unaware) feature for me to use. There’s no definitive way to see what exactly I did wrong or why I’m telling myself I did something wrong. And if there’s something I hate more than anything in the world, it’s that very feeling of incomprehension. 

At least, it is when I’m not about to aneurysm over the most minor of inconveniences.