How Drifting Saved My Life

 Drifting to me is not a culture, lifestyle, or even a hobby: it's my outlet, my self-expression, my art.  I grew up looking at peers thinking to myself, "Wow she plays the piano so beautifully, maybe one day I'll learn", or "That's incredible. I wish I would have the patience to draw or paint like him." Never have I had such a talent, or a creative element in my lifetime.

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I am someone of simple taste, yet unexplainable thoughts. My actions are not uncommon, but my motives are rare. Although I use logic and rationale as my cogs to keep my system running, my mind, my soul craves so much more.

Drifting is so beautiful, it's truly an art form. I do not consider myself an athlete, rather as an artist. The asphalt is my canvas, my tires are my paint, my car is the brush, and I, of course, am the hand that controls all of these movements. There's something so natural about it. Sometimes I am aware of my motions, and I know exactly what picture I will paint. Other days, I am a free spirit. Those days are the greatest. Those days are when I feel most alive. I have oftentimes joked that I am a breathing paradox. It is true!

Thinking back to Descartes as he once said, "I think therefore I am." Such a profound statement about our mere existence as human beings solely reliant on the mind rather than our physical presence. However, personally I disagree with this philosopher. The moments in which I feel most alive are when I let go of all of my thoughts. I let go of all of the "nurture" and corrupted ideas that society has spoon fed me, and I embrace what is completely natural. I let go of all expectations, doubts, desires, and fears - I let my innate, animalistic tendencies reign. That is when I paint the most beautiful, profound paintings.

My own mind is my worst enemy. I used to spend my days killing myself slowly. Every day I would lose passion for the things I once loved, I lacked motivation to open my eyes every morning, I slowly had given up on life. Not too long ago, I tried to commit suicide. It wasn't the first time, but it was definitely the most real. I attempted to jump out of the passenger seat of my ex-boyfriend's truck while he was driving on the freeway. As I unbuckled my seatbelt, I looked up and prayed to God "Please take me" and proceeded to open the door. I closed my eyes. I did not see my life flash before my eyes. I felt completely serene, happy, and at peace for that one moment. I had no thoughts whatsoever. My body and mind new that all the pain and suffering would be over soon. I got both of my legs out of the door, and I felt a large, strong hand grab onto my forearm and drag me back into my seat. My panicked ex-boyfriend swerved to the shoulder. Frightened, shocked, and concerned he yelled "Rathyna, what the hell are you doing?!" He repeated the question over and over and over again. It was as though I couldn't answer him; my vocal chords were paralyzed. I immediately started weeping. My thoughts had returned, my feelings, my pain, they had all returned. We sat on the side of the road for what seemed like an eternity. I didn't say a word; I just continued to weep. I was angry that he grabbed me. I was furious that I was still alive. I had though that it was all supposed to be over by now! “Why the hell am I still breathing, thinking, feeling? Why God? I begged you to take me, why the hell am I still here?” I struggled with those thoughts constantly. Even to this day I struggle. However, God didn't want me gone. Things started to slowly change for me.

Drifting. No one will ever understand why I do it. But I am not seeking to be understood. I am seeking for the sensation of being alive! I am yearning the feeling of no feelings. I had always prayed to God and asked Him to either take away my pain or to take me away. The goal I was trying to accomplish by killing myself, can also be accomplished by painting, or as some may call it, drifting. Letting go of everything - feeling no pain, no shame, no guilt, no negativity - it's bliss. I realized I don't need to be dead to alleviate my pain, I just need to conquer myself.  My God blessed me with the paintbrush, the canvas, and even the hands to create beautiful art. Now it is my duty to keep on painting.

No, drifting is not my life, but drifting did save my life.