Do you believe in ghosts? What are ghost? We imagine this spectre eerily present, it’s as though we can feel we are being watched. The feeling of not being alone, when we appear to be, fills us with anxiety. This is the classic haunting, but what about the everyday mundane hauntings that occur more often than we care to admit. Maybe they are more real than we’ve realized. By definition of Merriam-Webster, ghost can be “1 : the seat of life or intelligence; the soul.” Second, “a disembodied soul; especially, the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness.” These are the more familiar definitions of what ghost are, but maybe these definitions have lost there relevance in today’s society.
The less traditional, Urban Dictionary, defines Ghost firstly as verb, “to avoid someone until they get the picture and stop contacting you” second, “to leave a social gathering, often of an intimate atmosphere, without notifying others in the group.” and third, “one who feels no emotions” example being “the sad, angry, happy, etc feeling pass right through someone.”
I’ve had to ghost, to out ghost, the ghost themselves. In an effort to maintain boundaries and space I just…ghost. Social gatherings sound like torture to me at the moment, and I would be happy to have emotions pass right through me, but that would be more mythical than any ghost.
Island life has its many ups and downs. Where in the city I could go to the coffee shop and not see anyone I know, here you see everyone and maybe meet a few new people along the way. If you stay on the safe side where you maintain healthy happy relationships with your friends and family then it’s generally a positive experience.
Unfortunately, sometimes relationships inevitably go sour and you need your space, but you can’t really get that here. The anxiety of running into your ghost is always prevalent. Even when you somehow manage to avoid certain people, it’s then the questions, or the concerned look on other’s faces, that continue the haunting.
So how do we shift this? How do we change it back into a positive experience to be seen, to be watched, to be haunted? We forget that just because we can’t genuinely say “Im good” it doesn’t make us a bad person. We have to allow ourselves to not be okay all the time. It takes honesty and courage, to be open and vulnerable. Instead of wanting to feel nothing, feel everything and don’t be afraid to go to the coffee shop and tell someone you don’t feel like talking about it, or do talk about it and be more honest than your comfortable with. Instead of the soul sucking answer, “Im good and you?” know that you are allowed to say, “My life is a fucking wreck right now.” Just be real and your ghost won’t be as much.