Hindsight 20/Something: Two of Me

by austin beaton

Two of Me (Dante, 25)

This is an excerpt from Two of Me, an essay by Dante Testolini in Hindsight 20/Something. Read the full version and learn more about the collection here.

I used to think everything made sense. The world is rational because we know which way it spins, how many bones are in the human body, the chemical composition of the tomato. I thought, if you’re ever lost, or don’t know what to do, you can always refer to things you understand.

I was raised in a normal, functional household (only later I found out it just appeared to be functional) and things had always been relatively set out for me. I never felt like I was following someone else’s dreams or anything like that, I just felt like once I decided what I wanted to do I just had to point my feet in the right direction and they’d walk me there.

But by my last year of architecture school, I was uneasy about what I was doing. I felt like I was just floating toward some destination that I didn’t choose.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that there were two of me. The closer one got to finishing school, the farther the other was from something else.

This manifested itself in strange ways. I became more forgetful. I’d find myself staring off into space. I started losing things more often, and would pace around the house looking for them. Even as I walked circles around my living room I couldn’t tell if what I was looking for was something I left out, or something else that couldn’t be picked up off the shelf where I left it. Was it something outside of me or something inside?

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