SA: Finding balance in the Universe. Or... trying. (Ysolde)


IC Date Reference: Set prior to the Frost Fayre - approximate date, some time in the twelfth or eleventh month.

Whether you were aware of it or not, time moved on. For Ysolde, the past few months since the Hatching had been an unsettling combination of frozen in time and whirling past so fast she didn’t think she could focus on it. Her mind would drift back wistfully to the days where her thoughts were little more than the gold she would Impress, the now bronze Weyrling that she had envisioned reining over the Barracks with and the blissful bubble of the picture she had painted of the success she had felt so sure had been hers to take. But now… now so much of that certainty had been replaced but a treacherously flawed foundation that felt as though it would collapse on her at any moment. Only a few months before, Ysolde had been all but convinced that at this moment in time, her life would be very, very different. And it was. Just… not remotely how she had envisioned.

As time had gone on, the lacerations on her arms had healed. On the outside, at least. The shiny, pink scars that criss-crossed her arms still had some further healing to go and still needed day to day care to keep the skin supple, but the reminder would be there forever. It was still hard not to see them as proof positive of little more than catastrophic failure and most days, easier to keep them covered. Because the sympathetic glances were worse. These days, the nightmares had more or less subsided and with Iyundi’s help, Ysolde was slowly accepting that Sorho’s horrific death hadn’t been anyone’s fault, least of all hers. In the Mindhealer’s office there had been whirlwinds of emotion from crippling distress to destructive anger. And somewhere inside her, Ysolde was still angry to some degree, angry that what she had felt certain was her future had been stolen away. But slowly, it withered into something more… resigned. The reality was, due to her nature, there was probably always a piece of her, though small, that would feel as though it was a testament that despite all of her efforts, she just hadn’t quite been enough. And that hurt was going to take time to change. On top of everything, she felt just so far away from everyone. The Candidates had moved on because they were certain that the next hatching would be their moment for sure. And that just wasn’t something Ysolde could relate to. Because despite all the lessons and lectures that they had to be willing to want to Impress whatever picked them, Ysolde wasn’t so sure that that would ever be her. It felt obtusely contradictory to “settle” and at the same time be told to strive for everything. And Ysolde couldn’t just accept something that fell into her lap by pure chance. She wanted to know it was something she had worked her fingers to the bone for.

The Weyr-wide lockdown hadn’t helped. By now, she had thought she would have seen more of K’el, to tentatively quest at the connection between them and letters… only did so much. Confused by the feelings she felt for the bronze Weyrling, she had carefully set boundaries with S’ryll, enjoying his friendship intensely but now feeling as though to continue their dalliance was somehow… wrong. The time they did spend together was wholly enjoyable and light-hearted in a way she hadn’t realised she needed to keep her connected. But at the same time, K’el felt inordinately far away and at times… not even real. Each letter was gobbled up as though she were a beggar offered a meal for the first time in a month. But the sensation was fleeting and almost immediately, she felt… starved again. And she didn’t know what for. No, she didn’t think it was anything as fickle as just wanting to warm her furs but at the same time, she felt disconnected from… something. And all she knew was that it was something intensely personal. The truth was, Ysolde didn’t know what she was anymore. Who she was. She had built the past couple of turns around one thing and one thing only. Suspiciously, her brain tried to proprose the idea that she was only an object of interest to the likes of S’ryll and K’el because of what she had aspired to be and where she had been so certain she would end up. And now, not only had it not happened but now was increasingly unlikely to happen, those seeds of doubt tried to sprout no matter how hard she was trying to squash them underfoot.

Her sensible brain was trying its hardest to be practical. To convince her as she had so sensibly told herself before, that she did indeed have a very worthwhile secondary option. Her style of jewelcrafting seemed to be more popular than she had realised, her personal spending purse from the cut of sale her father giving her steadily growing. Sensibly her brain gently pointed out that she could quite likely progress through the ranks of her Craft and in a few short turns, establish a different sort of success, a different sort of name for herself. But the inspiration that had previously come so easily seemed to have escaped her. Ysolde had all but convinced herself that it would be as easy as uncovering a glow basket to switch her focus from her desire to Impress to develop within her Craft. Now… she wasn’t sure it was that easy at all. And part of her felt that she was uselessly clinging to a futile desire and losing her grip on a much more realistic future.

The fact was, there was a piece of Ysolde that was angry at herself for becoming so enmeshed in an idea with so much certainty when in fact, there was no certainty at all. There wasn’t even a guaranteed chance. Yet, she had somehow convinced herself that it was all but a sure thing and the foolishness of it, when she prided herself on sensible consideration frustrated her to no end. It felt juvenile in a way that she had told herself she was beyond. Because now she was stuck. Leaving the Candidacy felt as though she were accepting defeat and giving in, but staying felt like a constant reminder that not only could it go in a very different direction and she didn’t feel she had the inspiration to want to progress differently. She had gone from knowing precisely what she wanted to not knowing at all. And it caused a huge mental and emotional block that she didn’t know how to navigate around. She felt very adrift in her own thoughts, a tiny ship struggling over mountainous and churning waves looking desperately for the safety of a harbour. If she didn’t find it soon, Ysolde had little doubt that the small ship of herself would end up capsized and decimated on the treacherous rocks.

She just wasn’t sure what she needed to do to find that beacon of direction again. And as time moved on, Ysolde was starting to feel the gnawing worry that she wouldn’t be able. That time was somehow, in some way, running out.

= End =

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