It will likely come as no surprise to you dear reader, but I am in a funk. And this is not some general malaise, no sir. This is a funk so funky that you would expect George Clinton is hiding out somewhere nearby.
It is all more of the same stuff you have read here before: I’m so unhappy!
Even I am getting annoyed by the frequency of these sorts of posts. It won’t hurt my feeling if you just skip this one.
Basically I am just not very hopeful about life. I have said things to this effect before. Essentially there is simply no section of my life that I am happy with right now. We all know what the easy answers are:
Unhappy with your job? Find a new one!
Unhappy with your love life? Get yourself some Eharmony going on!
Unhappy with your output of writing? Write more!
Feeling fat and disgusting? Go run more!
And so forth and so on.
And those are very cheap and easy answers and probably they are the best ones, but you know me, I like to ruminate and over analyze everything. That is probably part of the problem, huh?
I have been doing this thing lately to try and relax and while it has only been partially successful, partial success is better than none. When I am having a particularly difficult moment I try to stop myself and assess whether or not that moment is actually particularly bad. And most of the time the moment itself turns out to be okay, it is just the intensity of my self-created stress that is making it bad. This happens a lot at work and I have to say to myself, “This moment is not actually bad. Everything is okay.”
I understand that is pretty silly, but those few seconds of forced reflection have been helping me. Some.
This exercise has also helped me to figure out at least that the right now is not so much the problem, rather it is the looking ahead that is the problem and I am freaking myself out about it.
They say that confidence is one of the things that makes people attractive and let me tell you, I have confidence in spades. What I don’t seem to have though is a goal or a plan. Those two things seem like they should be connected somehow – confidence and goals - but they don’t seem to be - for me, at least – in this case.
If I were to be really honest with you, I have been coming to realize that I may never have actually had a long term plan. You see, I have spent nearly all of my adult life in serious relationships and when you’re in a serious and committed and long term relationship your own plans and goals get amalgamated with the other person’s. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, it is – in fact – what is supposed to happen when you’re trying to build a life with someone.
What may have happened to me though is that somewhere along the line I sort of lost the functional ability to figure this stuff out on my own. That is not an accusation BTW. I’m not saying, “All those damn ladies messed me up!” Nothing like that. I have nothing but fondness and admiration and love for the women I have had relationships with. I’m just saying that perhaps planning and goal-setting is a muscle and I haven’t really exercised it much as an adult.
It is also possible that I have the same syndrome that Ted has on “How I Met Your Mother”. He is basically chomping at the bit to have a sort of life that he doesn’t actually have yet; mainly one with a partner in it. Now I’m not as bad off as that guy, but he is also fictional. And he also seems to have way more sex than me, but that is neither here nor there.
I guess the point of all my blathering on is simply that I am still trying to figure things out. It has been said that a life is always a work in progress, and I suppose that is true of everyone, but I simply feel like other people may be having a better time of it than I am. I have a friend who seems to be in a constant fight with his girlfriend. And I do me CONSTANT. More than once lately he has told me how “lucky” I am to be single (I’m not even 100% sure if I am single right now, but that is a whole other complicated story …) and he tells me that he “envies” it about my life. And I have tried to tell him that I know how bad the fighting can be and how much it can hollow you out, but on the flip side, at least he has someone who cares enough about him to yell.
I haven’t been yelled at in a very long time and there is a part of me that almost misses it. How fucked up is that? Yeah, it is strange living in my head. I’m convinced that feeling is at the heart of why people sometimes stay in abusive relationships; for some people there is nothing quite as terrifying as being truly alone. I’m not to that point or anything; I just miss going to sleep at night curled up with someone who I love. And who can blame me for that?
But back to goals, the setting and the having of them; I’ve been trying to flex that muscle lately and I feel like I am doing it wrong, I still feel like I am supposed to be getting someone else’s input. It’s very strange.
I even went as far as to try making a list of things I would like to do, in the near term and in the long term. That turned into something of a cluster though. My bullet points were things like: save more money, find a job I like, write more.
It was a great example of how truly excruciating vagueness can be.
At this point I sort of envy those people who have always known that they wanted kids ASAP, or who have always wanted to own a house or to make a six figure salary. I have an old friend back home who has been running a small business, paying a mortgage and popping out kids for almost a decade now. God bless him. I wish I knew how to be that way. The only constant I have ever had on my own was “write!” But even with that I have always let the writing get pushed to the side when things like “need to pay the rent” came up. Why is that? I really don’t have a very good answer.
So what have we learned today? I guess we have learned that I’m absolutely no where at the moment. I am adrift on the sea of life. I really need to work on that because I don’t like it anymore than you like having to read about it.
It is simply becoming more and more clear to me that I must do something different with my life. I simply don’t know what that is at the moment. This is the exact problem writers sometimes encounter while staring blankly at a blank page. I feel like I am looking out at a future that is completely unwritten at the moment. There is a part of me that finds that a tiny bit exciting, but the most of me simply finds it terrifying.
My lease has about eight months left on it, after that I need to have something in the works. Does that means packing my bags and moving on? And to where? A former professor of mine has encouraged me to apply to grad school again, is that even reasonable at my advanced age? Would a better job be enough to turn this titanic around? Should I just give it all up and join a collective somewhere? Or find Jesus and let him tell me what to do?
I have always felt like I knew myself pretty well, but I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately to figure out what I really want out of this life. It has not been an easy process. I have been trying to find out why I am constantly on the verge of breaking down into a big snotty, tear-stained mess. I don’t have an answer yet.
As a teenager I was diagnosed with depression and I was on meds until I was about 25. The doctors seemed to think that I simple outgrew the depression as my chemicals stabilized into adulthood, but lately I’m not so sure. I can’t tell if the way I feel is situational and reasonable or if I’m in the shadow of that old cloud again. Dexter’s dark passenger makes him murder people, mine just makes me want to cry like a little girl all the time. I’m not sure which one of us is better off. That’s a joke. Kinda.
Well, in the absence of a clear path forward I guess I will just try to make another one of those lists of goals … because that worked so well last time.
Sorry this post has been so long and rambling. It was more for me than for you anyway.