Sick and tired, to be precise.
Did nothing all day and it was a waste of time. By “nothing”, I mean a two-hour Uni seminar which was a waste of time, followed by a bunch of nothing and then a bunch more nothing. So much nothing!
Sure there were things in there, filling duties to others based on duties I’ve placed on myself, and some socialisation to try to spice up the mix. But I’m tired of pandering to social and subcultural norms. I feel bound by a subcultural expectation to behave a particular way, and I’m over it.
I am sick and tired of having to run my life in the direction of some perpetually elusive future. I am fed up with going towards something, or perhaps better put, having to decide that the present boredom or struggle is worth enduring because eventually I might realise that I’ve reached something better. I’m tired of having to go about daily life persuading myself to decide to make each moment interesting or joyful or meaningful purely because most of the moments are the dullest thing I could possibly imagine, only occasionally brightened by one seeming intrinsically good.
I have had enough with slogging through study days and forcing myself to apply myself, only to collapse into bed at some unearthly hour due to my screwed up body clock. I’m tired of the limitations of working two days a week and studying full time – sixteen paid hours in a week which requires about 60 hours of productivity, plus costs.
I’m so sick and tired I start to wonder dark and macabre things. Nobody would even have a clue that so much thickly swirls just underneath, so close to breaking the surface. I confront a void of black impossibility and question why it’s impossible that I should consider venturing out past the point of no return. Driving home tonight, within the space of 3 seconds, I can recall 8 such confrontations, each of them lightning fast, distinctly separate and grossly morbid.
But we can’t have that, can we? Everything has to be rosy, all the time, whenever anybody asks, because it should be. What could possibly be wrong? How could Mr Optimist be suffering such turmoil? He’s just him, they say with a smile, and previously I would have grinned widely, agreed wholeheartedly, and set my mind on pumping up my own opinion of the next thing I have to do. No longer.
Sick and tired. So over it. I want out. Let me out!
When I visited the local lookout described in the previous post, I was experiencing no pleasant solitude. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant place, and the memory of the cool air, the still quiet and the twinkling lights is far more comforting now than it was then. My emotions that day tended to push me further and further towards the irrational. I knew it before, but I experience it now: they can also pull one closer and closer to being in balance.
I am reassured just now that it can be possible to feel urgency and serenity at the same time. For right at this moment, holding on to nothing more vital than life itself, I feel both urgency and serenity, and the two are not at odds.
Now, I am keenly aware that I have proffered some rampant emotionlessness of late. But I think the pendulum swings both ways, and I am glad of it.
I should both seek and cherish serenity, and this at any moment: now.
Yesterday’s struggle wasn’t enough. It was useful to air a view but I don’t feel there was much resolution.Â Perhaps tonight’s will have certain differences.
I railed against the struggle in the last 24 hours. I went out tonight and got some form of rest and relaxation, but it wasn’t fulfilling – it left me empty. I went to a lookout and surveyed the sleeping city’s flickering lights, but the clear sky and crisp air only served to emphasise my solitude. I was in two minds, then four, then none.
The feeling of emptiness is bizarre given how full my life really is. Ironically, it is full of certain things which don’t fill. And certain things which drain. The key point is that I need to do everything I can to avoid the drains. (For the record, I will state that one of those drains is caused by financial concerns – money.)
But I am alive, and the very life within me wills me to live. So I must live. If I am to really live, I must do so to the fullest extent possible. To do so I will choose to take delight in small pleasures and momentary joys. The fleeting can thereby become a motivation during the mundane.
Life is the certain difference.
The last days, say up to a week or so, have been hectic, emotional, and tiresome.
Work is stressful because I can’t devote enough time to it to meet expectations and promises. Uni gets pushed further and further back on the shelf of things to do next, and sleep is gathering dust even further back in a dim cobwebby corner.
Still I must go about my day to day existence, meeting all the requirements I impose on myself. But for what? I find that I’m not deriving an inherent reward worth this much – surely there is more enjoyment to be had from each day. Indeed, if life is short and days are numbered, I had better be doing it for the right reason. So then I ask myself, “Self, what is it that drives you?”
First with surprise, and then with resignation, my answer is Duty.
Duty – the one thing which is stands apart from the rest. The primary reason I bother to rise every morning. I feel duty bound to achieve, to excel, to exceed. It is a duty to self, yes, but I feel it directed also to God, family and friends. Funny how this duty seems to take prominence above all other possible motivation. How I wish it was anything else: growth, passion, love, excitement, opportunity, faith.
I wonder now if there isn’t a better way to do all of this. Of particular note is the fact that busyness can always be manageable until it becomes overwork, after which point the sun wanes, espresso is bland uninteresting sludge and jazz is a mountain of skill I’ll never acquire.
Naturally this doesn’t fit my worldview – I’m an optimist, darn it, and I will be optimistic. But a schoolyard bully of an idea creeps up and tries to pick a fight: what if my optimistic cheer is my mask? Is it a healthy self-leadership example so as not to burden others with more grey pessimism, or a faÃ§ade closing people out and guarding them from the melancholy in me?
Optimism in the face of the mundane, of duty and overwork. This is my struggle.
Over the last little while, since my last fixation on the vicissitudes of life, I have been wanting to write another entry to describe life’s next, and current, phase. I wanted to describe in clear, incisive detail exactly how I was feeling about the world, about busyness, and about love.* However, it soon became apparent that there was an insurmountable problem.
I didn’t have the slightest clue how I felt.
Well, to be more precise (if less dramatic), I didn’t have the slightest clue how to describe how I felt. Words failed me for a long time, and the best I could do was create a narrative about the way events and circumstances were falling together. That is, until now…
(A quick disclaimer: after the jump, I wax long, deep and personal. Feel free to pass it by if you’re hoping to read something light, fluffy or not introspective. Otherwise, onward!)