Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Been Hurt? Yeah, me too.

But ever since, I think, I've withdrawn into a tightened self, and most of the time, I've been very very cautious.

Which is also to say that I've been scared.  Entirely way too scared.  It has been ridiculous.  It has been non-stop, for a few years now.  It has corresponded roughly with my sobriety.

But no more.  I have no reason to be scared all the time.  I know it sounds simple.  I know it sounds infantile.  I also know that I've been entirely too uncomfortable, really, all but seething to leap out of my skin at the slightest touch.

I'm not going to switch toward recklessness, but I simply refuse to walk around letting others dictate how I'll feel for reasons as yet unfounded.

Two Spirals Against Each Other Net to Zero -

1. Friends are people with whom you can feel excited about something.  If you can't expose your own excitement, perhaps these are just acquaintances.

2. Creativity isn't always inspiring/inspirational/uplifting.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

In A Funk: No Fancy Ending -

I think we read fiction because it ends, and that's tremendously calming.

The reality is much less pleasantly clear.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Four Thousand Dollar Pens -

I'm the first to admire a fine writing instrument, okay.  I won't forsake such a thing, but, hey, let's face it: we don't write that much.

And another thing.  Pens tend to get lost.  Like, "whoops, no longer available for my use and will likely never be again, especially if it costs 4k."

Which is why I can't help but sort of drool at this four thousand dollar pen.  I could set you up with a very good stereo for that, and include a fair bit of music.  I could also get you two very good bicycles.  Or one bike and one stereo.

Then again, bikes and stereos are things to show off with too, so it might be hard to find one that satisfies you if you're the kind of person who considers dropping 4k on a pen.  A pen folks.  It writes.  Perfectly decent thirty cent options exist that cover the same ground.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

People Want Hope -

And they're willing to delude themselves to get it.

Hope any other way is just too hard, right?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

You're Not My Best Friend -

If you act like we're childhood girlfriends once again I'm going to have to mentally decapitate you and imagine myself staring at the nape of your neck, and the nape will be gurgling at me, and it won't be you, you see, but me, alone, with a nape, and then what?  Do you still desire my gossip partnership?  Do you still want to fill me in on the emotional vacancy of your marriage, and the fact that your daughter despises you, or get "cookies" with me as the afternoon wanes.

I don't need to expose myself to you, is the thing, and your presumption otherwise doesn't just "make me uncomfortable."  It makes me violent.  So watch out.  And step off.

So can you please stop talking at me conspiratorially?  

Can you find a way to produce your faux comfort at the mirror instead?  It would be  a lot less taxing for me.  Thx.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Belief in Justice -

We all presuppose the rule of law (or morality, or justice, however you want to phrase it), and we, all of us, also believe we're inherently better than other people, and mostly that we don't deserve punishment and other people do deserve it.

To say that we're hypocrites only begins to highlight the fiction we create to explain our own actions to ourselves: our narrative ascription is really wide and deep, and we're never in need to maintain our effort to propel it into action.  We're natural liars, in other words.

Even knowing this doesn't do it justice, though, because we, me included as I write it, believe, automatically and defacto, that, having greater knowledge we'll self-deceive less than previously.  And we're just as wrong about it as we were about initially recognizing it.  Because it happens in dynamic situations, over and under playing our hands, and selecting information.

Repeat after me.

I don't know.

Fuck if I know!

Fuck you, I just don't give a damn anymore because I don't know!

If I knew, I wouldn't be here.

It takes me a long time to process information.

I don't understand what you're saying.

My preferences are not clear, which is the reason that I'm unable to manufacture the appropriate level of confidence to be taken seriously, which is the reason that I'm unable to function in a normal and acceptable manner, and which has multiple feedback loops into my sockets of justification and self-belief in the exceptional and special nature of perfume laced feces.

Half of my thoughts are bullshit, but I say them just to fuck you over.

I have trouble trusting other people.

Other people are far too trusting.

Faith is like this: meaningless.

And yet.  I believe.  Unshakably.

And I'm scared shitless.  That I'm entirely wasted right now.  That my fragile ego won't be able to save me again.  That I'll spend the weekend wiping my ass with the window curtain.  That the curtain will not smoothly block light ever again, and that, despite repeated washings, will exude an odor notable enough to be remarked upon by the crudest of punk rockers or the waspy of fancy pants.

And if you tell anyone, I'll kill you, straight up.  Because other people's opinions matter.  What other people think about my thoughts matters.

Except that it all matters a great deal less than I used to know.  And I'd be happy with a little cabin and a cord of dry hardwood for the winter.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Check In: Self-Pressure

Well, I'm not drinking.  That'll be the first thing.  But here in NYC it has been relatively hot and humid, and yes, I'm complaining.  I don't care if it is normal or not normal or temperate, or bloody-hell intemperate, it is uncomfortable.  And I'm too stubborn to buy an A/C yet, so hey, here I am, cranking away in a fan-chilled room with a cup of hot green tea and a head that's decently clear on a Sunday morning when I should be out riding my bike or running or grocery shopping, or STOP if you've heard this one before?

Oh, you have?  Is it because you've experiencing the same kind of numbing self-pressure that I experience?  Is that a new found sober personality characteristic?

Either way, I'm taking this weekend "off" from all of the exercise madness, and all of the outside of work hellish projects, and just existing, not trying to think about all of the work that I'm not getting done.  And slowly, slowly, it (my self) is starting to relax a little bit, and take things in stride.  Work will come, as it always does, but the lesson is just this: to be productive, we must--must.  this is not mandatory--not work all the time, even given the opportunity to work all the time, which many of us would prefer to do (especially if many of us see our "work" lives, as in the 9-5 as just something we must do).

Anyway, a point about that too: work lives are our lives, too, and we should try to take stock and correct mistaken emotional assumptions in that realm too, to the degree we can do that.  I.e. instead of outrage at unfairness, or perceived X, try to see the bigger picture.

Try, in broad strokes, to be involved in more than one emotionally-meaning-producing activity in your life so you don't have to make statements like "X doesn't matter because I have Y," and I think you and I will be happier little campers going forward.  Hot sweaty squishy campers in a jungle swamp.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Prism of Self-Awareness -

I'm almost always following myself around, 3-4 feet above, metaphysically, that is, you know, heightened and reflective.  Refractive also, not only because of the alliteration, but because of the truth.

The truth that I can't escape my own glare.  No matter how much I want to be inside and well lubricated, the crevice of fully ensconced life seems to elude me, as in, I'm alluded, as in, well, chronic state of mirror reality takes a toll, and who the fuck am I paying?

Maybe I haven't yet accomplished descriptive justice.  Maybe if I drill down it will help.  Maybe if I become hyper self-aware, I will somehow become less self-aware?  Is that a logic?  Is that relief, my friend?  What?  Mind you, what? The fuck. 

Because the dude watching me is me, and me-a-stranger.  Me-a who the fuck are you, type stranger.  As in, he knows me far too well in far too short a time.  And his truths are easily accessible and there, almost like a hum.  A hum.  Not distorted AM radio wave.  More refined.  Focused even.

And it depends on whom I'd like to chronicle on any given day.  Whether I'll be a focused laser of pure evil or a neurotic philanderer with a penchant for incisive self-cutting.

We have a long life.  Is that relief, or something else?  

Why ask questions.  Better to assert through the face of reality sometimes, to reach through the liquid glass and pull at whatever delusion is there.  Better for survival.  Better for digestion.  Better for making friends and enemies.  To laugh and pull at it and let it snap back like a long rubber band, and hope, meanwhile, deeper down, that lurking realities do not ingratiate themselves too presently.

I'm a dull idiot. 

I've fallen into a life that isn't my own.  A life I never meant for myself.

I haven't figured out what I haven't figured out, and I know it.  I haven't even figured out what I figured out already.
I'm standing at a precipice that's really a puddle.  And I'm trying to get wet by jumping.  And the only thing that happens is that I stare.  Hard.  Intense.  At the puddle.  And I sweat.  And a drop of sweat  splashes down every once in a while to tell me that it is summer.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Anxiety and Stress

I'm not sure about this idea, so let me work on it here.

1. Anxiety and Stress exist.

2. Some percentage of anxiety and stress are caused by the existence of anxiety and stress.  As in, without the idea that "anxiety and stress are wrong and I shouldn't be experiecing it/them," we would experience less anxiety stress.

3.  Not all anxiety and stress are the product of shame that we are incorrect and wrong or somehow misplaced.

4.  Some anxiety and stress is part of everyday life.  Waiting in line can be terribly anxiety-producing, if cut the wrong way.  Standing next to a stranger.  Etc.

5.  The way to cut anxiety and stress combines exercise, time, and lack of stimulants (i.e. caffeine).

6.  Long term psychoanalytic type stress relievers (major realizations that all stress was the cause of childhood abuse, for instance), may help, and provide some momentary relief, but I don't think they are effective managers of stress.

7.  Letting go of the need to get rid of stress helps me  manage my stress.  I expect stress to exist and I see it as outside of my core identity, even though it does in fact make up a lot of who I am.

8.  Alcohol gets rid of stress by making us effectively delusional.  The stress comes out in different uglier ways.

9.  Stress can be dealt with absent major release-type activities like breaking things and yelling at those close to us.

10.  Religion is not needed, but some sense of self and community is needed.

Affirming Oneself -

One some level, we must take a deep breath and affirm ourselves.  

Not drinking has for me produced more self-doubt, crippling lack of self-esteem, and all around nausea, than I knew could exist.  

I've become aware of a good many things, my own smallness being one of the "major" minor things.

It is good to be involved in life, in the most affirmative possible way, better than sitting back and criticizing structure.  Actual endeavor inward is far harder, too.

Emotional outletting seems easier with alcohol, and it is likewise easy to criticize those who might go for "cheap" emotional outletting.  One of the major things I'm still working on is letting other people leave the equation for my own emotional outletting.  I can't go around feeling bad just because I think people feel unnaturally or cheaply good.  So what?  So what if they do.

There are myriad people and myriad ways for happiness and unhappiness to occur.  It doesn't follow straight lines and that means that shared assumptions are actually more common and intensely less frequent than we would like.  More common because we all cut inter-subjective distance often with little words and gestures designed to make people we want to impress feel good about themselves (we ask them about their interests, make believe that we also are interested, for instance, even telling ourselves that we are interested).  Acutely less frequent than we want to realize, because realizing this entails a fair bit of loneliness, and if not, some fair bit of communication that requires work.

Ah well.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Take Something Seriously, and Another Thing . . . Not Seriously

That's my lesson for the day.  It is important to take one thing seriously, whatever it is.  You might exercise seriously, or clean seriously, or be spirutual seriously, or whatever.  Sobriety is serious business!

But we also have to find a way to take one thing not seriously.  We don't need to mock that thing, but we need to use it as a foil in how we treat ourselves, so we have some relief, some outlet.  After all, a  lot of the reason drinking holds/held such an appeal was because of its potential to offer an outlet from the pressure cooker of our heads.  I think at least half of this was due to expectation.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Old Self Meet New Self

I know you think this new self is a bit of an cautious nerd, and new self, I know you think old self is a ribald creep who'll do anything he wants, but hey, what can I say?  I'm tired of mediating between the two of you all the time.  It is exhausting, actually, both of you being so extreme.  So quit it, will ya?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Find Yourself Out -

The brutal fact is that as we age, we have to come to terms with who we are.

As in, we're not as malleable as we once thought we were.

Of course, we can learn, and we can change, but the spectrum of possibility in this regard is substantially reduced from whence we once dreamt.

Not to worry, though.

The point is that we can actually become more conscious of our foibles and quirks as we age, that is, to sort of not expose everyone to our raging disorders quite as vividly as we did when we were 17, or, you know, drunk.

We can sort of be more powerful by being less powerful.  Have a kick.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Too Old

I've started to tell myself I'm too old to do things that I want to do.

I think it is an excuse not to try to do something that could be difficult.

I'm pathetic for doing this to myself.

I shall endeavor, having said the above, to learn French.

I've Lost Something.

I'm not sure exactly what it is, or if there is a way to get it back.

It may be dangerous to think along these lines.

As in, I'm much more aware of danger than I was, before, when I didn't lose something, but I didn't have the experience of loss and regret to tinge future thinking, either.

The fact remains that I'm a bit cold and clinical these days.  To myself.