Back at it. I miss you people, strangers of the internet, readers of my most private thoughts and feelings. Ha! But that’s always the way it goes, I’ve never been very open. Blogging has been a part of most of my life, when I think about it. Nexopia had a blogging element, which even then people responded to, and then Live Journal, of course. I never did MySpace. That was more music, though. Highschool. Straightened bangs over your face, graphic tees, eyeliner. First-wave emo.
I am 27. Almost 28. I have had this blog for six years. It feels like longer. Those days in Toronto feel like 20 years ago…
I am leaving my humble cafe job with the intention of never returning to the service industry or to minimum-wage labour. I have enough saved up to survive for some time. I want to work from home, to set my own hours, to move towards a truer freedom than is offered in our capitalist society. Although, there is plenty of freedom in capitalism, if you’re on the right side of the dollar, which is of course to say, having plenty of it. Can I make the machine work for me? Crypto, freelancing, these are the strange paths I am choosing to take. Strange works for me. Strange is me. My attempts to live a normal life or follow the trodden path have always lead me to great pain.
Freedom versus chaos. I am trying to define these for myself, to live in one and exclude the other, when I have spent a life living in one, telling myself it was the other.
I look around. My room is messy. I want a clean room. A clean room, a clean mind. I have always struggled with this. Thoughts scattered across my consciousness like these socks and pens and books and items. How to clean a mind…
Has it been so long? How do I always forget the magic of this modern format, the ability to send my soul through sparks and wires (are there even sparks involved? I know nothing of this age) for your perusal.
I felt some weeks ago that something in me was dying. This was a very palpable feeling, an intense feeling of something being torn from me as it rotted, pulled down by gravity. The self-destructive part of me is dead. I have my little bad habits, an occasional whole bag of chips after a hard day, the choice of staying up later than I can afford, spending more than I can afford, but these are minute as compared to what they were. Now these are blips amid a steady chart of normalcy. I have become a recognizable member of society, with my rent and my job and magazines in my mailbox.
Something in me is starting to rumble again. I no longer fear these rumbles as madness, but I still fear them somewhat. I am not fluent in my emotions, but I speak them a little better now, and can understand what they mean when they scream. Not perfectly, but I am not completely afraid. I do not panic and mark myself crazy when I feel something intense. I try to listen. Sometimes I try to ignore it for a long time and then I listen, but still, I do not panic.
There are many large spiders in my apartment. I wonder if I have brought them here. I must learn to displace them, even destroy them, and I greatly dislike these tasks. Perhaps they represent what I must get rid of in myself, whether I like it or not, our dank little demons must be dealt with.
Why am I hiding? Everything about me, I live in a profound privacy.
I bought almond-cashew butter instead of cashew butter. How do I continue to be so foolish? The material world is as confusing as the inner depths, it seems. Feelings, labels, I understand nothing in entirety. Just pieces. I want a whole.
Each passing hour breaks my heart. I have developed such anxiety around time, over the years, every shift in my day, the time to leave for work or school, the time to get ready for bed, makes my chest tight and heavy with dread, as though the deadline is an axe, my head underneath the pendulum of end. I am starting to see that these little duties and responsibilities, the scheduling of these amid my freedom, they are not burdens necessarily, that I am not truly losing time because I have never owned time, never had time. It is not mine to be stolen. I am the one using it, in debt to it, owing it my best. Time is a test in itself. I cannot breath. I want the kitchen to fill with water, to sink into a pool of comfort, I want ease from this hand gripping my viscera. What is this call to ignore life and lay in bed? What am I yearning for? Rest? Soul rest. Comfort. Love. What is this? How do I ease this? The desire to hide. How is it that one person can have an infinite supply of fear? I suppose the flip side is infinite courage.
Years ago I titled this blog Each Day is a Journey. I was fearless of being judged for being new-agey or pseudo-spiritual. Or fully spiritual. I now drown in fear of all kinds. But still, I paddle along, with dog like enthusiasm. The only kind of enthusiasm worth having.
Each day. I make the same mistakes always. Doubting what I have learned to be good. I repeat my ignorance perfectly. Each day is a chance to rediscover the joy of epiphany. I often bemoan that each morning is like a clean slate, that I forget any lessons I have so painstakingly learned, and must learn them anew. I exaggerate of course. I have changed in many good ways. However, to doubt the value of meeting with others, of feeling a sense of togetherness, of leaving the house instead of being alone with Netflix. I doubt life every day. Unannounced to myself, I doubt the value of living every day. I used to very explicitly, so I suppose this is just the faded remnant of that time, that way of viewing life. But at the core, that’s what it is. It is a question of is this worth it? can’t I just lay here and moan?
My hatred of joy runs deep. So does my love of it. I am between a rock and a single feather, yet I struggle.
Each day is a journey where we face lies. An esoteric detective, brushing dust along walls searching for fingerprints, was god here?
Dead things don’t grow. If I’m changing, I’m alive. However unpleasant it is. Shedding. I’ve shed relationships that once were a celluloid membrane around my heart. I am the snake rubbing herself against rocks to remove what is no longer useful, ugly and worn in the process. I was born to be alone. I do not write this in a remorseful way. I am seeing the benefits now. It is my calling, to live life for myself. Not, I hope, in a selfish way or arrogant way, but in a way suited to writing and honing a craft.
I have a desire for power. I’ve been laughed at my whole life. I can hear it in my head now; most people are unwilling to acknowledge how weak they feel. I’ve learned that this is the first step towards changing, towards becoming stronger. What are you willing to sacrifice? A question from boxing class, but useful in any context of change. To leave behind the person I am now for someone much stronger and more capable of making on life, I am willing to sacrifice everything. I do not feel resentment or anger at that person, I just know I need to be someone different.
Nonetheless, plenty of anger and resentment to go around. I am disappointed in the people I have loved. Where is their passion for a better life, their willingness to face themselves, to stop complaining, to be grateful for the lives they have? Am I being too harsh? Judgmental? I am certainly capable of praise and admiration, and I have that for many as well. But I need to stop giving people a break, and stop giving myself those same breaks. Being sloppy, slow, late, etc. But being gentle is oddly powerful. Trying to beat out the qualities in you that you don’t like doesn’t work. But small delicate changes and delicate encouragement have a big effect.
I have an idea of who I would like to be. I don’t know if that actually suits me. I can’t work from ideas, I have to discover what’s really there. Know thyself.
I want to earn my arrogance. To live up to whatever grandeur I have about myself. Losing people along the way, it is no great loss if they were not up for the challenge of finding themselves along their way.
I am so tired. I want more.
I’m mucky. Filled with cynicism, clogged. I do not like the path I am on, and I see it all around me that people have gone far along it, and are miserable. Failing to discover compassion as the core of their actions towards themselves and others. It is not easy, to be sure. It is the hardest thing. And the most important thing.
I feel that no one is worth trusting or loving. That work is all that gives meaning. That family is a lie. Friendship is a lie. That I am unworthy of love. That I am a piece of shit molded into a woman. Even after years of fighting against these feelings, and being victorious in many battles, this war never ends. Sometimes that scares me, but sometimes, it’s exciting. I will always have something to do, some goal, a squeaky soul wheel to grease with kindness.
I hear the sneers of friends. Their inner judgement. More than any enemy, I fear the people who claim to believe in me. Because I see who they are, and they are bitter and hurt like street dogs. I befriend the most miserable because at my core I am miserable. If I can scoop out the muck, I can find stronger people to surround myself with. I can be free.
But perhaps that is not the answer. In scooping out the muck, cleaning out the mold ridden drains and gutters of my emotional storehouse, I can inspire that in those I love, and we can all be a bit freer, together. do not seek greener pastures. Reinvigorate the soil where you are. Water. Sow. Reap.
I am scared to write, I am completely scared to write. This blog has always been so easy, whenever I open the tab. It has to do with audience. An immediate audience, however small or sparse or occasional. I dilute myself constantly, and then wonder where my potency has gone. Filling my mind with television and half-attended to projects. Teaching myself how to be distracted when it’s already distraction which causes so many problems. Distraction is comfortable. Get out of that comfort, comfort will strangle you like a crossed lover. I am delirious with inner fatigue. I write to know who I am. I cannot speak this language inside without putting into words externally. Isn’t that something? The plague of being a writer.
From “Why I Write” by my beloved George Orwell:
Between the ages of about seventeen and twenty-four I tried to abandon this idea [that I should be a writer], but I did so with the consciousness that I was outraging my true nature and that sooner or later I would have to settle down and write books.
… I think from the very start my literary ambitions were mixed up with the feeling of being isolated and undervalued. I knew that I had a facility with words and a power of facing unpleasant facts, and I felt that this created a sort of private world in which I could get back my own failure in everyday life.
Ah. Exactly. Outraging my true nature. Ah! Indeed. I am constantly doing this and constantly wondering why I am so torn. Why I feel so stretched and against myself. Agony, from the Greek agon meaning contest (a factoid from Joyce Carol Oates On Boxing).
Agony, a inner contest.