Tue, 27 Dec 2005top
the turning of the year
As I get older, I think I get more resistant to learning anything new, despite the fact that I know that I am currently in an extraordinarily maladaptive state.
I give up. Just let me lie here and rot for a little while. I'll figure everything out later.
But, as they say, time waits for no one, and I figure I've got to look back sometime.
You can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've come from.
It's soon time to make resolutions, to ring the new year, to start with a new slate, but I know myself too well. I've never managed to keep a resolution past January 31, and is futility really all that bad if you accept it for what it is?
Never before have I been caught in a horrible loop of "been there, done that." It is all too easy for me to look ahead and prognosticate that any changes that are bound to happen are also bound to be bad.
With my eyes closed, I ask if she knows how this will all turn out.
"Long-term or short-term?" she asks.
"Long-term," she says, "we're all going to die. Then our bodies will rot. No surprise there. Short-term, we're going to live happily ever after."
"Really," she says. "So don't sweat…. Can you just relax and let things happen?"
I ask, does she mean, like disasters, like pain, like misery? Can I just let all that happen?
"And Joy," she says, "and Serenity, and Happiness, and Contentment…. You don't have to control everything," she says. "You can't control everything."
But you can be ready for disaster….
"If you worry about disaster all the time, that's what you're going to get…."
The whole world is a disaster waiting to happen….
"No matter what happens," [she] says, "no matter what you do… it's the right thing."
And I think I've said this before, and it just continues to worry me: I can't feel a goddamn thing. I mean, I can sense misery and pain and suffering and hopelessness, but I don't think I can experience them anymore. Sure, it's a coping mechanism, but the sad fact of the matter is that I can't seem to experience anything. Oh, sure, I've had momentary lapses of joy now and then, but you know that sort of contentment that gets you humming, makes you look forward to the next dawn? That, I don't know a damn thing about. That carefree, innocent glee that all kids at least are capable of. I don't remember the last time I felt that. Deep down inside, I know that once upon a time I did, but I really lost the habit of it. I've been worried about the future for so long, all I really know how to do is worry. About things that I have absolutely no control over.
The first step to dealing with tragedy is acceptance. But I think there's got to more than that. It's like watching your house burn down, or something. I mean, yeah, at some point you have to accept it. But what is it, what is that emotion that makes you determined to move on, to rebuild? That's what I'm missing. I've learned the trick of living with the ongoing tragedy of the universe, but I haven't picked up the technique of starting all over again with full vigor. We all know that all things go to shit eventually, but I feel like most of the human race is able to build anyway. Sure, some of these people are probably deluded or insane, but I think there is something wonderfully innately human in that—the ability to keep going, and not just survive, but excel, even in the face of horrible setbacks. I really don't know how to do that. Sure, I can keep going, but it's nothing more than short-term survival. The long-term is nothing but this bleak, featureless haze, of the same thing over and over again, death and decay, and the long black darkness of eternal sleep.
You know there's something wrong with you when you're only 29 years old and the only thing you really have to look forward to is death.
But I'm too jaded to think that I can turn things around in 2006. I mean, yeah, you've got to start out small. Tiny steps.
There's gotta be more to life than this, right?
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