Friday, February 1, 2013
D&M. [ie. some trite title to lesson the gravity]
After all, I did not mean to be so...grave.
In contemplating a change, a significant change; ones expectations shift. Like suddenly the sun is rising for you every morning and it is easier to get out of bed. Simply because you are not hiding from things any more. Was I hiding? From myself? From some truth I didn't want to admit?
You can argue and advocate for something for so long, and then suddenly you are so invested in it you cannot back down. You have to doggedly continue least you lose, or let someone (or something), or even yourself down. You have spent so much time, lost out on so many other things in sacrifice, for it, you must make it work.
I am completely aware that I am paraphrasing introductory psychology textbooks in my typical 'sunk costs fallacy' portrayal. Bear with me, that shit's in a textbook because its poignant - or incisive, if you will.
I think I am far too easily convinced by my own self. And much too easily taken advantage of by everyone else. The one time I ever actually put my foot down and stopped doing things for free, stopped letting someone take advantage; she turned into a right bitch and tried to ruin my life. It's probably a nice indication of the beautiful people in my life that I have only ever felt that need, significantly, once. I like helping people, I genuinely think that being the person someone feels safe enough in asking for help from, is the biggest compliment. That someone thinks that you can do something better, or help more, than what they can do themselves - is magic. But then I am most definitely the type of person who hates asking for help, and believes she can (or more specifically, should be able to) do everything herself. If it gets to the point where I have to ask for help, the act of asking, and trusting someone else to be able to help, is massive and the person I choose, meaningful. But that is not at all to say that I disparage others for finding it easier. It is just me.
I have never taken time out to have a good long think about what I want to do. What I actually want to do day in and day out, for the rest of my life.
I thought I had - as a precocious teenager I knew exactly what I wanted from the world. As an undergrad the academic world was my oyster. As a postgrad I thought everything was possible. As a 'student politician' I believed the individual could effect change in society. As a PhD I believe that the most important thing, is how you conduct your own life, that the daily choices you make are always in-line with your personal philosophy - whatever that may be. Most recently, during a couple of weeks of holiday I took after submitting my thesis, I thought I had it sorted, what I wanted to do with my life. But the truth is, every time my mind would wander during that week or so, I would ruthlessly haul it back on track and tell myself, no, this is what you want. There is nothing else for you. You do not want to do anything else. And look! So much proof! You love this and this and this and that too - and wasn't that fun, that time you did that? You loved that! No, no - don't think of that, that was silly.
If I actually make a brutally honest list, it contains none of the things I thought it did, and a couple of genuine surprises.
And I thought, well maybe I don't have to do that...
...maybe I could do something else...
What would I do? What could I do?
I am very aware that only a very small subset of my life is recorded in this very public domain. And it is very illusionary. But then, I think most of the time I am like that with the people around me anyway. I write because I love to write, not because I want you to know everything about me. I don't think people realise that, most of the time. I certainly do not write for your specific amusement, no matter how many times you demand of me an update.
I once read this in some anonymous place on the internet, of where I now have no recollection, and copied it into a note, which I think portrays the emotion better than I can, right now:
"I could talk if I really wanted to. But it would sound like complaining, or it could, and it could put a burden on people. I just don't want to do that. I don't want to make anyone feel like they have to listen to me. I don't want to hurt anyone unless they've already shown that they're going to hurt other people first. I don't want to bind them into this hurt and helplessness I've got sometimes."
And that's ok. I don't think everyone has to be spewing their internal truth out, all the time, to everyone they meet. In fact I wouldn't hesitate to guess that most people genuinely hate hearing the 'internal truth' from about 80% of the people they hear it from. From such instance breeds hurtful backstabbing and gossip.
One person of whom knew the most truth, decided that I meant nothing to him, and that I was worth nothing as keeping for a friend, and has disappeared from my life completely, within the space of a month. I live in fear that insignificant truths would be spilt in my absence, for his amusement, still. And that is a completely rubbish feeling. And logically, I know (or would very dearly like to think) that he would not do that. That the love I feel, even now, could not have been so tragically misplaced in the person I once knew him to be. And this situation illustrates perfectly that "...unless they've already shown that they're going to hurt other people first..." is not always true. You can hold more and darker secrets of someone else, and have them still not accept yours. There are a lot of one-way roads in my life.
My ghosts occasionally frighten even me, and they are mine and I have accepted them and in a way even love them. How could you be you at this exact moment, without all of your past? You would be a stranger to yourself; the thought alone is impossible.
Growing up is tough. Growing as a person is tough. Learning truth, while always liberating eventually, is tough. Accepting and knowing as true, every little trite piece of advice or shared 'truth' from people who it turns out knew first, hurts.
But eventually; hours, days, weeks, months or even years later, knowing is ultimately better. You are better off, your mind is expanded, your life is truer and you are closer to that subliminally elusive state of complete 'happiness'. That mythical point in which you finally realised that right here, right now - I am content in everything that I have and everything that I am. I want to be surrounded by people of worth at that point. I want many of the beautiful people I have now, to still be with me then. I want new people too; ones I cannot even imagine, where I am at now. When I get to that place, I want to know that I got there through being a good person. Not relenting on my morals or taking 'the easy' road.
And we come full circle. The 'Hard Road' is most definitely not automatically the 'Right Road', and in thinking so for so long, has been my greatest fallacy to date. There are different roads with different challenges, and new 'hardness' that you never even expected. The one road I have always envisaged is not the only route.
Its surprising. And still - I have made no decisions yet.
Are you where you want to be? Are you one of the extraordinarily rare people reading this in a complete state of smugness, cocooned in glorious, ecstatic 'happiness'? Did you actually choose that situation, or did you just end up there because you simply placed one foot in front of the other for so many years? Always telling yourself that it's OK just get through this and then the fun stuff will start. Then you will be happy. Then you can start your 'real life'. Just cope in the moment, and it will all be worth it in the end. Not even taking the time to think what the end would entail. Being too scared to even let yourself contemplate that this, this might not be for you.
Ends. And beginnings. So much stuff.
at 5:31 PM