Trying to Lift My Vision 

Another late night: almost 1:00 am now. The issue with today was that I slept for a couple of hours in the middle of the evening (6–9pm), which made trying to go to sleep at a decent hour pretty much impossible. I hardly got any sleep the night before, and my head has throbbed with a sort of pressure headache. I've interacted with everyone politely, even amiably, just as they may have avoided me due to a subtle vibe of alienation that radiates away from me like a silent radio signal.

I continue to wrangle with my negative emotions as much as always, but I think I have been dealing with them a bit better today. Even though today was a short workday, I got a few projects done and feel pretty good about catching up on them by the end of the week. I still have two projects for other people that I must complete very soon, but they can wait for the time being. The summer is my busiest as far as work goes. I grapple with motivation when it comes to my individual designs. That will be my next career/personal challenge.

And, speaking more broadly about how I feel about life and my place in it, I think I can see a certain kind of emotional acceptance about my current situation that makes the inevitability of the future more easy to grapple with. Poverty and struggle may be my lot in life, despite my ambitions for more outward successes. These last few years have really clarified for me how focusing on my inward successes, and trying to develop into a better person, is my true and most important goal anyway. The outer successes would have been nice, but I always knew that it wasn't the most important. And as the prospect for that outward acclaim or achievement falls away, the inward self-directed enrichment process gains some momentum. Of course, I truly hope that no one thinks that I am saying I am perfect, or even that I am a slightly better person than most.

In fact, most of the intense depression that I felt these last few months has arisen out of a painful recognition that, even a year ago, I was a better person than I am now. Through a combination of actions and inactions, I have fallen backwards into a trap that holds me tight within the frozen grip of regret and churned up frustrations. All my good intentions were transmuted into foolishness, and even then, I ignored most of what I should have been doing in the search of another distraction. I have learned the hard lessons of dissipations and lethargy. I still try to come to terms with compromises that have cost me more than I would have wanted them to.

Of course, there are all sorts of signs and signifiers during the day that leads me to one of these thoughts or another, and I realize that it all sounds so very vague. So, I will leave it for now to discuss my day.

Like I said earlier, I had not gotten much sleep. After informing my "boss" that I was tired and that I may not be in to work right away, I ate a small bowl of cereal and went back to bed. I probably dreamed about something, which was frightening in its limitations, but I do not remember it. I do not have nightmares in the traditional sense. My nightmares arise out of the limitations that the dreams show me, out of the possibility of a life circumscribed by poverty, chance, and fate bought through earlier actions. I wish I could tell you how I am haunted by some of them, but most people wouldn't understand the implications. And, honestly, I am glad that I dreaming again. My dreams had left me for a few weeks, and it scared me in the way that adults can be scared without showing it on their surfaces.

I approached work in a workman way and probably did more than I thought I would get done. I feel a little wistful frustration about this job because there are always deadlines that are too close to do any real research or exploration of the themes, symbols, or possibilities. But, I don't dare feel too much frustration because I recognize that I have much more flexibility in this job than I would have anywhere else. I am lucky to have this job, and I know it. In the back of my mind, I am deeply worried that I may lose it in the future, but I do not think that it will be something that I have caused. I feel relatively assured that I did the best I could to prevent that outcome.

After work, I went home and had dinner with my parents before drifting off in that nap. When I awoke at 8:30ish, I talked with them briefly, and discovered that my sister had asked my Dad to purchase her something from the store that she claimed she needed. Perhaps she does, but her needs are always immediate and transcendent above everyone else's. It would be easy to tell another person no, but my sister cannot help who she is or how she thinks. And so the order of the day is compassion.

I drove into town and went to Walmart. I called my parents on my cell phone, and asked them what kind of thing it was that my sister needed. My dad told me, but I couldn't find it there. Therefore, I went to Safeway, and after a lot of searching found, it.

I went back to work and made another gameplay movie for youtube, but I think my heart is going out of it. It takes a lot of work, and the initial returns that I imagined I might be able to achieve appear as elusive as ever. I could do more research over the issue, but that would require even more work.

I've been thinking that I need to return to all of the other interests that I have fostered throughout my life, and continue to develop those. I could go back to writing and drawing. I could read more, take time for myself and photography. Worry less, and allow other people to take personal responsibility for their own lives. I may be an irrelevant person in the grand scheme of history, and I may have harmed inner and outer self and damaged both, but I still have time left. Perhaps, through perseverance and more effort, there is a chance to claim some small amount of personal dignity so I can arise as a person who was given wisdom through some occasional and self-inflicted hard knocks. I wish to hear the voice of wisdom speaking to me, and guiding me through a life of difficulty. To feel the rays of the sun of wisdom and assurance shining on me once more. To be washed in the seas of forgiveness for those actions and inactions. And, to ascend to a wholesome place of truth, insulated from the cold winds of sorrows and pains that are always reflected in the downward glances towards an earthly life. I want to lift my vision towards a broad and warm horizon of better internal possibilities and confirmations that I can personally achieve.

19 June 2013

Uncertain about Writing 

I am really uncertain about whether or not I should write a book. It seems like it is something that I have put off for a very long time. There has always been an internal prompting for me to write one. However, as I get older, I think to myself that almost everything I thought was important really is not. Every pop-culture reference, joke, effort to improve myself, vocation, avocation, etc. was simply another distraction away from something else I should have been focused on. Maybe that other thing was to express myself and my views with a novel, especially since my writing is one of the few things that I have gotten the most positive feedback from other people about, but then again, maybe not. All I know for sure is that the "one thing" that I should be working for always seems to escape me. I know it is there, but I don't know what it is.

I'll be really honest at the moment. I am solidly middle-aged. I have no money for retirement, a part-time job that I can barely do regularly and probably should have been fired from a year ago, and tens of thousands of dollars in student debt. I never managed to find a companion to share my life with despite my efforts to try, and I have no tangible assets like a house of my own, savings, or a decent car. It is hard not to feel like the world's biggest failure.

I wish there was another word for jealousy. Jealousy implies that there is a passion inside the person afflicted with it, a drive that keeps the fires of emotion burning hot. The jealousy I feel is very cold. It is a sad recognition that many things that I dared to hope for are somehow impossible, so daring to hope feels dangerous. If I had allowed myself to feel the hot jealousy for the average achievements of a common person (ie. a steady and successful job, a loving family, a pleasant relationship with a wife, etc.) then I would be consumed by pain. Instead, whenever I feel the first twinge of wanting more than I can apparently achieve, I avert my inner and outer gaze as quickly as possible. Too much focus on those things will be dangerous. I can't do it.

I keep hearing from everyone around me that the economy really is difficult right now, but I have to say that, when looked at globally, it hardly seems like our economic problems will be solved soon enough for me to benefit from. I need about a hundred miracles for these troubles to go away, but I doubt they'll be arriving any time soon. I don't want to sound so negative, but I have to say that the whole world is in a real fix, and that, while I didn't personally cause the troubles it has, they will affect me more than I would like and more than I can change. Writing, a broad and non-specific avenue towards a fantasy of redemption, whispers into my heart and suggests that it is the only hope I would ever have at climbing out of my current mess. It has been done before, but I also know I'd have to be very lucky and have a better plan than I do now.

17 June 2013