Clearing of Vision 

The cord on my power supply for my laptop is internally weak, so I have to adjust the cord "just so" in order for the computer to get power. It takes a delicate hand, much like balancing a quarter on its edge. The battery I use for it is the original, at least over three years old, which means that it doesn't hold charge for very long. It is not anything that is terribly bothersome, only disappointing in that I may have to purchase yet another power supply, a power supply that will be the fourth one for this computer. Money used to come more easily, but now it seems harder to hold on to than normal.

On Monday, school begins again. I've signed up for three classes, one of which is digital photography. I'm looking forward to that class because I would like my photographs to be more artistic, more compositionally sound--if that makes sense. My mood has been somewhat below normal in that I am still grappling with the consequences of losing the previous graduate school opportunity, fighting to remember to take my pills on a regular schedule. The solution to the second part of that problem is to program my cell phone alarm to go off every day at the same time, a reminder to take my medicine.

The solution to the first part of that problem--my low mood--is quite a bit harder to resolve because everything I think about, every consideration I have, even the solutions to my mood problem, has an extra film of negativity on it, a cold and sticky layer that effortlessly coats my thoughts. Sometimes that film is slight, and sometimes heavy. And, honestly, I see it and counter it every time I can. But it all takes added effort, an extra step that is hard to take. And it must be nearly impossible for anyone to understand how sticky and cold this mood can be unless they themselves have felt it for some time and become comfortable with its presence.

In college, I often studied people and the culture of the nineteenth century, and just as often, one would read about the lives of notable people during that period--how they failed to achieve something important to them and could never come back to that, how that failure became a central part of their lives even as they lived beyond that moment of failure and established new lives afterwards. Those lives lived after failure, to some degree, have a feeling of superfluousness to them. In a sense, they are second lives, additional lives that exist side by side to the life before.

I think about these people often and compare myself to them. The classic story is about the unhappy child of an educated, well-to-do family that, try as he might, can never become the lawyer or doctor he aspires to be. Of course, the individuals one reads about manages through their special genius to succeed in other ways. They are extraordinary, so their lives are deemed worthy enough to be written down and preserved. But for every one extraordinary person who succeeds, there must be an army of the ordinary, the merely mediocre, who don't, or can achieve what they aspire to be. And these lives are not written down. They fade in history and evaporate.

I worry that I won't meet the demands of my ambitions: the ability to pay my debts, to comfortably earn a living or collect a savings ample enough to provide for friends and family, that I won't ever feel completely self-possessed, secure, and moderately happy. Perhaps these things are too much to ask for, a little too selfish or even the wrong thing altogether. But then again, perhaps not. Honestly, I don't really know, so I spend a lot of time thinking about it, going back and forth until I am tired out from my own internal questioning and just want to lose myself in a mindless television program or a handful of junk food. Tonight, that program is Star Trek. I'll be going to bed as soon as it's over, which is in about fifteen minutes.

My plans for the future seem somewhat simple: practice my art as best I can on a regular basis, try to do my best in school and finish as quickly as I can, develop better self-discipline which includes eating better foods and exercising regularly, and live life a day at time until I can develop a complicated new plan for the future that is not so deeply rooted in the previous plan of graduate school.

06 January 2007
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