What even is life?

I wrote the text below a mere three months ago. I saved it to my Drafts folder and promptly forgot all about it. Reading it now, I feel that same emptiness, but in an entirely different manner. In breaking myself down to my bare bones, I have become simplistic. I go out into the woods and walk around, and just smile like an idiot. I talk to the birds running along on their stupid skinny little stick legs, I feel privileged when I catch glimpses of turtles or chipmunks or dear just feet away from me. I can sit on my favorite thinking log and watch the water for an hour without realizing more than a minute has passed. I talk to people again, although at heart I am and will always be a solitary sort of person. I still have no idea who I am, but I’ve decided I like it that way just fine. Who you are is, for me, a fluid definition and I operate better without a game plan. I still don’t know what in the flippity fuck I’m doing, but whatever. I’ve made it this far without a clue.

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I hadn’t realized how much damage had been done. When you view things through the fuzzy inner veil of your own brain, you miss subtleties within the overall frame of the picture. It’s easier to breakdown the end result into specific This, This, and This, but if you don’t follow the leads back, if you don’t acknowledge every step you took on the rickety rope ladder and what those reverberations birthed. you just can’t see.

I sat in my car after work, parked nose in at a lot in the valley. I had a new book to read, given to me by my boss, who had thought I might like it. Our winter has been so long and so dark that when I was gathering my things at five to leave, I felt like I was cutting out early since the sun was still so high and bright in the sky. I have been stuck in the rut so long of running out of work, hell bent on getting home and into my bedroom as quickly as humanly possible. That was it, that was the extent of my desire for life. To get to work on time, and to get home, with as few obstacles in my path as possible. I didn’t want to stop at the store. I didn’t want to detour or deviate. I had lost all desire for most everything but comfy pants and a lack of disturbance.

But everything had become disturbing to me. Kids playing outside my window made me feel like I was under attack. Loud noises from the upstairs neighbors made me mad, they were encroaching on this tiny crafted universe of order and control. The smaller I made my world, the smallest possible target I presented to the hardships of the outside world, the more even of a keel that I felt I was on. I just wanted to drift on a raft down the middle of the river of life, not doing or thinking or creating anything, not forced to deal with a single hardship.

What a craptastic life I have been pretending to live. This is no even keel, and this is no life. This is apathy and depression and anxiety. This is sadness, and despair, and fatalism. This is empty.

I am peeling away the layers of illusion that I have about myself, stripping the skin off to get down to the foundation of who I am. Otherwise, I will never be able to figure out exactly who I want to be. I need to be honest, and starting empty is the only way to fill the vessel with shit that makes sense. One of the hardest truths in life to realize and accept is that nothing means anything. It just doesn’t. Everything is made up and we all end up dust, and with a scant few exceptions, we will not change the course of the world. I think that for a long time, I thought that I was meant to be one of those people. Who knows, that may have been a fork in my road that I could have travelled down, had I not made any number of turns at other crossroads that sent me to where I am now. At this moment, I don’t know who I am, what I want, or what in the flippety fuck I’m doing. I need to be okay with that before I can do a goddamn thing.

I’m tired of who I’ve become. I need to get out of all my old patterns and step consistently out of my comfort zone. Before I can plan for the future I need to live in the moment. Not that carpe diem shit, I’m 38 and have already lived so many lifetimes defined by other people and my own skewed perceptions of myself that the whole extreme Xgames version of living every day to the fullest is a bit beyond my scope. I want to love who I am, and live what I love.

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Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Leave a comment

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