We are not entitled to an epiphany a day. We’re not entitled to feel meaningful life purpose in every moment. The world doesn’t owe us anything. Some days will be flat and boring. Some days you need to just do the same thing again in order to practice and reinforce habits.
It’s a bit of a meta-epiphany to realise that it’s okay to not be thinking anything new. I have the need to “go over” and redo some of the thoughts I’ve had before. So, as you can guess, today I’ve nothing new to say, but I do have a whole lot of old to say.
Everything changes, every moment is fleeting, and yet there is nothing new under the sun. If anything I’m saying here resonates with anyone, it’s probably because we’re all fundamentally human, growing up in similar societies and dealing with the unease, ennui and disaffection that comes with many of the same inputs that society hands us.
That is in no way saying that it’s not useful to talk about it, or that it’s not heartening to realise that other people feel this way. (Although, I often resent not being “special”. You’re so fucking special. I wish I was special, etc.) It’s even useful for me to write stuff down here and realise that I feel this way. Thus allowing me to feel connected with myself.
But I have to be truthful. It’s the lying and shame, feeling as though I have to hide and disguise myself – not just in front of others, but also hiding from myself – that’s what causes that feeling of disconnect and discontent. Recently, even here, I think I’ve been putting on a little bit of a front. Now that I have all of 5 or 6 readers, I feel an awareness of their presence (or their potential presence – I’m guessing not everyone reads everything). I find myself responding to what’s been said about my writing style and content – even though it’s been complimentary – and wondering if I’m managing to do the thing that people liked or not. I’m finding myself spending more time deliberating over word choice and sentence structure, trying to “craft” an overriding “message” and worrying whether the day’s post hangs well together overall.
It’s all very quantum. The act of being observed has changed things around here. But that was something I wanted, you know. From the very beginning of this public blog (as opposed to my previous writings on 750words), I noticed a difference in my writing – I needed to push through some fears about saying certain things, fears about how I would be perceived and often considering how some of the posts might read in the future were I to open it to a wider audience. I think we tend to craft our appearance and conversations to match what we think the people we’re with expect (not always successfully). Sometimes the best honesty I can manage is to select a certain thread of self and only display that. That’s … okay, I guess. Possibly appropriate in some circumstances! I’m not sure I’d really call it honest, although it’s also not a lie.
But when you try too hard to only display the aspects of yourself that you think will be appreciated, and when you try to do that for multiple groups in one go, you can end up with a muddy mess of threads. A little bit like when all the plasticine gets mushed together and all the beautiful colours blend into grey, with only the odd fleck of brightness, which might just be a grain of rice anyway.
Anyway, sticking with the thread metaphor for a moment; I think that an honest depiction of myself is more like a tapestry, woven together from all those threads, into a complete picture. That picture mightn’t be to everyone’s taste, but it’s not a bland muddle, nor is it one strong shining note that is only part of the story.
So, what I’m trying to say here is that I’ve noticed myself starting to self-edit a little bit. Not in any serious way, but sometimes it seems like I’ve gotten invested in the perception of what I’ve created, and in my hopes that it will be appreciated on some level outside of myself, and thus gotten away from my original purpose – finding out some truth for myself of what’s going on in here. I noticed the same thing creeping into my drawing too, when I started making pictures on things I thought I was feeling, or thought I should be feeling, or had been feeling, or whatever. I got stuck and didn’t want to finish pictures, and now I think I’ve figured out why.
And on that note, I’ll leave you with a link to my new weekly comic, Not Funny, Just True.