With the headache and blocked sinuses that greeted me this morning I felt like nothing so much as someone waking up with a hangover. I guess I’ve probably forgotten what having an actual hangover feels like though. And while I may have some physical discomfort this morning, I’m without the accompanying fear and anxiety of old.
I can’t think of anything that I really want to write out of my brain this morning. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on, but it all just sounds so trite and whiny to me and it’s not attractive to write it all down.
All the same, this reminds me of something that I’ve felt strongly since I first started writing morning pages about 17 years ago; I had the idea that if there was stuff about myself that I was unhappy with, then I’d eventually get really sick of hearing myself whine about it day after day and that would force me to do something to change it.
It’s easy enough to numb out and ignore most of the shit that bothers you and let the days keep slipping on past, pretending that Future-Me will deal with everything, that Future-Me will miraculously sort out all the issues that bother me, all without Present-Me needing to change a goddamned thing or be even slightly emotionally uncomfortable for even a second.
Except, of course I’m emotionally uncomfortable. All the bloody time! I just ignore it really well.
Now things have gotten loads better, haven’t they? I mean the relative jump between the Past-Me of a year ago and the Present-Me now is pretty huge and I get to be proud of that. But I can’t eat out on it for the rest of my life! I don’t mean I should have to be like a shark; continuously moving forward, or anything like that, but I should be careful about stagnation too.
And I do feel a little stagnant.
Look, it’s the same thing I was writing about the other day. I’m just coming back and saying the same thing in a different way again. I’m dissatisfied with parts of my life.
It’s not exactly true to say that I’m dissatisfied with my life. If I zoom out or in on any one area of my life, it’s kind of great. From a distance, I’m in the most privileged percentage of people in the world. Close up, I have health and love and a career.
But there’s a hole.
Is it in our human nature to be discontent? I judge me for my lack of contentment, you know. I want to be satisfied and feel fulfilled, but I’m just not there yet, and then I get shouty and snappish with the ones I love most, with the ones to whom I want to contribute nothing but happiness.
At the moment I’m identifying my lack of drawing and creativity as the focus-point cause of my discontent. It’s just a scape-goat upon which to load it all though. Maybe that’s why I’m not doing much about it just yet. I mean, yeah, there’s the general day-to-day clutter of life that fills up all my time and energy, but there’s also that fear that if I actually addressed my known issues, what will I do then? What will I do when I am still just as rife with holes and unfulfilled longings?
What if I’m unfixable?
I want to try and change my viewpoint on all of this. That might be why I spend so much time reading self-help books, and memoirs of extreme life-changes and people reinventing themselves. I might be a bit overdue for some self-reinvention.
Let’s see, we’ve been through dumping all my friends in secondary school (because in my mind they’d already dumped me) and reinventing myself with a huge nerdy academic bent. Then I went to university in a different city and got to be a new self all over there. Every year in college was a chance at a new self it felt. Then there was working-self, settled self, house-buying engaged-to-be-married self. I tolerated that for 2.5 years before burning it all down. Broken self came next. Trying to deal with my mental health issues, but it wasn’t long until I decided to run from them instead. Ex-pat self in Japan. A few different selves there. Sad lonely self met G. and then I was coming home self. It was like being a foreigner for a while back here too. Unemployed seeking self. Artistic self. Back-to-college self. Trying to become a parent self. All the sad that got wrapped up in the failures and the miscarriages and my previous selves regrets took up a few years.
And now I’m married parent teacher self.
But I don’t want to burn it all down. I don’t want to run. I just want to augment.