Preparing for when I might want to use it later. Maybe I'll have something figured out by then. I guess sometimes I do. Ok, I need to shop or whatever. Good thing I'm rested.. but what is it, to get stuck in a loop, where life is 99% preparing for mundane little tasks I might have to do? At that point, am I really preparing because it's needed, or undermining my ability to even do the little things, because I've become so accustomed to resting? This is an easy conclusion to draw, from a random cross-section of my experience, where it all looks crazy. What are you doing? Go out and do stuff, and you'll be more accustomed to doing stuff! Without seeing the countless ways in which, oh, going and doing stuff hasn't worked out that well. I've learned to stop doing it to myself.
Resting and preparation is about trying to find some way of making it go better in the future, because the way it went back when I had all sorts of stuff to do, taught me that it wasn't a good idea. Am I the same person decades later? That is the question, right? Shrooming doesn't seem to answer it. I don't have all sorts of stuff to do now. I don't know if I could handle it. I don't know if the bare minimum of stuff I do would be better replaced with a more busy schedule. The answer sometimes feels like a very resounding no, but who can say for sure. That resounding no is reinforced by fear. Maybe not. Maybe that would be awful, and then what. I still have all this shit to do, after working so hard to get my life to the point where I can waste 99% of it trying to feel better. It is a waste, right? Do I know that? Am I succeeding? Failing? Can I do anything differently, even if I want to?
These are all the sort of automatic questions I ask myself, without really thinking about it. Sometimes I think maybe I should get into taking a better look at those questions. Why not. I have all this free time I've set aside to do it.
I have no idea. I don't know if the way other people live is better. I don't know if they have anything to offer me as far as solutions go. I don't know if I'm doing the best that I can, or fucking everything up. In a sense, we all might have these doubts, these concerns, should we look to others? Or are they even more clueless, because it's not their lives being asked about? We all cobble together an approach that tries to do some of both. We lean on each other a bit, we depend on our own devices, we stumble through the hurricane as best we can.
This is brilliant and all, but it's a simplification. It sounds nice. I don't know if it really address the question, when you get into specifics regarding why some people do way better at navigating than others. We all do what we can, that's a great catch all, but specifically, in regards to my life, what should I be doing?
I can't ask anyone. Nobody has any idea. Not really. It seems nobody possibly could. Should I take their lousy advice anyhow, out of desperation? That seems like a bad plan. I've tried it. Hasn't gone well. Shouldn't need to keep doing it to understand why.
So what can I do? Well, I am trying. I'm always trying. Whether I'm just keeping it together day to day, or trying to get more exercise or deal with doctors, take vitamins, meditate, clean my apartment. I am trying.
What do you think I'm doing? Is it good enough? For what? Do I really need to be moving forward more quickly? Proving something to someone? Myself? That I am trying? Is that really a good reason to do more? It is, if it's the mechanism by which I do more, when I would benefit by doing more.
Since I don't even know what "more" is, should I really be worrying about it? I just know that taking it slow and steady, chugging along as best I can.. next thing I know, years have passed. I lose touch with people, because I was in my own little holding pattern.
That's a random tangent, isn't it? What does it mean, to ask how people are doing regularly? To get these constant little updates, so that they don't slip away. Like everyone does. Because I let them. Or is that too self-centric. They let me.
Ok, that's fine, everyone has that right, but if the common denominator is me, it's me that I should probably be concerned about. Random people can go their own way, but if everyone is leaving me to my solitude, there might be something I could be doing differently.
What does this have to do with feeling better? Living life more fully? What do other people have to do with living life more fully? Is that what I'm asking myself, really?
It's fine to question assumptions, but to overlook answers simply for being obvious is probably not smart. I'd like to be a part of other people's lives. I'd like to see their kids grow up, and stand around awkwardly like part of the family..?
It's normal that I want to be a part of that, to feel more connected with life.. but it might also be normal that I let it go, because standing around awkwardly on the outskirts might not be the best solution. It's a healthy impulse, and yet also a healthy impulse to avoid, given the realities of it.. and what I come up with is that all these different causal factors are actually kind of sound. I'm doing the best I can, in a very specific sense.
It just doesn't have the greatest outcome. The outcome actually kind of sucks, as I watch it all slip away, but that's life. If I'm doing the best I can, maybe I shouldn't worry about it so much. It will slip away. That's what life does. It could be better. A whole lot better. That's how life goes, too. That doesn't mean I'm doing anything wrong, or that I need to try harder. Maybe I just need to relax.
See, but the chorus of other people's opinions rains down on me. I relax more than anyone ever! I can't possibly need to relax even more! All those people who I've kept out of my life, so that I could better relax. I suppose it makes sense that they wouldn't see the logic of what I'm doing.. but that doesn't mean that they're right. I don't know. I'm doing the best I can.
I can keep saying that until it's true, right? I've been fighting them all back, my whole life, and then wondering where they all went. This all makes sense, but for this one kernal of a question. Are they right? Or am I?
These people, these voices, do they even exist? I am assuming. Their actual opinions could vary all over the place, and maybe I do push them away, when that's not even what they think. I have no idea. I think it's a good guess. I've heard it a lot. I get hyper-reactionary to hearing it again. It can't be right. Maybe I need to be more self-assured in that, to better face it incessently coming up.
It's not that simple. I cna't just restructure my entire life to do more stuff, to appease some overarching idea that this is what I should be doing. Wait, isn't that what everyone does? I don't know. Maybe. They grow into it though. It doesn't fall into place, there's a whole organic process by which people get eachother to do more stuff, and I'm not even sure it's a good thing.
I can concede that it might be. I can certainly see the merits of it. I can also see that it's a whole array of data points that don't match up to my life. You can't just "start somewhere" just to do more stuff like everyone else, because that's the healthy thing to do.. because everyone else is so happy and healthy? No, actually they're not. Not everyone.
Maybe more people would be better served by chilling the fuck out, instead. I don't know. I keep coming back to this. I don't know about anyone else. I don't even know about my self. I've barely got this sorted out. Every situation is different.
Or is it. Have I been led astray by this very sort of thinking? They would cheer, yes! Yes! Listen to us! Where does that come from, to be so assured that we not only know what we're doing with our own lives, but we know what someone else should do with theirs?
Here's where I'd ask if it's just a chemical difference, but that's not just a pointless question. Is it a difference based in chemistry or the logic we largely assume? The geneology of better ideas? Do what other people say, until your life goes well enough that you can tell other people what to do?
There is a logic to that, but it's also one that *can* go awry. Operating mechnically, overlooking details, driving things in the wrong direction. That does happens all the time. Just not enough to be Darwinistically wrong.
A mechanic to be wary of. It seems to yield bad advice, but it's also got persistance built into it. Keep going! right? Right over a cliff sometimes, but oops, the advice is still generally sound. Just try not to be the one driven over the cliff by it.
I almost never read this stuff later. I guess, because I'm afraid it will be disappointing. I hope for it to be rich with brilliant or at least novel ideas, but it's just drivel. On and on. Each idea more interesting to me, at the time. Even the most mundane. That I think they'll be interesting later.. maybe they are though. I'm not sure.
I should at least try reading it. I think what I might find though is that it's the same old things I think every day. All laid out, as if it's something new, that I really need to remember. To some extent, this is what I always do, right? Blogging? I've been saying the same things my whole life. It's all the same. Or is it?
Question every idea, - or, for fucks sake, why do I question every damn little thing? No it's not interesting! To me it is? Really? Are you sure? I don't know what else to do. Tell me what to do, so I can say that's a terrible idea, and go back to doing this.
It FEELS like this is how I always think. The difference is in the fire that has me writing it all down. Not in the thoughts themselves. That impulse might still be valuable, just not in the way it seems. That can be decided later.. but maybe I never will. Never decide anything, because I'm never really sure. Just have to default to being me, I guess.
That's what we all do, right? That's what you always say. Others might differ. We go over this all the time. You say that I guess we're all just different flowers, with our own little worldviews, based on a myriad of complexities that made it that way.. and they say no, you stupid fuck. Get a damn job! Go to school, do something! Stop making excuses! You're worthless the way that you are. It literally isn't good for anything, and you even make yourself miserable. We're just trying to help you, but we've all abandoned you, because you never listen. You just drive us away.. because you never accepted me.
You never valued me, the way that I am. You don't. You're happy to leave me alone, right? People are dishonest. They don't like to admit that ok, that's a little fucked up. Maybe that does go sideways, to a dangerous degree, when we drive it too hard.. so they all leave. and I get so lonely, I pretend they're still harassing me.
When I'm on shrooms, I feel objective. I think this is just how all the pieces fit together. This is just how it is. That seemed revelatory to me once.. but now I question it. Do I just want to think this is how the pieces fit, because I'm do desperate to stop trying?
Always looking for an excuse to just let go, and that's really the pinnacle of such an excuse. Does that make me wrong? Does that make me wrong on a personal level, and more broadly, how does that apply to everyone else? Are my ideas of significance to anyone else's life? Are they more right, in consensus? Right, just for me? Or more broadly, kind of wrong? How the hell am I supposed to know?
This is what I mean, when I say that everyone is different. We're not all special flowers. I mean that we make sense of things as best we can, and that is naturally going to vary all over the place, given all the differences in our lives. It's not that nobody's ideas are right, and nobodies are wrong, but that right and wrong isn't the bottom line. Can we see the difference? Can we follow it? We will try. That's what we do. We get it wrong a lot. Such is life.
Don't give up, but don't think it really matters all that much, either. It's organic. It grows where it can. It withers where it can't. We do our best to move toward the light, and we hold onto whatever niche we can find.
Being objective about that isn't giving up. It's about manipulating the precise situation with as much finesse as I can manage, because it hasn't gone that well for me. I'm still alive though. By some very rational measures, I'm just doing what life does, and to berate me for that is silly. So are you. It just went differently, in your case.
This is not glib excuse making. It's nice that I question everything, and give everyone their chance to possibly have a good point. It's nice that I doubt myself, instead of barrelling on through one terrible idea after another.. but objectively speaking. Stupid people shouting that life is simple are probably so wrong.
They can't even raise houseplants. Seriously. Many of them can't. Respect their views, but if you think yours isn't comparable? I don't need to make sweeping generalizations about how they're all idiots, but there is a very good chance my ideas are better than theirs. Objectiely speaking, I can be totally right, but life can still suck. Objectively speaking, I could listen to their bad advice, and make it worse. I probably shouldn't do that.
I should probably stop feeling bad about myself, too. I might be wrong, yeah. We all know people who would say that I am. Investing further in who I am just seems to make more sense than dumping that, to invest in someone else's questionable ideas at this point in my life. It makes sense for me to continue growing the way I have been. It is, most likely, the best available course.
No, there isn't any way to be sure of that. Yes, there are some very undesirable components to that, but you don't upheave everything to repot a plant, unless you have somewhere better to put it. What I did do, moving to Vermont, basically amounts to repotting, and what I'm doing now amounts to making the best of that, given some very damaged roots.
It is extraordinary, the amount of energy I expend feeling bad about the views of people who rarely even bother expressing them. They might think I'm wrong. They might admit they don't really know. They would probably agree that they don't actually care all that much, not only making it a silly thing to worry about, but drastically increasing the chances of them being wrong, anyhow.
So I spend all this energy fighting it off, like some weed that keeps taking root in my own psyche.. so much so, that it even says, are you fighting off bad ideas, really? Or do you know we're right, and you've always been wrong about everything? Do you know? Are you sure? because if you're not sure, we're never going away. The people propogating these terrible ideas are certainly never going to stop doing so, even as they grow increasingly irrelevant to me personally.
I feel denied a proper battle, to see whose ideas are really worse. This is a normal fighting spirit. We want our own ideas to be strong, and to prosper. Is it really about which is right? Or is it just about self-preservation? Is it really that one plant is better than another, or just about making sure that the plant we have thrives? I don't need to go kill their ideas to accomplish that, but I do need to make sure they stop undercutting my own.
This is me. This is not an ethical statement, or a logical statement. I'm just trying to live. In all likelyhood, I'm going to keep doing that, and I'm going to do it as effectively as I can. I don't have to be better than everyone else. I don't have to be better than anyone else. I don't have to prove anything. I just have to live..
No, I'm not always going to be content with that, and it may even go very badly, but all available evidence sure seems to suggest that I'm doing the best that I can.. and that isn't going to always make me feel better.
We aren't coded to be happy with taking a defensive posture. Just holding out, against the onslaught of everyone else. No, we want to be right, we want to spread, and prevail, beyond ourselves. I don't know though. This world is crazy. I have no idea what makes sense for anyone else.
Maybe this makes my ideas weak, but objectively speaking, that's understandable, too. I'm radically outnumbered, and should be happy to even have the means to take up a defensible position.
It's a strange feeling, to think so much has occurred, as the rest of the world doesn't even notice. Much occurred in some of their lives, too. Not so much, in others. The epic tales of each of our lives, played out on a stage we alone can see. Some of us, more alone than others.
I want to shy away from that. It sounds sad and theatrical. Don't sound sad. Melodramatic. All these value judgements people have. These are just different types of people, trying to thrive in their own way.
If your way is to be melodramatic, so be it. Some aren't going to like that. Some are. I don't know why I always have to try to distill everything into something greater than that. It has to be right. It has to be logically sound, and defensible, and covered with teeth and spikes.
I'm not supposed to admit that I'm just scared. I'm just trying to live. Me. The person that I am. I don't even know who or what that is exactly. I just have the sense that it should be able to grow in whichever paths it finds most natural.
This isn't always true. Sometimes you want to force growth a certain, to create a stronger plant.. but sometimes you just want the damn thing to be able to survive. Before you can even think about anything like that.
Given that I'm so unsure of the sort of plant I'm even dealing with here, maybe that's not such an unrealistic concern. There are so many data points. So much that goes into making us who we are, so many variables that we assess to make our decisions. It's impossible to juggle all of it. We just try the best we can, given the means life has so far provided us with.
Why am I constantly trying to tell myself that it's all ok. Reassuring myself. Does this mean I'm afraid it's not ok? Is this a crack through which someone else's ideas might take root instead? Of course.. but it's also a pretty solid wall. I've worked hard on it. That may very well have been the most sensible thing I could do, all things considered.
I want this to go somewhere, but it just goes in circles. Right? Have I come up with any answers at all, really? Maybe I should just meditate. Try to be silent.
My head is like a constant torrent of questions. Are they my questions? Someone else's? People I've known, things I've read, some of them makes more sense than others.. but it's endless. The impulse to write seems to be this idea that if I can get it down, if I can answer.. it will stop.
Are they good questions or not? Another question. Round and round foever, as far as I can tell. Least, until it stops. Maybe I should try to make it just stop. Breath. Focus on the breath. Let the mind catch its own tale.
* * *
..So, not only is that really difficult, but it puts me to sleep when I succeed. How many times has that bitten me in the ass. I can relax. It'll be fine.. only to wake up later having missed something I really didn't want to miss. Meditating without that happening is a good skill to practice, but now may not be the ideal time for it. I want to see what I can accomplish, I might try again later, but for now, the risk of just slipping into lala land seems too great.
"It's fine. Sleep. Why not. Do what you feel like doing." Yeah, great. 40 years later. Fuck you. Or at the very least, I don't want my trip to vanish into the night, with that sort of whimper. It's all about experience, and not squandering it.
All drugs are, right? Isn't that what addiction is all too often about? Trying to live. Trying to break up the monotony of numbness, of being the same old me, day in, day out. I want to feel more than that. People turn to different drugs, for reasons that put very different sorts of spins on the longing for experience, but that is the loose premise so much of it boils down to right?
This is why you put an addict in rat park, and suddenly they don't want the drug. They just wanted to do things. They want to experience more than the situation that they're in, internally, externally, and sometimes drugs are the only way to do that. This is why the worst addicts do more and more, combining them, taking risks.. anything to live more fully, than the shit they face every day. We even risk our lives, if we feel we're not really living, anyhow.
In part, it's a problem of familiarity. The brain processes new information differently. It needs to sort it out. It focuses. It questions. It experiences.
Once we know it's safe, we know how to handle it, we know what we're dealing with.. the brain is coded to settle down. Do what it learned. Go through the motions, no need to hyper-analyze everything. No need to feel everything. Whatever the case may be, in a given brain's particular manner of acquiring familiarity. Once we know it well, it all starts to blur together. We barely even remember it.
So, the question is, can we train the mind to live more fully? If that's what we're really going for, can it be done without drugs? That's like asking if it can be done without physically living more fully. Can it also be done without being given a rat park to play in?
Or, should we learn to be ok with the quiet shutting down of our senses. The going to sleep. Letting life slip away unlived. That's what it feels like. Can we convince ourselves that it's ok? Go to sleep? You're alive until you're not, and all your fussing over living "more" is just silly?
I don't know. More questions.. but at least the questions keep me awake. I don't know if it's objectively superior, this struggle to live more fully, or the struggle to calm the fuck down. I just do what I can to try to understand it.
How many great ideas were honestly born of solitude, anyhow? How many people come up with answers just tossing questions around on their own? My impulse to summon phantoms to argue with makes sense, too. Not ideal, but I am making do.
Asking questions of imaginary idiots, to keep myself awake. It's absurd right.. but how many things look absurd, when looked at from absurd angles. And make sense, when you look at them more seriously.
Maybe I'm not really trying to answer anything. I'm just trying to milk as much life from living as I can. This is not the most normal way of going about it, but this is why I don't choose the most normal drugs to accomplish that. Alcoholics are trying to live more fully, in a different sort of way. A way in which I can, at times, appreciate also. I can also appreciate the push for more and more, and being plastered yet again starts to feel all too familiar.
I did get carried away.. not just sometimes, but too regularly. I haven't had any beer (or anything harder) in a few weeks. I think I might be better off without it. I feel like I understand addiction, without completely losing myself to it, but it gets sketchy sometimes.
Am I better off without cannabis, too? Well, I'd say that it does have some benefits, aside from just feeding the craving to suck the life out of living. It would be much more valuable to be able to use in moderation, than to not do at all.. but yes, I struggle with moderation. I'm having some success though. I realize I got carried away for a while, and have scaled it back.
This tangent on addiction really brings me back full circle, as well as ties together a running theme. I'm trying to make the best use of the time I have. I'm just trying to live. More. Who isn't?