It’s so much harder to write about the ugly stuff. But I think that’s when the most needs to be said.
Why do I act so nice all the time? How do I get so stuck in my head? I was just listening to someone talk for like an hour and connecting with them…. kind of? But you can only connect with someone so much when you’re in your head and only listening. He did ask me a question, maybe a few, and I gave him short answers. When I talk for what seems like a long time, I start feeling self-conscious, like I’m being greedy of the airspace. I worry that they aren’t interested in what I have to say, and it kills my desire and ability to express myself. This isn’t the worst habit; like, it’s not totally debilitating; usually when I’m passionate about something, that breaks through my self-imposed speech boundary. But damn.
You know, I just want to curl up in bed and read. Maybe I will. Writing is hard sometimes. I feel like I have things to say, and I can’t access them. I can’t access them because I’m trying too hard. I want too badly to do this, whatever “this” is. I want to have this perfect self-expressing hobby through which my soul comes out, and it moves people.
In reality, I’m thinking a lot about Mathew. I’m thinking about food. I’m thinking about my job. Am I working too much? Am I faking it too much when I’m at work? Am I getting too much in too-fast energy? Am I working out too much? Am I eating too much? Can’t I just have some chocolate in fucking peace? But there is no peace. I don’t give myself peace when I am in that mindset, and ultimately peace comes from WITHIN. It comes when you accept yourself as you are. It doesn’t come from external validation. If I full-on binge ate right in front of someone and they gave me zero judgement… I would probably crumble apart, honestly. I would be stunned. What does that say about me and what I expect from life, what I think I deserve? That I’m shameful at nature, that there are pieces of me that need to be hidden, that pieces of me will upset and disturb people, that I deserve to be shunned and pushed aside and judged, that there’s something wrong with me. It’s such bullshit that I do this to myself.
Man, I feel myself flip-flop between extremes sometimes. Because I really can write things like this and be in the place of believing it and feeling it, feeling how twisted and dark I am and the awfulness of not feeling good enough – and then for a brief beautiful moment I will see all of it and just laugh at what’s happening, and laugh at myself for what I do. And I get in places like that for extended periods of time, sometimes, where I can laugh at it all and be at peace with it. Also, from there, it is obvious to me that the whole complex of mine is, in reality, absolutely nothing. It’s totally self-created. It’s nebulous. It’s based in lies and fears. It isn’t me, it isn’t truth! But then, when I’m in it – everything feels awful and doomed, I become painfully aware of the potential consequences of each of my actions, so full of fear for every step I take, so full of fear that I have given all my power away and am pulled into the shameful cycle I see as this burden of mine, some kind of death trance I’m doomed to walk my whole life.
Sometimes I’ll be perfectly happy, and then a thought will pop into my head, “All of this won’t last. You have the potential inside of you to become the monster that you hate, and it’s only a matter of time.” It’s a spell. It’s a curse! Who gave me this curse? Who cursed my family, the women of my family, with this beast of self-loathing and shame?
I know everyone struggles, is one of the sad things. I want to be a person who can bare it all and be vulnerable and brave, because I think the world needs that (or else we keep our weird parts hidden, and feel alone). But in reality I just fall right in line in all those shallow social interactions, fall right in with the status quo, live in fear of upsetting the norm, or standing out too much, of being rejected. I can’t stand it! I literally got in my car after listening to that guy for an hour, and being at work all day, and I had all this pent-up, confused energy, kind of like I often do before I break down and binge eat, and I just started… basically yelling to myself in my car, and speaking in gibberish, a string of awful non-rhyming poems and songs about nothing, about random things, about how much I needed to fucking speak up more and holding it all in is making me CRAZY.
What a waste of energy, holding things back all the time. I wish I was more in touch with what exactly I’m holding back when I’m around people playing the part of my agreeable public face. But I think that’s the point I need to learn – you never know exactly what’s going to come out before you say it, when you’re being authentic and in the moment. You don’t think about what you do, you just do. I want to be like that, doing things without thinking about it. I love my mind and my intelligence, but it is my curse, and I believe it’s one of the foundational imbalances of the Western world. Ready for some woo-woo? Here it is: we are multi-sensory, multi-dimensional beings. We can perceive and respond to this world in many ways. Our intelligence is NOT limited to our conscious mind – noooo, sir, in fact our conscious thinking mind only accounts for a small percentage of the activity of our brain – and our body has its own intelligence, our emotions have their own intelligence, our spirit has its own intelligence – in our culture, the mind has become dominant and imbalanced. We try to do everything with our heads, and it is not harmonious….
Blah. Blah. Sorry for the rant. I want to keep this to speaking for myself, but I also want to let myself write whatever the fuck I want. Because I don’t give myself enough space for that.
(Did I just fucking apologize for speaking my mind? Damn.)
Now, I’m going to invite Jesus and the Buddha to be with me, and see where this writing goes. Because the point of writing is to say something. Not just to … vomit out all my energy…. but to express what needs to be expressed in a way that can be heard.
Friends, I feel like we don’t share all aspects of our lives with each other. When people ask each other “how are you?” …. what goes through your mind when someone asks you that? I rarely respond with authenticity to that question. I guess it’s easiest when I’m feeling great – I’m cool to be totally honest about that when that is the case! All other times, I feel that I have to fib, and represent only the happy or positive-seeming parts of my existence. Which is really a shame, to be honest.
Tell me if I’m wrong, in my perception that people don’t like to hear about sad things. Or that people are sad or struggling.
Earlier this month, Mathew and I broke up. I walked away from him and into an airport, to fly back to North Carolina. After going through security I sat down at my gate and started writing in my journal. And I didn’t hold myself back all the way; I let some quiet tears fall down my face while I wrote. People sitting near me literally left! Twice! I wasn’t offended, but… what the heck? What is going on? Are we allergic to our feelings? They are a part of us!!! It’s a part of life!
I feel some anger about this, which seems a little pointless. After all, I don’t think people know any better. And I do think a lot of people live with feelings they don’t know how to express, that eat away at them deep inside.
When I try to fit in with that reality, something inside me starts eating at me. Things get out of balance, out of whack. I guess this is in part just embracing who you are, learning to let the freak flag fly. My favorite people are weird people. The best thing I’ve gotten into in the last year is psytrance music. The two festivals I went to last year are the weirdest, best fucking events I’ve ever been to. I can’t get enough of it. And there’s zero hint of normalcy to it, is what makes it so great. That’s festival culture at its best; collective creation of a space where you can be who you are, express yourself how you want, dress how you want, connect with art way more than most of us do on a regular basis. That’s another thing —- art. I think this mental disease we have is probably causally related to, and made worse by, our collective devaluing of art. The thinking mind doesn’t understand art. It doesn’t receive the message of art. Because art is something you feel with a different part of yourself. Think about the kind of art you connect with – music, dancing, visual art, video, literally whatever speaks to you and that you label as “beautiful” – who are you, in those moments? Are you the same person that you are when you’re working (if you do predominantly mental work) or thinking or planning or whatever? How does that part of you express yourself in the world? Do you do it enough?
I’ll speak for myself again, now — I don’t. I get trapped in doing all the things I think I’m supposed to do – that my rational mind thinks I’m supposed to do – and my wild side gets boxed in. And she really doesn’t do well in boxes. She comes out with flying, raging colors in the dead of night, under cover of darkness, believing there’s no space for her in this cold world.
I’m trying to make it better. Trying to live in her world sometimes, because it’s actually so fun and invigorating and free. I went for a run this morning, and my logical mind mapped out a route for me ahead of time so I had a plan. (Which, by the way, really bores the wild part of me. Makes everything feel like a chore when I think the course is already mapped out and that I’ve been there before.) I got into my legs, and the cold air, and soon enough… I had a little impulse to just be spontaneous about my run. So I did that! I followed my impulses and my curiosity and I ended up running off-road under powerlines, exploring behind buildings, finding cool neighborhoods I’ve never been to – a part of me just WOKE UP and was FLYING on that adventure run. Like, wow, what cool things I found! This is amazing!
And at the core of me, that is the person who I am, and who I want to be. That is how my body likes to move, how my spirit likes to live. Much more in the flow and spontaneous. Exploring. Playing. Life from that vantage point is obviously magical. I say obvious, because it really does feel that way, like you’re interacting with something alive that is speaking to you in its own way. I don’t hear life speak so much when I’m trying to plan my life – it’s like I don’t give space for life’s voice to be heard, all I am doing is imposing my own voice. But you know what? It’s refreshing to let go of the reigns. I want to do it more. I ache for more art and playfulness. I’ve been too mental for too long. Let me go, mind! Let me go be wild and free!