It’s a constant struggle this habit of wanting things I don’t have. Being aware of it is not enough to stop it from happening. It’s ingrained deep into my sense of who I am. I am one who scans my environment for items I identify with. I am therefore compelled to harness those ideas until I have fully merged with them. Then it starts all over. I am now the person who I needed to become and now I must do it again to become the next person I need to be. Problem is this is all so exhausting and the opportunity cost is impossible to measure. Some wants take forever to achieve. Some wants are easy but cause longer term wants to be put off. The juggle is constant and annoying to the point where I’d rather just not want stuff. I’d rather just be happy with who I am because the attainment of one object often comes along with many more unforeseen objects. No want is just a simple thing.
All the cool stuff is happening in the future right now and I am stuck in the present just watching it all happen over and over and over. All my possible futures are happening right behind my eyes and all I’m doing is sitting here watching and waiting endlessly for my turn to play life to its fullest again.
I find myself noticing how I have forgotten what it is like to be a child. I’ve been strict and committed to the idea of never forgetting from about the age of 4. I say 4 because 4 is the age I don’t remember being, yet I remember learning this idea prior to remembering the age of 5.
Now that I know that I will have another break from employment obligations my brain has instantly gone back into summer vacation mode. A job hopper’s dream, dream, dream come true! This will be the first time between jobs (out of 15) that I get paid to take a break from work. My ego is stroking itself repeating, “I’m so good at this,” over and over and I just watch and laugh carelessly in agreement as if it were actually true. It’s not because I’m good at this. It’s because of random timing. I just happen to finally find a “permanent” job two years before that job was being moved out of state and it just so happens that I will get bought out of my “at-will” employment agreement. This is really a “please don’t sue us” or a “statistically, if we buy you out of your job you are less likely to be a problem in the future” payout.
What does this have to do with summer vacation? Summer vacation is when, not only does your environment not change, but your standard of living also goes up for those three months. While not on summer vacation one must adhere to the norm of civilized educated society by showing up at a location at a specific time and paying attention to/remaining in that specific location for a specific period of time. None of that happens on summer vacation. None. On summer vacation I sleep when I want to sleep, I eat when I want to eat, I talk to people when I want to talk to people, and best of all I drive when I want to drive. I am essentially my true self. Not this mercenary self who is well aware her student debt needs to be paid off in order to move forward in life.
It’s the need to be a mercenary that has created its own survival personality. This is survival in its simplest form. I should be grateful that my survivor personality is not a staring victim of war or a self defending warrior of a warring nation. No, mine is one of a bored middle class adventurer. Very first world problem, thank. god. But that’s what I’ve got and thats the biggest problem my almost unemployed brain wants to go with. The fact that playtime is nearing in 100% of it’s truest form (of the likes I have not seen for more than a decade) and I have forgotten how to play.
For years my hobbies have been dwindling out of my everyday routine. All my favorite toys are collecting dust in my closet or under my bed. I think of them often but am too put off by the amount of work it takes to play with them. I’d rather not start than get half way through, not finish, but still have a huge mess to clean up. That’s what she said 😉
I’ve seen no point in continuing activities that aren’t going to actually and practically get me ahead in the world. I haven’t had the mental energy to juggle too many ideas at a given time. I dislike my day being full of scheduled activities and feeling obligated to clean off my to-do list. I’m an essentially sick of many things that used to fly me away into happiness. They say that is a sign of depression. If so, I’m the happiest depressed person that I’ve ever met. Maybe I was depressed and didn’t know it and suddenly I’m not depressed and have forgot the extremity of where I was a few weeks ago before I found out that I have the opportunity to be myself again (for a long time) very, very soon. In that case it wouldn’t matter, at least not until I’m back down to a level that relates, which would be in the future where apparently not only cool stuff is happening.
Achieving a constant state of flow is expensive, both directly in terms of cost and indirectly in terms of opportunity cost. Because of this inherent cost, I have gotten myself into a good enough state of artificial flow. During my week I feel a sense of achievement in making sure my boss is happy with my work. He is easily pleased and I am actively learning something new almost everyday. I also have family and enough friends to keep me occupied in my free time.
Then comes the weekends where nothing is planned. I catch up on sleep, then complete most of my to-do list. Once all that clears away I am painstakingly aware that despite all the goals I have achieved, all the knowledge I have attained, and all the money I have saved in my retirement account, l feel as though I have gotten no where.
I feel so lazy at the thought that despite all that work I still feel empty like a hamster on a wheel. I accomplished all my dreams. I feel so grateful and fulfilled that I have been able to do all these things that I needed to do to evolve into who I am today. So why the hell am I so bored?
Nothing is keeping me in the flow. Goals feel like just more shit I have to do because I accomplished all my goals, I rose above and now all that goal accomplishment energy has no true goal to apply itself to. Any new goal is just me trying to find the next subject or topic that will keep me engaged in the world. Something that captures my attention and holds me to it all the way to the end. Sadly, no. I can’t find flow. Even in books. I can’t find a new genre to get into. I miss the captivation of a new subject to master.
I have things to do, I just don’t feel like doing them will get me anywhere. I’ll still end up on the other side of that goal in the same place trying to find the next thing that will take me some place exotic.
I could pay for another degree or plane ticket. I could, but once that trip is over, like all the others, I’ll probably be sitting right here again, bitching about how all my work has done nothing but keep me occupied while time passes. My flow is fragmented, all the pieces are living their own separate lives and I’m just juggling all my various skills and abilities trying desperately to get them all together into something that keeps me happy all the time.
“I just want the pants!” The phrase that plays in my mind whenever I think of performance inabilities. I was taking a pattern making class at a community center in a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. The woman who exclaimed the phrase had been to several Saturday pattern making classes because she was a very wide-hipped and narrow-waisted hour glass. The kind who never in her life had a pair of pants that actually fit her shape perfectly. She was on the verge of tears, trembling lip an all, as she yelped out that echoing phrase. Making her own pants was the last option within her budget. Despite hours of hope, all hope was lost. It suddenly became clear that nothing she could do was going to fulfill that hope. The dark cloud of despair entombed her face and never left for the rest of the class.
Maybe it is the budget that kills us. Yes, if we had all the money in the world we would be able to let someone else deal with the stress of finding us pants that fit. First world problems. The ability to dream and see in one’s mind that a different reality can exist for us is monumental to our survival. No one can stay sane if they are aware that every day of their future is likely to be just as shitty as the one they have been experiencing for the last God knows how many days. No one. I must envision a brighter future. I must see how my inputs into this waste of time will convince someone that I am capable of moving on to the next level. Beating the boss takes stamina. It takes wit and intellect. These’s people are dense and narrow minded because they need to be to keep their cog of the wheel operational. They can’t just let everyone pass go and collect $200. You have to pass their unacknowledged tests to pass go. That’s life.
Problem is, passing Go takes time. The amount of time passing Go takes is different in different cultures. Some cultures understand the real world. Some cultures understand their own real world. To a person who has traveled and lived in the “real world”, this idea is confusing. Imagine taking a multiple choice test for an online college course. No lectures, just a text book to rely on for information. One test question asks, “The best way to make a profit is to buy low and sell high, true or false?” What is your answer? You can rationalize that both answers are correct in some way or another. But according to the text book that you are being tested on, the answer is “true”. Not because your life experience has told you that it is true, not because your friends agree, but simply because in the context of this specific life situation, the text book explicitly says that on page 279. A+ for you.
Somehow we ended up driving into the underworld. Not knowing where we were, we made a u turn and continued on our way home. A wicked witch followed us out though. Something in me knew it too but I kept shrugging off as shadows and road noise. At home that night I felt her presence and went into the back yard pondering where the safest place would be. In fright at the dark clouds swarming fast on all horizons, I turned and ran back into the house and up the stairs. She flew around me in a swirling gust. I thought I had escaped her as I burst out onto the balcony and climbed onto the roof. Feeling myself floating I grabbed the flag pole rope and held on in one last attempt to stay grounded. “It’s no use,” she shrieked, “I’ve already given you the poison.” Her words echoed as Kevin’s sword flew through her apparition, its reflective light joining into my swirling, darkening vision.
I eventually awoke, realizing that my sleeping beauty fantasies were never something that I wanted to be true. Blinking my eyes, I expected the vague form of Kevin hovering over me to bring me relief, but it didn’t. “Kevin! Why do you look like that?” I exclaimed. His Claymation face looked sad. I reached up to his face asking him if it is really him, when I noticed my own hands had the very same cartoonish texture. Frightened, thinking this must be a dream, the memory of the witch’s attack came back. “But how did you get here?” I asked him as he showed me the mirror, “I thought she was only attacking me.
“She was.” He explained, “But I couldn’t fight her off and wouldn’t let her take you alone. So I let her take me too. I couldn’t be without you. “What does she want with us?” I asked. He didn’t know. For weeks she has just been flying around like a mad spirit muttering spells as she experiments with the new power having us around gives her. “She’s been gone for a few days, maybe that’s why you’ve woken up.” My memory came and went over the next few days so it was easy to live in the cottage as if we always did.
But at random times a memory would come to mind. “Do you still work at a bank?” I asked Kevin, half knowing his answer but feeling compelled like a child to ask anyway. “Not since we’ve been here, no. We’re prisoners here. I have no idea how to get out.”
One day Kevin began to get spacey and forgetful of what words he had been trying to get out. He fell into a conscious muttering sleep as the witch flew in. “Good good, awake awake. Get up!” she ordered. I stood, shaky on my claylike legs under her spell. A salt shaker appeared in my hand and I started sprinkling Kevin with salt as the witch flew around in apparitional ciaos.
The tornedo of wind put me into a black out and I awoke on horseback. My hands tied in front of me with Kevin walking at my side, looking more and more Disney than Claymation. We were slowly following the witch’s caravan through a small town. Children were pointing in awe as the adults hustled them away from the road. A band of teens threw rocks at us, threatening to break Kevin’s shoes, which were made of half an egg shell each. Angrily he lunged at them. Had his shackles not held him back, they probably would have been too scared to throw one last rock. Egg shell shards spew in all directions, disheartened he turned to me. “You have to try to remember, remember home. It is the only way we can get out of here.” “Home…” I whispered as I woke up, Kevin snoring at my side. I breathed a sigh of relief that it was all just some sort of dream.
11pm, Ugh. the night owl in me insists on living by the numbers.
Chasing dreams is a weird process sometimes.
Will I ever just live the dream and be fine with that?
“ets get there and be done with it so I can play all day long,
uninterrupted by feelings of obligation.
That’s what I was promised!
Once I finished my work I could play, forever.
Over and over and over again, they lied.
The nature of work is not to be over.
Hard work, work smarter; they were the choice at the fork in the road.
So many people couldn’t, so they Worked Harder
as if the Work Smarters are in any different boat.
It hasn’t changed.
They call it an education,
people with PhDs work both harder and smarter.
Seeing the false hope is like looking around your room and realizing
that it is all junk.
CEOs are employees too.
We’re all employees if we are employed.
There is no where else to go for most of us.
We can hope and dream and learn and endure.
We can argue, bitch, and be bitter selves.
We must do both sets here, at this time.
We have no choice.
Many egos have softened and turned to reason
some with much spite.
Just work towards freedom
Oh it’s real. I do pretty good the first few days as I get back into my routine. Then somewhere around Wednesday evening it hits me. I overspent on all that fun, now I have to live a bit more frugal to stay within budget for the enxt few weeks. “It was worth it,” says one of the minds in my head. “Yeah, but maybe we could have had a bit more self control.” Silence ensues as I internalize my internal thoughts. “Girls, girls!” I butt in. “It just is what it is and it was worth it.”
Anyway, it exists, but at least it is less intense with each iteration because with life experience i’ve learned to smooth out my happy highs enough so that I don’t fall so hard on the way down.
It doesn’t help that I have a permanent job. Well it does, because at least now I have a job to return to right away when I return from an adventure. But two weeks vacation = slavery. Seriously, who sets these salary prices anyway. Supply and demand. I know, I took a few econ classes. But in the real world I don’t see it as a reason for how all prices clear. Belief systems seem more of a culprit. I’m off topic. Back to PVSD.
I’ve been day dreaming a lot this week about what i would do if I could do anything I wanted and be free like on holiday. It’s therapeutic, but as a dark side that doesn’t pair well with PVSD. Because when I think of all the stuff I would do if I could do what ever I want to do, I just feel more blue because it is so far from reality. Why do our minds genetically tease us with the possibly of other worlds colliding with ours? My brain must be miswired, because this habit of thinking in no way has gotten me to the top of the success pile. If anything, it holds me back because all the time spent in another world, is time not spent understanding how this one actually works.
Self doubt, lack of ambition, and a complete undesire to try to accomplish anything more, PVSD.
I would want to accomplish more if any of the things I’ve accomplished actually got me somewhere. Oh mother of glory I am a goal achieving hamster on a wheel rolling up hill next to Sisyphus. At least I don’t have to push up rocks, so there is a bright side. Someone is just watching while puffing a cigar saying, “Oh good, she’s almost done with that accomplishment, what meaningless goals shall we have her achieve once she’s done?” Trophies, pieces of paper, recognition, its all junk. junk. junk. junk. Meanless junk. Just more junk to put on the wall and sort though in my closet.
I just want to sleep in. Every. Day. That makes me happy.
I never thought of myself as a competitive person because I saw how much more competitive many others were than me. I never cared to win much at sports or other “see who is best” events. Maybe it was because the effects of losing didn’t last long or I’d just rather not dive to the ground just to keep a ball in the air. Regardless, I did engaged in my own competitions from time to time, but they weren’t always so sportly structured.
Often my rivals were simply my friends in school. We were all trying our best to get good grades and we were all in the same boat when it came to intelligence, so it was often a close call. I only had to win by a few inches, not cram for a whole mile.
Other rivals were family members of a similar age vying for attention or adoration from the adults, which we were never actually starved for.
These competitions were constant throughout childhood. As I got older and became aware of these behaviors, I realized that the scars I was accumulating and causing were not longer a result of healthy competition. It was down right mean.
Though all of this I always thought of myself as a nice person. I was at heart a people pleaser to the point where I put other people’s wants above my own. But I wasn’t fully a nice person. I inflicted social pain on others when they didn’t even know there was a competition. I felt triumphant when I finally felt better than a specific person.
Then I looked back and realized that they were just being themselves, reacting to the world, looking for a friend. Here I was jealous of their natural advantages, needing to prove myself when my friend just stood there defeated by my behavior.
Its been over 10 years since I had this realization. I’ve since made new friends who were so beyond my own situation in life that I felt no need to compete. We are simply not comparable because we play life in completely different arenas with completely different rules. We can simply talk about life and try to understand each other without one-upping.
I still encounter my old rivals, often with compassion and guilt over having “beat” them when they were already too far down to fight. Others, I just avoid, having never settled the score.
Commitment is one of those states of being that you are only aware of when it accompanies feeling stuck. I don’t have a choice, this world will take away some big things I care about if I don’t conform. No, I wouldn’t lose it all I would just trade one set of problems (slave to the system) for another (being homeless and poor). Luckily I am smart and have a more comfortable stuck-state than many people, but still the cloud looms over me at times.
The bright side isn’t in some foreign country or with a different group of friends. I’ve been there and I’ve met them. I am still me no matter where I go or what I do. I should be grateful for that fact that I have had the opportunity to encounter myself in such a vast variety of existence, but I feel a sense of normalcy about it because it is my life and it was me doing what made the most sense at the time.
So I’m finally here. At that place where there is nothing to discover in my favorite things. I have no choice but to live for the small excitements. The little pieces I hadn’t noticed before. The personalities I previously overlooked. The benefits of ongoing love and attachments lingering down the same streets as usual.
I’ve been in a place similar to this many times when my dreams abandoned me because I accomplished them. I asked similar questions like, “have I not aimed high enough?” “Could I have done more?” The answers are never clear. All I can do is make new dreams from the drive left over from the old dreams. That means mapping out a road leading me right back where I am now. All that work and emotion focusing on what I don’t have to get me what I want, only to get it and be right back here feeling empty.
But the goals are forming, soon they will be full fledged dreams pumping my heart so I can run in these circles all because the sun keeps rising and I enjoy my days to have a standard of comfort. Off to work I go, I may as well rise through it…
Ideas are worth their weight in gold. Literally.. how much is gold worth at the moment and how much do ideas weight? I have many ideas but some find their way into my soul as concrete. Those who pull through the chaos of the mind have value. Like offspring in a civil war, they chose the winning side in order to tell their history. That effort and forbearance has no tangible value as of yet. If they had the valor to peak through and transmute themselves into a tangible item of this world, then I have no choice but to let them run their lives as they see fit. Many of them are in infantile stages despite the potential density of their auras. They live and breathe and gain strength through me. Just because they can not yet speak for themselves is no cause to cut them off and dismiss them to anyone who sees their worth only as an alternative. They need to live a life as functional as possible. Do no look down upon the late bloomers. They are more the source of out knowledge than any other. They’ve lived and absorbed what is alive. Their time will come. If they choose me as their benefactor, then I can assume no great cause but to bring them to proper fruition.