I knowingly bought a ticket to the known world. The place where all the pieces are planned and mapped out. Where life doesn’t just happen to you. Where most attempts to find vibrant life end with a mediocre thought of “at least I tried”. But I bought the ticket anyway because it is a place where I knew I could sit back, feel normal, and make sense of what I’d been through. Now that I’ve recuperated internally I’m looking out and I can’t help but struggle with my decision. I look back and wonder what could have been done differently in all the wildness. I guess the unrealized sense of a piece of life being over has now become fully realized. In efforts to create a new plan it makes sense to look back and list out all the dislikes in order to make better decisions for the next round. This time around, part of me didn’t realize it was over. Part of me is ready to go, part of me wants to stay, and most of me can’t afford to leave. All in all, it is good that I stepped on the train, because the known world is good for people who don’t know what to do next yet.
There are a few people who I wish I never met. The few fantastic or enjoyable moments spent with them were in no way worth the years of being reminded of them. I think it was just that I was left in limbo, a place of constantly being unsure of what was going on in my life. The existence of this unknown area, where I was powerless to express myself without being ignored or pushed aside, cause me all sorts of confusion. The world usually worked a certain way, but with this person all the usual ways were not the right way, all the simple gestures were not noticed, all the words I spoke were not as clear as they needed to be, and so on. It was almost as if I were silently being told “if you want me in your life then you’re going to have to suffer for it first: you’re going to have to wait, you’re going to have to be broken down, you’re going to have to be granted permission.” I just didn’t want it to be that way, I wanted it work. I’ve come to terms with the fact that life doesn’t work with everyone, what I haven’t come to terms with is how long it can take me to realize that sometimes. I’m tired of feeling embarrassed for it.
There is a certain pattern to daydreams that I’ve taken note of lately. As with anything that has been occurring for ages, but only recently has become worth noting, this pattern has become a problem (without the negative connotation). “Problem” meaning simply something to solve or get something extra out of because the pieces just don’t fully make sense with my current mode of thinking.
The pattern is as such: a outside occurrence (trigger) gets me thinking of some story to keep my mind occupied or distracted. The topic is of no consequence, the only criteria is that it fills me with some sort elation and intense need to play out the entire story over and over until all the loose ends are figured out and I have one linear daydream. The process is the best part, I get to feel all sorts of emotions which my everyday life doesn’t have (perhaps I don’t actually want in my everyday life) and I’m the one creating the story so I can imagine all sorts of possibilities that are off limits to the put-downs of outsiders. Of course when I encounter a situation in these daydreams that I dislike, I can still play out the drama, but then later decide that I wouldn’t want that to happen so I can go back to any part in the story and recreate the ending from there. I imagine I could write real stories this way… I would just have to record my voice because typing takes too long. Who knows, people may like it, the only problem being that I use real people as characters in these day dreams so I’d have to disguise them somehow. (I know, I’m not supposed to mediate on real people, I know I know, bad habit, because it distorts my perception of who they really are…but that is for another note)
Anyways, so that is the daydream pattern. Probably not too dissimilar to your own. But the “problem” comes along when I realize that my end product daydream is actually obtainable for me and I would really like it to happen. There is one piece that lets me know whether or not the idea is actually capable of happening: The beginning. Often these daydreams start as some sort of life altering event occurring that takes me into a whole new world or stage of life. Like, Prince Charming shows up and I suddenly don’t mind giving up my single freedoms… that sort of “outta the blue, completely change of behavior and outlook on things” type of cheesiness. (Day dreams are full of cheesy scenarios, don’t try to ly, I know yours are too, I blame Disney).
The thing with “the beginning” is that it cannot be planned as such. One cannot plan sending in a resume in response to a simple Craigslist job ad and suddenly having the job of your dreams, because things like that tend not to happen on cue. But once you do have the job of your dreams you can work with it, but there is no viable way of getting it suddenly or with luck.
What I am saying is that those sudden things you would need to happen in your life to get you to the next phase or step cannot be planned for because who knows if and how they could actually start to happen. But sometimes you do actually have a “beginning” that is reasonable and involves simple action on your part to get the ball rolling. Those are the viable daydreams to focus on, because you can actually make those happen, or at least take steps to see if you were right in believing that you would actually enjoy it if it did happen.
So “the beginning” is actually the last step in the dreaming process for me. I’ve got to play out the normal, nitty-gritty aspects of an idea to see if I like the idea before I can even think of where to begin, otherwise I would keep starting a whole bunch of things only to find out later that I don’t actually like doing it. And I’ve done a lot of pretty awesome things in life so far, so I don’t doubt that this method didn’t contribute to all that. There are probably other ways of getting me into action, but so far, my mental forecasts have done the job well enough.
I get nervous when people start heavily interrogating me about my point of view or what I want in life. Sure in an interview these are questions I can answer fairly solidly (or at least I think so because I’ve been hired), but just in everyday life from friends or coworkers I get really paranoid.
I begin to wonder “Why are they asking me this?” or “What difference does it make?” My difficulty with such questions is that people tend to use my answers to forecast some future event and they forget that life doesn’t pass exactly as planned and that perhaps events in the future may inhibit something I have planned from happening.
I think people get fixated on needing to know about the part of their future that revolves around me because of some difficulty in coping with how uncertain life can be. Anyway I am hesitant to even answer some questions. Especially questions about what I want in the future. How can you receive answers to that type of question seriously? Sure I may want “A” at the moment, but that is because I have no idea that “B” will happen and make me want “C” more than “A.”
Do you see that there is no good answer to questions about the future? Life works like this: You have elements in life such as skills, knowledge, connections, past times, assets, etc. At any given point in time you have a finite amount of life elements at your disposal, therefore you will make decisions based on the present elements as a way of heading toward desired elements. But those desired elements, which you hope to have in your future, do not exist in your life now, and may never exist exactly as you postulate because you are only creating an idea about future life-elements based on the present elements you have in life.
You don’t know what else you are going to encounter that may make you change your plans and neither do your friends. So in trying to answering people’s questions about the future, you leave out the unknown, because that is what people want to hear. “Based on what I know now….I will probably do…blah blah blah.” Nod and smile and change the subject….
Then as time passes, you just go with the flow and perfect the art of collecting elements that complement who you want to be.
I guess with happiness, tragedy must be in there somewhere. Fortunately I had the luck of being spared compounded tragedies in life until adulthood, but perhaps that has weakened me; Not having to go through death happening so close to home, especially not this sudden, really gave me a false idea of what life was. I could ask myself a million times, why? why? why? why now? why so soon?
Can’t I have a few more years, just a few, to enjoy this more…. to not have to feel like pieces are fading and gap are going to have to be filled with yet more pieces that will fade? I just want something to hold on to, to hold me up and catch me when I fall, to be there for and build upon, but life doesn’t work that way; it throws the whole range of itself at me at some point, and lately, when I least expect it. Try as I might to hide from life’s sirens, they find me, grab hold of my heart and clench it. If there was no love, we would never know the extent of how horrid this underlying sadness can be and would also be desensitized to its misery. So perhaps love is to blame…
I have diagnosed a very simple reason for a very big cause of misery in life, which my be obvious to others, but since I tend to be completely oblivous to myself, I have just figured out my issue.
It isn’t that I expect the world to be stable and reliable, it is just that I was so accustomed to it being so. In my, more or less, predictable upbringing there really weren’t any sudden tragedies. Nope, not too many in comparison to those of the people I have met and those I enjoy having as friends. By the time some tragic situations hit me I was pretty much old enough to not be so affected by the ‘mystery’ of trauma and drama that affect children in a much different way than more adult-like persons such as I found myself at the time. The elderly, as well as those who were once our puppies, pass on, friends and lovers pop in and out of my bubble of existence (some in more dramatic ways than others), parents get ill and recover, etc. Other items of my life that would be labeled as unstable (many of which seem minor or rediculous to outsiders) have always been unstable and thus I find stability in those particular unstable cases, well, they are actually more stable, or at least reasonably so, in comparison to my life as it has been in Sydney and those times closely before.
My ‘baseline,’ that fortune has drawn for me, of what is stable and what is not, is the cause of some misery mentioned above. I have wasted countless hours recently lost with the most perplexed, twisted eyed look on my face over why my life doesn’t work out so smoothly as suggested by people, plans, travel itineraries, etc. Still I’m a bit wide eyed at where the epicenter of these mental and emotional earthquakes is seemingly located. Had I realized this sooner I could have been well past the point of needing to type this out and probably getting myself involved in something else that I wil probably only fully understand after the fact. At least if that were the case I’d be one step ahead of now, sooner, making my present more productive and even possibly more fun.
But moving forward, I’m suggesting that if I continue to rely on my external reality, like I was accustomed to for 24 years, I will become increasingly more unstable. I feel as though I’ve let too much of my emotions to be triggered and validated by the outside world, and it seems to be a rather big mistake that I increasingly keep making.
Realizing this, I’m not sure what to do. ‘ Trial and error’ still seems the way to effectively accept and reject the external pieces in life, but the ‘error’ part has to be the most disheartening aspect that I really don’t want to face anymore, or, at least, I need a break from. How many errors are the limit before I should throw my hands up and say ‘I’m done!’? How much instability and broken suggestions is cause for rejection? And what do I do when I have accepted something that fortune & fate is pulling away from me? I just think it is sad to find something so special and matching of my inner world and not be able to take it along with me in my travels.
Hopefuly more to come on patients, tolerance, and indecisiveness