0274 – claw out of delusion

The only way out of a delusion is to test things against reality. So I have to test things against reality. So a natural outcome of the process of this writing is a firmer realisation that I need to be publishing a lot of work for work, just as I am doing these vomits.

I’m talking about the boring, schleppy work of content marketing that I have been putting off day after day because it’s not very exciting in the beginning, it’s a bit painful, a bit scary.

Why do I put it off? Maybe because I haven’t been entirely clear about why I’m doing what I’m doing. I feel like I had some vague reasons at the start– but I’m no longer satisfied with these naive, save-the-world narratives that I had come up with when I was a teenager. That was really a convenient fiction that came up with, BS that kept me going when all I had to do was stay alive, avoid school, avoid military obligations, avoid basically anything that I felt was repressive, oppressive. [1]

Clearly, this isn’t sustainable. Eventually the world moves on– the world keeps turning, the stars keep burning and I have wasted another day– anxious, miserable, upset.

I halfheartedly, naively hope that the next day will be better. (Just as my father used to hope that he would strike 4D the next time.) In my hearts of hearts I know that this is not the case– that it’s vanishingly unlikely that the outcome will change. I’m running the some pattern, running out the same clock of my existence.

I don’t know if I can confidently say that I will always have this much to write. Intellectually, yes, but realistically, I have no idea, no certainty. I have faith, but it’s not exactly a well-placed faith.

Sometimes the dam breaks and I just keep going like a jungle river. Sometimes I get stuck and I really don’t have anything to contribute beyond silence – – – and really that’s quite okay too, and I should learn to be okay with that.

But in the meantime, what? I know that I have to work, toil, labor, sweat. And I’m pretty certain that I have to pick one thing above all other things, and everything else has to be in service of that primary goal, or secondary to it. I have learnt all too painfully and all too slowly that I cannot multitask, I cannot attempt to do many different things at once.

Multitasking is really  just my way of saying– I don’t think I can finish any of these tasks, because I don’t really know where I’m going with them, so if I’m going nowhere, I might as well go to as many nowheres as possible, all at once. That way I get to cover more ground. Unfortunately, it never ends. It would make sense if there was a limited amount of nowhere to go, but nowhere is infinite.

There is no end in sight and I am personally quite exhausted, just like my poor Mayor in Simcity who overexerted himself building roads all over the terrain– with no citizens or businesses to tax and earn revenue from. The upkeep of the roads would drive me into bankruptcy and I would be ousted.

And I would start the cycle all over again, naively hoping that things would be different this time.

So what then? I know that personal development, in the abstract sense, requires an MVP approach. Identity, peers, environment, behaviour, eider eider. The problem for me is that I don’t quite know who I am anymore. And I don’t quite know who I want to be. I had an idea before, but I’m not so sure about that idea anymore. [2]

I know that I will never have a nice and tidy answer to those questions– who are you, who do you want to be? The athlete has to perform bruised and sore. We have to operate in a messy reality that doesn’t care for our pleas for more tidy little buckets to organise our flaws and failings in.


[1] Aside: I have often, nay, sometimes felt that my own desire for freedom was oppressive. Why protest so much? And so, I think, I numbed myself with cigarettes and social media. If I’m busy arguing with idiots on Facebook and reddit, I’m keeping myself busy. I tire myself out. I then no longer have the luxurious burden of having to think or worry about what I actually ought to be doing with my life. What would actually satisfy me apart from avoiding pain and conflict all the time (which has never once ended well, anyway)?

[2] I suppose to some degree I could do this via negativa– list out who I do NOT want to be. But that’s kind of depressing. It’s a setting sun way of being. I have some projections– I want to be heroic, honourable, manly– but those things sound vague, trite, cliche, hollow. I need something meatier to sink my teeth into, or I need to change the way I’m attacking this problem. I’m very likely to be overthinking right now, in this entire train of thought.

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