Woke up, first at 7 and then again at 9, and been in bed since then. I’m going to write this vomit and then leave for work. I’m feeling less lazy and tired than I remember feeling yesterday. That might partially be because I went for a run last night. I stil slept later than I probably should’ve, but I felt like I needed that. Isn’t it strange, how it can feel like you might need something immediate even though it might be a little self-destructive? “I need a cigarette, I need to get drunk, I need sexual release,” whatever.
Sometimes it’s supposedly a good idea to deny yourself the gratification, and sometimes it’s supposedly a good idea to seek release. I’ve read a lot of different answers to these conundrums over the years, and frankly, I don’t think there’s a right answer. Everybody just picks something they like, or they’re comfortable with, or they’re perversely into, and they rationalize that.
I think what I’d like is to try and strike a balance between what would make me happy right now and what would make me happy tomorrow, and a week from now. I think it’s important to have nuance in those timelines– I wrote in an earlier post about how I tend to view time through “right now” and “the inevitable heat death of the universe”. If I’m lucky, if I’m productive, I think about tonight, and maybe tomorrow.
But I should also be thinking about next week, and next month. And I don’t do those things. I can’t plan for goals that are months down the line, and in that regard I’m almost disabled. Illiterate might be a better word. I don’t speak the language. I don’t receive the signals, I don’t interpret them. I’m like the fat guy in a room of fit guys, the non-musician in music school, so on and so forth.
Earlier when I was scrolling through Facebook I saw a video of a street kid practicing boxing with tires tied to a tree. He was really intense about it, and it was quite an inspiring sight. You imagine, hmm, Manny Pacquiao might’ve started out that way or something similar. And then you think about all the people who built empires and created a ton of value fo the world, and they started out with a vision. Eminem, looking around him and seeing nothing that seemed like success, but having the conviction to practice and work on his craft anyway.
What is that? What is that fire? What is that intensity? How do you cultivate it without fear or shame or worry? I worry that I’ll look stupid. I worry that I would regret having pushed so hard in the wrong direction. But then now we’re going back to my anxieties that I had in school. School seemed like a stupid idea. I didn’t want to work hard for nothing.
But at the same time, doesn’t every living thing want to discharge its strength? That’s why I’m writing right now, to discharge my strength. I should’ve done that when I was a kid. I should be doing it now, and yeah, I am doing it now so props for that. I should be doing it every day. I should be doing it every night.
And I shouldn’t be doing it because it’s some great sacrifice or burden or responsibility. I should be doing it because it’s a joy, because it makes me happy, because through expressiveness I find peace and calm. I should be doing it because it’s my catharsis. Because I am a writer, and writing should make me whole again when I am broken. Writing should be my therapy.
I was talking to an older person I respect and he was telling me that music has always been his salve, and I respect that, I’ve watched him do his thing and he’s really, really good at it. I’m not that good a musician. But I could become a pretty great writer, I know that much. So I should write to heal, write to grow.
So… I guess while I’m jealous of the kid who was punching away with all his heart at the tires, I have the opportunity to do the same in my own craft. I have my day to day work to worry about, yes, but I should be punching my tires. I might be tired but I should be punching my tires. It’s my salvation.
It might be ultimately meaningless, as everything else in life is, but it’s something created within a self-imposed context. I do this because I want to get good at something that the world never told me to do, the world never forced me to do this. There were a few writers who inspired me, a few great folks who made me think, damn, I should bat least try to be great too, with this incredibly limited life we have. But that’s it.
It does seem like I still have some underlying disdain for authority and a desire to avoid doing anything that authority tells me to do. So be it. Then I’ll frame all the important things as ways of me avoiding orthodoxy. I work at a startup because fuck conventional organizations. I know that rationally speaking reality is much more complex and that the hatred isn’t justified or anything, but nothing is justified in this world. Everything is an illusion, everything is fiction. I think it might make more sense to get all angry and pissed off, then take action, then sit in a corner and calmly meditate the anger away, then start over again.
I think that’s the answer to my age old question, is it better to be angry or calm, is it better to get worked up or to be indifferent. Be both. One after the other, in cycles, get the best of both worlds. That’s why people do drama and theater, isn’t it? There’s a need for aggression. We can’t pretend that stuff doesn’t exist. There’s a need to be angry and violent and to fucking break things.