It’s late at night, and I was hoping to have gone to bed by now. But at the same time I’ve been having really good conversations with a couple of friends. Many different trains of thought have brought me to the same station, and while I’m here I’m going to write about it.
For as long as I can remember I have felt a yearning for what I might describe as a deep companionship. I find myself thinking of creative partnerships, like Lennon/McCartney or Nolan/Zimmer. I find myself thinking of lifelong rivals, people who inspire and provoke each other. Invoking a sense of possibility, of wonder.
And yet I know that possibility and wonder are things that we have to be responsible for ourselves. We shouldn’t depend on other people for those things. It’s one of those things where– if you want it from others, you have to first create it for yourself, and then in that process you inspire it.
At the same time I recognize that there will always be a certain emptiness in life– nobody will ever fill you up completely; all the people in the world will never fill you up completely. There are spaces, and I think wisdom is about learning to accept those spaces, be comfortable with those spaces, maybe even love and embrace those spaces.
Yet… that can also become a copout. It can become an excuse to not reach out, not engage, not connect. And I don’t like the idea of that.
The strange thing is, I’ve always felt a sort of hunger for more. To be more, do more. But that hunger doesn’t quite manifest in reality, it doesn’t turn into action. A friend tells me that she senses a restlessness in me– that’s probably it. That’s what I am a lot of the time. Restless.
Perhaps the simple answer to that question is to rest. To sit in stillness more, and to breathe and relax. I’m reminded of an Elliott Hulse video, of all things, where he was talking about Alpha and Beta, not in terms of “Pack Leader vs Underling”, but in terms of waves– big slow waves vs short fast waves. I’ve always been the short fast waves kinda guy, opening too many tabs, talking too fast, writing too quick.
I think I should meditate on this more. I was asking my friends, are there any things you think you want to do, but you haven’t done? And of course they returned the question back to me, and it’s somehow always different to hear these questions when they’re coming from someone else rather than from inside your head.
I was thinking initially of songs that I said I wanted to learn, and little things like that that I thought I wanted to do. But also… A thing I’ve been wanting to do is to sit and go through all my old archives on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. To really drink and take in all of my own history, all of my own experience, really immerse myself in that.
Well, one thing I’ve wanted to do is to have conversations with people around me who I know are smart and talented and kind. And I’ve made some headway doing that. I should seek that out more and do more of that, because clearly that is therapeutic and meditative in a way. And I know that i should also do that for myself. I should make time for myself. I was also talking about how i ought to make time to sit and draw all the things that I think are beautiful and worth drawing. It’s just dots and lines, it doesn’t need to be perfect, I can afford to practice. Why don’t I do it?
It might be a lack of belief. But I should be wary of complex, grand, sympathetic explanations. The shorter answer is probably mundane. It’s probably just habits. I don’t have the habit of making time for myself. I need to create that habit, and it will create spaces in my life for me to sit in and explore and play. And if I can do that, I will become a different person. I will become more restful, more calm. I will smile more. I will shake my leg less. I will have less anxious urgency. I believe these things.
The yearning for companionship might really just be a yearning for validation. For people to tell me that I’m okay. And I’m pretty good at talking to people in a way that makes them tell me I’m okay. I want something more than that. I want the respect and admiration of peers who are equals, peers who I respect and admire myself. And I think I’m getting there. I just need to keep at it. And I need to do the work. And I need to remind myself that it’s all a joy, it’s all play. It’s not some sort of painful frustrating obligation. I’m not cramming for some sort of test. This is my life and I’m making a choice to live it, to live passionately, like I’m in love with it, because I am!
I’m tired but smiling. I think I’ve been doing pretty well for myself lately, even if things haven’t exactly been perfect. What issues I have, I will address and I will fix. I am confident that I have the ability to do these things. It’s all inside of me. I just need to listen. I just need to open up. The universe is my companion. And it works two ways. My restlessness is no different from a young boy’s, desperate to get laid. Not only is his desperation kind of comic and silly, it also ironically gets in the way of what he wants.
I suppose it’s that same insight there. I’m desperate to impress the world, to make the world love me, to make love to the world, to give it all my thoughts and ideas and perspectives that I think are so important, and I hope the world will like it and notice me (please notice me, senpai!).
But that’s not how love works. Love is patient, love is kind.
(There’s something very funny about being 25, and thinking that I’m so done with being a horny teenager… and then realizing that while I technically am, in a much broader sense, I’m totally not. Oh, universe, u lulz.)