I’ve been observing with interest as the people around me have been writing long ass essays on Facebook, and getting into long ass arguments on Whatsapp and so on. I used to do it myself, and get really engaged and involved in that sort of thing. Now I have a sort of detachment from it. I’m wondering to myself now, what is it all for? What was it ever all for? What was I trying to do then, that I try not to do now? Why do others do it?
The first thing I’m thinking is that it must create some sort of feeling of significance– but again this is just me looking at the world through the lens of my own perspectives and ideas, and might be limited or wrong in some way. But I do remember how it felt to get a whole bunch of Likes on something I had written. And I do remember what it’s like to argue fervently with someone. It grips you. It carries you away in a current of righteousness. It feels like whatever you’re doing “matters”, at least within the context of whatever you’re doing. And in that moment, the rest of the world just sort of blurs out. I remember being late for appointments because I was too busy arguing with people on the Internet. I was deeply upset and offended that people were misinterpreting me, or getting me wrong somehow, and so on.
What’s changed? I now recognize that people will always misinterpret you and get you wrong, but is that really a new realization? I now have bills to pay and more important work to do, that might be a big deal. I notice the essays are mostly written by younger people. Older people are too tired for that shit. Too busy for that shit. But some older people still, of course, share things that are silly or incendiary. And of course, if I go outside my own echo chamber and head into the comments sections of alternative news sites, there are hundreds of comments from grown men and women bitching about the state of everything. They could be right, but is that really the best use of their time? What is it all for?
We live, we die. What is it all for? Nothing more than whatever we choose to make of it, we know this. Well, what should we make? Whatever makes our hearts sing, whatever we’re personally impressed by. The world may impress you from time to time, but there’s nobody who’s responsible for impressing you… except yourself. Right?
I don’t feel depressed or empty or upset (which I did a few months ago, I think, when I was in a bit of a rut). I just have this interesting sort of detachment thing going on right now. What can I do with it? I can observe, I can analyse, I can notice things that might be useful to me later on.
Should I pay attention to what is going around me in the world? The news is not all that interesting. If there’s anything really important, I hear it from other people eventually anyway. I should be working out, I know. Why? Because I respect that. I respect a person who works out. Two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds, as Henry Rollins said. And I want to earn my own respect. So what’s stopping me? What’s stopping me from the pursuit of earning my own respect?
The word that comes to mind is “distraction”. I wonder why that word over all the others. I don’t want to blame my environment, or the Internet, and so on.
Bored. I get bored of writing about myself halfway through these vomits. It feels like it’s a sign that I can’t really go much further in this present state– that I’ll need to move to get more information before I can do anything.
Distracted from earning one’s own self-respect. Why? Task-aversion– actually doing the work is painful and hard, and it’s tempting to put it off just a little, put it away just a little– and I have time-blindness, so what feels like a reasonable few minutes snowballs into hours and hours and the day is gone. So the simple lesson there is that I shouldn’t put things off even if it seems like it’s for a reasonable amount of time.
This is so stale and formulaic right now. I suppose I won’t be able to write a good word vomit until I do more summarizing and combining of old things. What does “a good word vomit” even mean? It’s when I explore something interesting or useful to me rather than repeat and rehash old things that I’ve already said before, in ways that are weaker than how I must’ve said them before.
But the important thing here is that I maintain my daily publish schedule. Duds are to be expected, and they are to be overcome. It’s all just part of the process. Maybe I would’ve written a slightly better vomit if I had started strong right out of bed, or if I had thought about what to write while in the shower (I haven’t showered yet, I’m still in bed but I was wasting some time on Twitter, FB, etc). No way to know within the context of this current vomit, but it’s something to think about. I’ll spend some time later summarizing more old posts so that I can get a nice big picture overview of everything I’ve written. Well… that will take about 30 days to be fully done with. So unless I can think of something useful to write, I’m going to have around 30 boring vomits? No– because I’ll have triggered thoughts from summarizing any set of vomits at all. I suppose the important thing is to start with the summaries. And just answer old questions.
This whole thing is a bit of an amusing mess of not very much. But I’ll leaning into it, rolling with it, and we’re done