0457 – the joy of working with constraints, pt 3

Let’s quickly try and summarize what’s been happening the past couple of vomits. In the first, I got into a bit about how death constrains life. In the second, I thought more about food and mental clarity and so on. What happens next? What goes on next? What comes after?

I guess the thing I want to analyze– and I KNOW I’ve written this before– is that I’m allowed to be big. I’m allowed to be loud, aggressive, masculine. I mean, it might not be appropriate in every single social context, I’ll have to learn to manage it artfully and use it when appropriate, and so on. But I’m allowed to take up space. I’m allowed to eat twice as much as I usually do. I’m allowed to write like a fucking forest fire if I want to. It might not be appropriate for some contexts, but if I feel like it’s something that I want to do, then it is something that I’m allowed to do. The constraints of reality are to be respected to the degree that they cannot be manipulated. But the constraints of the mind are to be disrespected, challenged, played with, fooled around with.

I will not be constrained by the limitations of my childhood thoughts and habits. I want to be constrained by the limits of reality. It might be the case that it’s not actually possible to well and truly “live life to the fullest” in the absolute sense of the word. We do still have limited energy in some way… right? I can’t simultaneously be the most prolific writer in the world AND be a professional athlete… or can I? Athletics is a complicated business because there are people with superior genetics, and everybody does doping, and there are things about our biology that we cannor yet alter.

But what are all the other limits and constraints in my life that are self-imposed, that I can simply either blaze through with excess energy (I’m using that phrase instead of “sheer force of will”, because I think will is limited by hunger and blood sugar and sleep and so on, and you can often break a person’s will except in really ridiculously exceptional cases, which are exceptional in ways I think that we don’t fully understand yet, and can’t reliably recreate) Either blaze through with excess energy, or dismantle with careful analysis and artful application of force.

Well… okay. Remove constraints why? So I can fully appreciate who I am within the actual constraints of reality, rather than constraints that are self-imposed. If I write a novel some day, I want it to be constrained by the limits of print, the limits of the english language, NOT by the limits of my own self-doubt and so on. Bla bla yes self-doubt is to some degree healthy and inescapable. But you get the idea. When we live life constrained by mental thoughts (I think usually designed to keep us “safe” in some way, though this can be awfully perverted and damaging), we fail to appreciate the actual constraints of life… maybe? I feel like I’m grasping wildly at this point, so I’ll just drop it.

All of this is in a way a reminder that if I manage my energy properly, I can and will burst my dams and explore the region outside of the box that I’m currently in. And that feeling is exhilrating. Growth is glorious. Being able to do more is powerful. It’s joyous. It allows me to manufacture happiness in a way that pure introspection somehow was never able to. (Again I think this is something about how the subconscious is wiser than the conscious dares to admit. The subconscious knows when we’re full of shit. Maybe. The reality is probably more complex, the relationship between conscious and subconscious is definitely more complex. But I’m just rolling with it, again.)

For me to be truly happy, beyond just sitting and breathing and appreciating life, and being grateful and being kind and compassionate towards myself and all that good stuff (which is a huge thing that I could spend a lifetime getting better at), I think I also need to be honest with myself about my real powers and what I actually have to offer the world. And myself. I feel like I’m going to sleep well tonight because of all this writing I’m doing. This is the third vomit in a row, after me spending over a couple of weeks not really writing very much. Why am I writing so much now? Something clicked in my head. The situation seems appropriate. My wife is in the shower, I have some time. I want to squeeze the heck out of this unknown space of time I have, which I have to myself. Then I’d like to watch an episode of The Newsroom with her, sleep well, wake up tomorrow, eat a great breakfast and crush it at work. It is within my means to do these things, and I’d like to do them. And expanding outwards, zooming outwards. I have an unknown space of time left to live, and I’d like to squeeze the heck out of that, too. And I don’t mean that to mean some sort of obsessive paranoid overachieving, I mean… there will be restful periods, there will be great tracts of idleness, but it will be my choice. It will be me recognizing that that is what my situation requires. It will be me operating with the constraints of my reality, of my biology, of my circumstances… and not me dying a thousand deaths inside my head.

I’d like to say that I’d like to decisively eradicate that shit right now, but I know that the truth is that this is a fractal battle. I’ll have to fight it over and over again at many scales of reality, over and over again throughout the rest of my life. This isn’t something that is won overnight and kept for years. I have to keep going. But the first few times are surely the hardest. Or maybe not. Either way, tonight will bring good sleep. May tomorrow do the same. May I always have the courage and conviction to fight and earn my keep.

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