Gonna dash out a quick vomit before I go to bed. It’s a little late, but it’s just one of those days. Bought some new furniture with the wife and assembled it later on, making my house look a little different again. I guess the main thought on my mind is change, and how things progress, how attitudes change, how perspectives change, how constant-ness is really a sort of illusion, how fragile it is and how much things… well, change.
I look at myself in the mirror and I look at pictures of myself from 2-3 years ago and I find myself thinking, sometimes I really don’t know who I am anymore. And that’s a good thing. That’s exciting. It means that things are going to be different. It means that life is going to be interesting and challenging. At some point in my life I was starting to feel like I had learnt most of everything I was ever going to learn, and that everything else was just going to be really small little increments. The grand leaps were over. Or so it seemed.
I don’t know if I’ll have any real big grand leaps anymore– I suppose having kids would be the next epic life-changing thing, if I ever ended up having them or if I ever wanted that sort of change. But beyond that things are changing anyway. I’ve been talking about meatbag management quite a bit, and I’ve been doing more reading about the human meatbag– particularly, trying to fill in all the gaps of the standard childhood education. Hormones, lymph nodes, the nervous system, things like that. I realize there’s so much I still don’t know. And there’s more possibility than I can imagine. My vision for the future is, despite my best efforts, incredibly limited by my consciousness and my perspective, and I should really keep that fact in mind.
Got rid of a bunch of books that I was never going to read. That was an interesting change. From 2010 to 2012, I accumulated as many cheap books as I possibly could, thinking that I’d really enjoy having the options of being able to read anything from a wide range of subjects that loosely interested me. But as I filled my home with them, over time I started to feel a bit stifled. Like I had put some sort of pressure on myself to do reading that I wasn’t doing, and then I was feeling a little guilty about it. But I realized eventually that the real truth (I think!) was that my context had changed– I no longer have the sort of boundless freedom I did as a teenager where, in the absence of context or constraints, it made sense to read really widely about really obscure or abstract things. I had a book about essays about the politics of music and language and things like that, really dense stuff. And I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m never going to go that deep into that sort of thing, there’s too many other things that are competing for my attention.
My wife was telling me about how… one of the important things about decluttering, the fundamental philosophy of decluttering, is that you give up all the parallel fantasy-lives that you think you might want to live, in order to focus on the life that you’re actually living. And I think it’s important for me to do that. Writing these vomits is a part of my actual-life that I want to live, and so I’m choosing to write this instead of dicking around on the internet, even though I’m really sleepy and lazy. The wife is in the shower so hey why not.
I think an idea that has been on my mind is– just this realization (I feel like I alluded to this in the last vomit) that nobody really prepares you for life. School doesn’t really do it. Parents (in my case, at least) don’t really do it. It’s something that you sort of have to figure out for yourself. And I suppose in a sense that’s the best way to learn anything, right? Self-directed. And there ARE mentors and teachers out there who are incredibly generous, if you take the trouble to look. But I guess I still feel some resentment and some sort of sense of injustice for how miseducated I was… even though when I really zoom out I realize that the vast majority of all humans that have ever existed have had it worse than I, and me bitching and complaining about it doesn’t solve anything. It’s just a reaction to a situation or a realization, and it’s not a very thougthful reaction.
The thoughtful reaction would be to resolve to finally open my eyes, to truly wake up and focus on educating myself properly. And I’d like to think that I’ve been doing that, that these vomits have in some way been a way of me doing that, that the work I’ve been doing has been helping me do that, that marriage has been helping me do that. All of this is an education on how to live, how to make decisions, how to earn my own self-respect.
I know that the day will come where earning my own self-respect will be a lot harder than writing down 1000 words one after another. Even now, if I ask myself, “Do I really respect myself?” The answer is, “eh, you’re doing alright.” When I read statuses that I wrote on Facebook in 2008, 2010, I think, “Wow, I’ve come a long way. I’m so much more now. I would have been impressed, and proud.” I think. I might change my opinion on that. But the point is that earning my own self-respect is a constant challenge, and it’s a fun, interesting challenge. I still need to develop mastery when it comes to managing my own meatbag. Hopefully I won’t have to keep talking about it for another 100 vomits, hopefully by 600 I will be able to comfortably assume that my meatbag management is on track, on point, and I’ll be thinking about more complex, interesting problems. The dance goes on.