0467 – past-induced glitchy limbo

I hold on to a lot of stuff from my past. I don’t think this is good for me.

Examples? I don’t particularly hold on to grudges, but I do recurringly think of people throughout the years who aren’t a significant part of my life any more- even people who were sort of tangential or just passing through. I think about people who I want to prove wrong. And then I think about how petty that is, and I feel a little bad. And I don’t feel all that strongly about doing the proving either, because ultimately nothing matters. So I’m sort of stuck in this glitchy limbo. [1]

Now listening to Paramore’s All We Know Is Falling, feels like an appropriate playlist for thinking about the past.

I guess a bunch of it is just tribal instincts? Intellectually I know that there are 7.25+ billion people in the world. 7,000,000,000. But in practice, I tend to think about and fixate on the same 10,000 or so people over and over again. That’s like, 1 in 700,000. Suppose only 1 in 7 people are English-speaking that’s still 1 in 100,000. An awfully limited life. Why?

I’m not so sure about the why. And I’m more interested in the “what do I do next” question. What DO I do next? It’s tough to stop fixating on the past by thinking “okay stop fixating on the past”. I need something new to focus on, a new way of being, a new way of doing things. I’m on the train on the way to work right now. Soon I’ll be in office. I need a new (relative to me-yesterday) way of doing things.

Okay, at work I’m going to start with lunch, then focus on picking the two most important things, schedule time for them, schedule time for breaks and then just blaze through them. With breaks, importantly.

But alright, what beyond that? Why the glitch? Why the limbo? Is there anything I can let go of? A part of me keeps feeling like I need to visit and talk to old teachers. I know it’s silly and that they’ve all surely got more problems and they’ve all surely moved on and so on. But if it gives me closure of some sort, why not do it? So yeah I think I should go back to my alma mater and just witness everything. And look for opportunities to meet up with old teachers. I think it’ll help.

What about other old friends? I’ve met quite a few. It’s never as earthshaking as I somehow imagined it to be. Most people are doing moderately well for themselves, and they’re also stressed and struggling with all sorts of things.

I guess I wonder where all the old fans are. You know? How is the Paramore band LiveJournal page doing today? I’ve always borne some sort of resentment at how flighty people can be, how easily people can move on.

I say that I don’t harbour grudges, and when I say that what I mean I’d that I’d like to wish everyone well. I don’t wish anybody harm or suffering, even the people who really annoyed and pissed me off one way or another. Life is surely hard for everyone. [2]

But at the same time I get very irritated with people saying things like “I’ll always be there” or “I’ll never let go” etc when it’s almost never true. I know, it’s not actually fair to hold anybody to that sort of standard. But it just seems really cruel and stupid that we bullshit each other. Sometimes we’re swimming in so much bullshit it’s all you can do not to gag and drop dead on a crowded train.

Okay, that was unnecessarily melodramatic. But you get the idea.

I wish there was someone else like me, at least for a little while maybe. Somebody I can really just sit and talk to for hours. [3] I suppose that’s why I write. The conversations I want to have are too exhausting to impose on any single individual. And it’s too much to insist on us having that conversation all at once, in the present moment. As far as current technologies permit, writing is my only way out.

But anyway. Even if there was someone “like me”, what would we actually talk about? What would be the intended outcome of that inhumanly long, elaborate, digressive conversation that goes on for years? I guess primarily it would be reassurance. I want someone really smart and worldly who I respect to comfort and reassure me that I’m alright. The thing is, am I actually alright or am I not? I don’t want a person like that to bullshit me- I wouldn’t be able to respect them if they bullshit me, so it’s a prerequisite that they’ll tell me the truth. And the truth is probably unpalatable. It’s probably going to be along the lines of, “Well, what does alright mean?”

Well, what does it? We’re all terminally ill, in a dying universe. That’s just how it goes. All of this is a sort of quirky-spontaneous celebration. [4]

I’m at work, I’ll have to think about this later.


[1] Ah, there’s the title. I’ve been thinking lately about how if there’s one thing that I’m getting better at with these vomits, I’m getting better at picking titles. The main heuristic seems to be- pick something that’s evocative of the rest of the vomit. Words that do a lot of compression.

[2] I realize I am a nicer person while I’m writing, and there are surely moments where I’ve wished horrible things on people (like bedbugs). But I think we can all look at the refugee crisis pictures and stories on HONY and say that no, nobody deserves that sort of suffering.

[3] And I feel guilty for saying that, because I’m married to a woman I love and she’s my best friend and all that. And if I have hours to talk to somebody, it ought to be with her, or at least that’s what the popular consensus would probably be. And at this point I find myself thinking, well, screw the popular consensus, the popular consensus is full of shit and my marriage is my own business. Funny how all these outsider thoughts find their way into the garden of our minds.

[4] It suddenly hit me really hard that “why is there something instead of nothing” is a pretty crazy/epic question. Why did the big bang happen at all? Did time exist before it, outside of it? I should probably reread The User Illusion.

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