I was working late yesterday when I found out about NASA’s discovery – that there are 7 exoplanets orbiting a dwarf star ~40 light years away from our solar system. I found myself very happy at the discovery. I was pleased. I was delighted. I was excited. It stimulated a part of me that hasn’t been stimulated in quite a while. And I felt light, and a sense of joy and gratitude.
The next day, right before I was going to call it a night and go get showered, I discovered that Radiohead had finally recorded True Love Waits. Every recording I’ve heard before was a taping of a live show. There was one that I liked – the quality wasn’t amazing, but there was a desperate earnestness about it that really always hit me right in the chest. And I hadn’t listened to that in quite a while, either. So I listened to both, one after another. And I went to shower, and now I’m in bed, with the lights off, with my laptop, listening to the new song. And I have feelings. I feel grateful. I feel old(er). I feel a sense of the passage of time – how there are neurons in my brain that still hold on to these old ideas and memories, after all these years. I must’ve first learned about Radiohead when I was 13 or 14. I can’t have been older than 15 when I first heard True Love Waits. And now it’s been more than 10 years later. I’m married. I’ve been working for a few years. But there’s still a certain peace that comes over me from listening to this. I’m not sure why exactly. And I’m not sure if it’s particularly knowable. But I know that I’d like to sit in this space and continue listening to it, and to see what happens next.
The thought that seems to be coming to me is “it’s okay”. What’s okay? Everything is okay. You don’t need to win. You don’t need to be famous. You don’t need to defend and protect yourself from the judgements of others. You COULD, but the cost of being isolated under all that armor is higher than the cost of just getting hurt. There are probably some exceptions to this – like sometimes if you’re hurting bad, then it makes perfect sense to put on some armor for your own safety. You shouldn’t have to justify your choice – it’s your choice. You get to deide what you want to do within the limited set of options we have.
Let go of your stress. Let go of your outdated ideas about what need to happen next, how your trip needs to unfold in order for you to have a good time. Your trip is your trip. There are going to be surprises (both pleasant and unpleasant). And here while listening to Radiohead on YouTube I find some beauty in the comments – everything is more complicated than you think, life is the most infinitesimal, precious thing and yet we spend it anxious, stressed, tired, in agony. Life should be ecstasy, or it should at least have ecstatic moments.
I feel like I want more out of life, but I also simultaneously want to be less attached to outcomes and be more at peace with who i am in the given moment. I need to be more mindful. I need to be more present. I need to be less swept away by the noise and hustle and bustle of the moment, and find my own inner calm. I’m halfway there right now, drifting off to sleep before I even finish this word vomit.
So I gotta stay up long enough to finish this train of thought. And I’ve learned from reading my old material that it’s a bad idea to try and cover multiple ideas all at once. Better to just focust on one thing and cover that as thoroughly as you can, even if you think you’re wasting your time and you could do more. This isn’t about your feelings as a writer. This is about what will be your experience later on when you’re reading it, when you’re trying to process it. At some point you’re going to have to cut off limbs so that the body can survive. When you’re in that situation, you don’t want to be overflowing with limbs.
// nothing goes as planned
everything will break
people say goodbye
in their own special way //
I feel like I’m done but I should circle back around and do some meta-commentary. I think it’s good to be able to feel sad from time to time. I think it’s good to cry from time to time. I think I don’t cry enough. I think I don’t feel sad enough, and I think that’s what eventually puts me into a sort of depressive state when I get into one. It’s a lack of warmth, lack of discharging of stress and feelings, a lack of catharsis. A human must make time for himself or herself. The way I’m currently spending my weekends is wrong. I can’t just keep trying to force myself to do things when I need some novelty, I need some change. I need to get out of the house. I need more time by the Esplanade, from time to time. I could do with more of the occasional coffee. I could schedule that with myself every week; why not? What’s stopping me?
Nothing. Nothing. I’m in my own way. My cup is too full for me to fill it with something better. I need to practice emptying my cup. Simultaneously, I need to have faith that it will be okay. I am not a child any more. I am able to get some things done. Yes I will make some mistakes, but mistakes are survival. I can let go of my shame. I am proud to make mistakes, because it means that I am making decisions. I’m going to learn to love and enjoy the pain, because I treat myself with mercy and kindness and love. And true love waits.