Have had so much on my mind lately, most of which won’t be shared on here. In fact, this blog project will be reassessed and edited/trimmed. Queen of TMI has finally tired of letting so much hang out so publicly.
In a month I officially join the ranks of “middle age.” Meaning the second half of life begins at 35, assuming one lives to be about 70. As a smoker I’d say that’s a generous estimate. The thought doesn’t trouble me, though I’ve noticed how much it troubles my peers in the same age group. Like they can’t stand the idea that the first half of life has already gone by, probably because that induces anxiousness over how to navigate in the second half in an improved manner. And pressure to finally get our shit together. But the term “middle-aged” really bothers people, nevertheless. Bothers me a little bit, not the term so much as the reality of aging and recognizing that what once worked for me no longer does so. And spinning wheels come to feel pointless and futile.
Ambitions…so much can be said there. But some of us don’t want for much. Mostly we just want to explore this life and love our loved ones and dabble in our creativity. Others want a lot more than that, and so be it. Either way, it simply is whatever it is.
I don’t know what to think most days. Almost better off when I aim to not think so much. Because every day I figure out more and more how little in this life I really have control over and how the script in my head, generated by societal trends and conventions and whatever else, has little bearing on what’s actually real. Nearly everything I ever thought I knew has turned out to be wrong or incomplete or, at best, extremely naive. And that’s probably true for all of us if we’re honest with ourselves. Life isn’t linear, not the way we like to think it is, and people aren’t rational in the ways we like to pretend they should be either. And that’s okay. It can be no other way.
The more I lose myself down in this rabbit-hole I’ve plunged into, the more I lose who I once was and dreamt of becoming. And that’s okay too. Maybe life has it’s own agenda that I need to learn to flow with rather than contest. Maybe everything does happen for a reason — or, perhaps more accurately, maybe we assign reason and meaning to everything, that just being the way we are as humans. Unavoidable. The past, the present, pains and sorrows and losses, pleasures and accomplishments, embarrassments, etc., all proving necessary in shaping us into what we now are. Right or wrong. And maybe “right” and “wrong” are arbitrary judgments more often than not as well.
At some point words begin to break down and create more confusion than they can hope to clear up. Funny thing about this mode of communication. Hence the ongoing relevance and importance of artistic expression, seeing as how analyzing and dissecting can only take a person so far when it comes to really understanding anything. That’s what life’s teaching me at present. So I’ve been quieter lately, at least online. Taking time to pause and reflect and ponder the possibilities while reading and going about the daily routine.
It’s amazing the difference 5 years can make to a person’s psyche and outlook on life. I’m not the same person anymore and never will be again. And that’s fine.
Some like to say the only cure for loneliness is solitude, mind-bending as that is to comprehend. But I don’t doubt they’re correct in the sense that it comes down to making peace with oneself. Because I can feel lonely in a crowd. Even a revolving door of attention received doesn’t satiate this feeling inside. Apparently cannot. Yet that’s always what I pulled toward: more attention, more interaction, less alone time, more distractions. And where has it wound me up? To realizing that that strategy will not work. It’s just another illusory hunt that returns to a feeling of emptiness each time. I understand this better now than I ever have before.
This is a strange time…not bad or good, just odd and interesting. Every day I am torn between embracing its lessons and challenges and trying to escape them, and each day is pretty much torn in half as a result, per my norm for quite a long time now. Some things are very slow to change. But this isn’t a race, despite the clock ticking on and on. That pressure to figure out how to measure up in whatever which ways can be destructive all unto itself at times. Sometimes it’s better to return to simplicity, to simple roles and routines and activities that give one time to just be.
Us and our first-world problems… So much strife we create for our own selves. Such is the human condition.
And now it’s time for work.