Wednesday, February 25, 2015

There are so many different strands of thought running through my mind constantly. I want to make some sort of an organised attempt at understanding the general shifts in how I think as an exercise. My mind is constantly trying to be multiple people at the same time. I am not a life insurance advertisement and it is not cutesy anymore to imagine being prepared to exist as any and every possibility.

 So here is the elaboration - a brand of pessimism co-exists  with every positive hopeful effort at self direction. They are always embroiled in a rather boring  debate continuously trying to disprove the other. Then there is a second impulse to edit and re-write the thought, morphing it into something better structured. This editing impulse I can still understand because I don't necessarily spend too much time thinking the thoughts I want to re-mold. Narcissism comes next. The possibility of being original and interesting, vehemently better than the majority at saying what I am saying. This impulse is immediately followed by a loathsome mocking of said narcissism - in the way that I hated my vagina when I got my period for the first time. It is not in the form of crippling self-doubt  but a blind, seething, almost teenage brand of hatred.Then my mind gives up and gets distracted, going through it all over again with some other idea.

How can someone so constantly contemptuous and simultaneously self-important ever escape the confines of their own  incapacity ?

If I would try to explain it to my mother, she would say I lack focus. If I could just pick one of these impulses, even one of the destructive ones, I could finally arrive at some sort of a personality. I could develop that impulse into a lifestyle. My question however is - how precisely does one choose between all that one simultaneously is ? What are the repercussions of prioritizing one part of yourself over the others and who will bear those repercussions ? I am uniquely afraid of all that I might destroy in the process of choosing.

My irregular attempts at trying to be a person I can be comfortable being  are most disloyal and inconsistent. My life has been spiraling out of control and this spiraling is so ordinary and mundane and safe it makes me want to vomit. I am so dissatisfied with what I am today - almost like a last minute unnecessarily added comma which came after some thought, hoping to distinguish a part but ended up superfluous and therefore is unforgivable. I think this is what it feels like to finally realize how ordinary I am. My decision to not take any risks and just keep going on till I can, have irresolutely locked the sentence of me never understanding the difference between the things I should and shouldn't do because I ended up doing nothing.

Experience is a very big word. A friend of mine recently asked me an extremely impertinent question for anyone in their 20s to ask another person in their 20s - what did I feel was my purpose, ultimately? I think he probably meant to ask me that if I were to force myself to make an imaginary choice and answer that if I could be anything and if the entire universe assisted this endeavor, what did I feel I would want to be? Imagination is not what Peter Pan taught us it would be. It is the imaginary choices which are the toughest to make. I told him the same, and he bemusedly replied that I had probably taken the scary movie advice of 'careful what you wish for !' too much to heart.

When I had started writing I had thought this would end up being a positive exercise. Existential dilemmas are so much 'interesting' than making to-do lists.

The thing is, I am always performing, even for myself. The worst part of never ever being true to yourself is the absolute truth of knowing that you will disappoint yourself. You will ultimately mock your own insincerity , a job which most people require other people to do for them. It would be nice to be able to hate someone else for not 'getting you.'

It should ultimately be easy to choose. It should call out to you and you should be able to listen at some point in your life. Life is passing me by as I keep remembering to make notes under mental postscripts in the 'Advice for my Children' section of my unwritten thought journal.

This reminds of the notes I used to make in school. I always thought that whoever got my notes next year would be so lucky because they were so perfect. They never really helped me because once I finished making them, I never read them again. I was the primordial hunter-gatherer who succumbed to the cruel forces of Nature while some unfortunate stumbled upon my cave of goodies. I hated that stumbler-upon. I thought it was so unfair that I could not be my own senior and stumble upon what I created on and on again in a series of being an older version of myself.

 I have to live my life now.Be someone who is comfortable with herself and the dim light she creates for herself. The creation of this life can only happen when I accept that only I can see by the dim light I have created. Sylvia Plath's fig tree is just not a way to live, especially because she felt and expressed all that I could only ever hope to relate to. Living my life merely echoing her analogy seems just too much of a waste.

So here's my to-do list. I have to at least attempt to figure out some portion of who I am as a person. Life unfortunately is not a Queen's song ('I want it all!') and life purposes are not italicized or ending in exclamation marks to just be grabbed at and gotten . I am not bright enough to be able to justify the hubris in even believing what 'I COULD want all' ultimately implies. Let alone Achilles, I am not  even a Patroclus who could incite an Achilles to avenge her and thus ultimately change the course of destiny. albeit indirectly. If I was in the Iliad, and I attempted any proximity to Achilles, I would probably be the person who died wearing an armour and realized at the last moment that it had never graced the body of an Achilles. The capability to be heroic  or proximity to a hero are both lost along with the painful realization at the time of my imminent destruction that they had never at any moment been within reach.

So right, coming back to my to-do list. I will take small steps and try to make some effort at least in some direction. Life is meaningless but I am not willing to be brave enough to accept it. This is my leap of cowardice. I will not jump  but slowly painfully dismount the vertical wall stretching into infinity below the precipice. I  will crawl downwards, hoping to find some eureka moment during the journey. This is the amount of effort that I am willing to consider. While I cannot completely abandon the precipice, the time has come to distance myself from it. The cliff, as a to-do, must be abandoned.

Now I like myself a little bit after having reached some discernible course of action. As a further impetus, I will connect myself to the now by remembering one horrible thing that happened in the world and be a little better than I was today. For tomorrow I will remember that 10 year old Boko Haram suicide bomber. I will talk to a person tomorrow because that little girl no longer can. I will work on my assignment because she obviously cannot. I will have babies some day because that girl never will. I will not kill myself out of boredom because that girl is dead. In the finality of her choice I will liberate and celebrate my ability to choose and make decisions which can somehow at some point of time be changed because I have time. So to the blabber of those voices in my head which keep me at the edge of the cliff, I will repeat and replay Dory's advice to just keep swimming - simply because I can.


ਅ.ਪ.ਸ. said...

As my favourite superhero says “You are not special. You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We're all part of the same compost heap. We're all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”


This is a brilliant comment. Nothing better to prick my own self pity and not so subtle tones of narcissism than Fight Club.