Monday, November 15, 2010

Nomad (part 1)

I've spent a lot of time recently worrying that I will never be what culture defines as successful. It's an odd kind of worry, because in all honesty I don't really care if I have the wealth and stability that I've been told is success. What I'm actually concerned about is that what actually motivates me in life will lead me to something that will alienate me from my friends and family.

I want to write that it feels good to type that, but it's not true yet. It will feel good to publish it and actually put it out to the world.

This concern is part of the cloying fear that has been keeping me up all night recently. Insomnia is like an old glove in a lot of ways. I can feel it coming, and I have a routine that gets me through it, and I've developed just enough ways to mitigate the consequences such that I can skate by for one more day. To think I used to live like this all of the time. When I think about that way of life I'm filled with a deep sense of compassion and pity, but the person I feel so moved to help is my past self. And in a way it's my current self. I can, and have, and almost certainly will, say that I have overcome anxiety/depression/insomnia/panic attacks/etc, but I've come to realize that this phrasing comes from thinking about it as a disease, and not as a matter of mental health. Overcoming insomnia is kind of like overcoming muscle cramps. Muscle cramps aren't an inherently bad thing. They're there to tell you something about the way you're using your body, and they should be respected. Insomnia is the same thing. Something about the way I'm living isn't working the way I want it to, and as a result I'm unable to sleep.

I've spent a few years now learning a lot about psychotherapy, which is why it's so embarrassing to say that I'm only recently embracing the idea that saying something can be soothing. As far back as I can remember there have been ideas and insights within my own mind that I have been aware of, but unwilling to think aloud, much less say aloud, because I couldn't stand to face them. They are things that I don't want to admit to myself. I would bend over backwards, usually metaphorically speaking, to try and correct the problems that lead to these thoughts, all so that I could resolve them without ever having to expose them to anyone. And that's really kind of stupid. My Bushido book, which I think I mentioned in the post prior to this one, advises time and time again to seek the counsel and advice of others. I'm not exactly sure what advice, if any I'm going to be seeking, but I know that if these matters remain trapped in my head they aren't going to change. So with that I'm going to return to what all of my blog posts end up being, a grand theoretical discussion of something with personal relevance in which I make sweeping claims about how it may apply to humanity.

I'd also like to note that I have a vague suspicion that this kind of writing is how religions get started. Someone talks about their own ideas in the context of Humanity, or "The good people," or just simply "The Chosen" and before long their pope of this or that movement. Anyway, moving on.

As I sit here at dawn, a time that is sacred to me, and think about this, I realize that there are a few things that I'm going to have to discuss. The first is the idea that I may have a kind of fear of success, and the second is the matter of the Sacred, and faith, and probably a number of other words that will be capitalized in meaningful ways.

I'm going to get to all of that later though. Right now the sun is rising, and I have things to do. To be continued.


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