What means something to you?
That's a serious question. I want you to think about what you care for, what you cherish, what you love. Have you thought about that in a while, or are you too far into the hurricane of a carousel ride that is modern life?
You're busy, you say. But what are you doing? You're leading a hectic life that isn't accomplishing anything at all. Maybe you have a job, which is a good thing. But do you care about it? Do you give a hoot in hell how your job goes, apart from having a "good day at work" or a "bad day"? Do you strive to improve, or do you while away your hours, willing the clock to tick faster, longing for the weekend because you're bored senseless?
And when work is done, what do you do? You might work on your image. Clothes and make-up and accessories, and training and stuff. And then showing all of this off in cafés and night clubs, trying to show the world that you're rich and successful when you really aren't anything special and don't deserve any extraordinary praise or attention. Your family and relatives are a chore, all you care about is being young and fabulous.
And those who don't have a job, they think they're too good for just any old job. They think they're worth more. This overblown self-worth and self-image is such a paradox. People never think they're good enough, never think they have enough, always want more to try and complete themselves (consumerism), but on the other hand of the scale they think the're so goddamn important and extravagant, and such self-fulfilled individuals that a job at a fast food restaurant is beneath them. You see, they're following their dreeeeeaaaams. And what are these dreams? Oh, fashion designer. Oh, model. Oh, rock star. And they're so spoiled with good life without effort that they have risen above working for a living and will now only "work" for fame.
They won't even look past their own community, find some selflessness, find enough compassion to tread out of their egos and do something other than preen and pout for their surroundings. They won't help others. They won't try to make a difference, they have no immediate drive to do anything other than keep up appearances. They won't look at the world and try to make out what's going on, where we're headed and is that the right way to go. They don't reflect over such things, and it's such a shame.
Why is the grooming and photographing and posing so important to show off? Why are people so stuck in their ways, so deep into the idealising of the perfect looks and the hippest pastime or job? Why can they not stop for a moment, realise that they're not alone on this planet, realise that there are things worth treasuring beyond the instant gratification of clicks on social media forums, beyond dressing fashionably and accessorising meticulously, beyond trying to make a fashion statement? What are you going to accomplish in this world if the lion's share of your time is spent on the shallow activity of emulating celebrity lifestyles?
Unexpected misery, going through my apartment and realising I have nothing but Chalmers at the moment. I have hardly anything that's me here. I have almost no furniture, my apartment isn't liveable and up until today I had no idea what was in most of my cupboards. I have hardly been home, I've devoted this year to decadence. I moved to this apartment so long ago, and I haven't done anything to it to make it mine since it became mine. Perhaps that's a sign of a lack of own identity.
An interesting and saddening thought is that I can see myself taking on others identities a little. I I think I long for some belonging, and often get more involved than I should in things that aren't mine. I envy people who have some kind of brotherhood, and I feel lonely. I guess tennis is what I had and tennis is what makes me feel at home, in my element, and I don't play it anymore. There's so much sentimentality in holding a racket, getting a feel for the ball when my body realises it's doing something so familiar, something which has forced me through so much emotion and been a huge part of my identity up until the late teenage years. It fucking sucks to lose touch with those kind of things. I love that sport and it's so beautiful, so natural to me. It's what I need to feel some history. It's mine, it used to be so entwined with my identity.
What do I have now? Studies (barely anymore), cigarettes and caps, the drinking game. The committee made me feel like part of something greater than myself - but it's so destructive, and over now in any case. I guess I'm going to have to try and redefine what I see as me when I move to this new apartment. It's just that everything I am feels so temporary except for tennis and family.
You know, I think cigarettes are one of the biggest obstacles to myself. I can't believe I still smoke. I feel more alive when I don't, and I feel like I'm hiding behind something when I do. There's no defending it, there's no reason and there's no point in it, apart from running away. Why do I still want to do that, though? Retarded.
When things were shitty in my previous relationship, I sought refuge in Chalmers and mad studying. People felt sorry for me because I was in school all the time, I think. And when that ended, I immediately sought refuge in the committee, which isn't at all compatible with my general world view or morals. And now that that is over I have a new relationship, which is also a sort of escape from having to define myself on my own. I don't think it's good for me, really. And like I've been told, I've already changed in a few ways because of it, and that's a bad sign... I've gone against several convictions I had, and I've acted very strangely, just letting myself get taken over - probably because I need it somehow. That sucks, too.
Whatever new sphere I get into, I adapt so much. Like now - to be brutally honest, I'm stepping over what I really think to try and incorporate someone else's views so that I can take it, so that I can convince myself that I'm not being walked over. Hm, I've already messed up friendships because of this, and found myself just accepting a lot of things that go against what I think and feel. It's hard to believe that I'm so ready to make excuses for someone else's behaviour. What for, what for? Madness, and upsetting.
Or am I just too worrisome? Who cares, I mean, people change, right? People affect eachother and that's definitely natural. I guess it's just bad for you if it's too much of a one-way influence. And I guess I'll wait and see, and try not to panic.
I can't quite get over how much has changed, and how much happier I am. I've lost a few good people over the past year, but gained so many more.
I enjoy trying to learn things from these new people around me, these new people that I respect and partly admire. They teach me things about myself. Putting yourself in new situations, trying to achieve something, and then reflecting over your accomplishments and actions gives insight on what kind of person you are and what you need to work on; I like that a lot, even though it's often difficult to be honest with yourself and face mistakes.
But enough about that. Mostly, I'm just grateful for the recent realisation that I'm emotionally extricated. Finally. There's no more regret about whether the right decisions were made or not. I know I wouldn't have been able to try any harder or give any more than I did, and I certainly wouldn't have been able to handle or stand the feeling of confinement, denial and self-doubt that permeates all those memories. Oh, there were many valuable things worth treasuring. Very many noble, beautiful intentions. Which were clung to just for the sake of an ideal, or at least that's what it feels like now. And this ideal wasn't questioned, it wasn't up for discussion, it wasn't open for scrutiny, so I guess when reality came it just crumbled.
I've changed the way I think of ideals, too. I've gone from seeing them as untouchable and omnipotent - almost holy - to seeing them as very stiff and brittle constructions. Those are negative connotations, and that kind of "ideal" is indeed dangerous, and unsustainable.
Ah yes, and whatever this new thing is, it feels much freer, much more enjoyable. I hate to compare them, it's not fair at all, but I can't resist. Perhaps it always feels like this in the beginning; what do I know, it's been a long while. In any case, I love the combination of both airiness and belonging at once, and I'm all excited. And, most importantly, I'm not a mentally deranged maniacal cocktail of hormones. Yet.
Despite the fact that I still in many situations come across as a neurotic, negative and unforgiving person, I've softened and balanced out a little during the past year. I'm a bit more tolerant and a bit more relaxed about things. Much of that development comes from small failures I've experienced. Failing exams, failing to keep a healthy lifestyle, not managing to live in accordance with my (extreme) ideals; all of this has led me to question the heavy demands I lay on myself. Perhaps they're overly strict, unrealistic and shouldn't be taken so seriously?
For a while now, I've perceived all decisions to take things easier as yet more personal failure; as a way to justify the cognitive dissonance that arose from knowing how I want and should live my life, but being unable to actually follow through on that knowledge. A way to excuse behaviour you can't correct is, after all, to change your views so that they accommodate such behaviour. You see, I'm extremely judgemental when it comes to me. Any sidestepping from the straight and narrow is punished with excessive and torturous mental whipping.
However, I've been talking to a couple of people I respect and in some ways admire, and they've said, in different ways, that it must be very difficult to be me. And that's true - I've always been known to make life as difficult as possible for myself. But when is it too much? I mean, you can set up obstacles in life that you fight real hard to clear, but is it really good for anything to make them harder than they need be, and trip yourself up on the starting line? Because that's what I do. I give myself tasks, and then I tell myself I'm too stupid, lazy, fat, ignorant and slow to manage them until I near the brink of psychological meltdown. What's the use of that? Who wins?
And it doesn't end there. Should I complete anything I've set up, I enjoy success for about half a second before I start to tell myself how I should and could have done better, more, faster, had I not been too stupid, lazy, fat, ignorant and slow.
The combination of actual failure and other people's comments has given me some perspective, I think. And just a day or so ago, I read some simple words in a silly journal that struck a chord with me: "You are what you feel and think, so focus on what you want to be, instead of beating yourself up about what you're not.". Those words look so obvious, so cliché even, but I suppose the timing was just right for their meaning to actually get through to me. I'm going to try and keep them in mind, and see if I can't make friends with myself for once.
I bluntly convinced myself it must be both. But simplicity is difficult, and I've never managed it very well.
I wish this wasn't now, oh, goodness, how I wish this wasn't now. But that isn't helping anyone, is it.
I'm by myself now, and enough time has passed for me to begin to learn to enjoy this freedom. I no longer have to justify everything I do to someone else. I no longer have to have craziness categorised as sickness, I no longer have to stand incredulity as the standard reaction to silly quirks. I no longer have boundaries (unknowingly?) imposed by another. So, this poses the question - is there now any mechanism by which to keep myself in check?
Let me see... No. And my track record when alone doesn't look too promising, either. Destructive could have been my middle name, if that hadn't sounded so damn done.
Ah, I now have to learn to do things solely for my own good. And to be able to be good to yourself, you must have enough self-worth to think you deserve it. I must find this self-worth somewhere, find it and stop sabotaging my own attempts at success, stop wallowing in self-created mess. Just keep your head clear, dear, and demon-free. How difficult could that possibly be?