Uncannily self-destructive is a phrase I have used to describe myself in the past. It’s a bit of a personal joke. I’ve never been comfortable with being comfortable. It’s a shortcoming I have that wants to move on every time I start to get things under control. It’s like I have a calling for a hectic and chaotic dissonance of life. Maybe I’m just a naturally born nomad. I pretty much feel constantly itchy when I’ve been somewhere for too long, and I’ve been itchy for a while now.
I feel a bit like I’m imprisoned by my own comfort. In years past, my own success wouldn’t have mattered because there was very little if any of it around. It was always much easier to just pack up and abandon something when you were basically living hand-to-mouth and you sometimes wondered if it would be easier to just go homeless. Of course, when loosing everything basically means that $0.34 lighter you accidently horked from a friend, you don’t really dread it.
Now, it’s so much bigger than it was before. There is so much riding on my boring and horrible job that I can’t just tell it to piss off and find something more interesting to go and do. I have responsibilities now, and I can recognize that even while being chaffed by it. I hate the fact that I set myself up for this. I resent the situations that brought me to it, and the incredibly bad series of decisions that has lead here. The place I find myself now is a comfortable one in the minds of most people. It’s a good place to be really, financially and materialistically. I don’t actually have a right to complain. My life is good.
That doesn’t stop it from being a prison.
Very rarely does material comfort resemble anything like spiritual or emotional fulfillment.
I don’t mean to write all of that so that you think I’m a tortured soul that has collapsed into his own emo-spiral again.
The opposite actually, I wanted you to know the background of how my mind and emotions work before I told you why it is that I am willing to sacrifice hours of sleep and money to the blog, to writing, even to doodling.
This is my way out.
I just realized how extremely macabre it is to think that thought. It mike strike some people as a comparison of art to suicide. It probably is. I think for me, the act of putting thoughts, no matter how chaotic or belligerent onto paper helps me deal with the pardoxes of my life. Paradox isn’t a bad thing, I suppose, but it can be a very tiring thing. Most of the time, I look and see the world through one set of lenses and then almost like a flip of the switch my entire world views shifts and things become simultaneously shaper and fuzzier. I suppose that there is a clinical psychiatric word for that, but I don’t like the common parlance, “manic-depression,” or even the slightly more hip, “Bi-polar Disorder.” Those words imply that it is a matter of switching between happy and sad, or that there are even only two poles to switch between. It’s not like that. Those definitions are much too simple and streamlined.
It’s all too orderly, too neat and tidy.
I’m not neat and tidy.
Ask anyone, I’m a mess.
That’s why I do what I do. That’s why I write. It’s why I draw. It’s why I screw around on Twitter and Facebook. It’s why I spend an hour just driving around at night with my dog, an audio book and my own brain. It’s why I LARP and play games like Dungeons and Dragons.
I have a need to escape the mundane existence I hate. The comfortable life of fiscal responsibility that more often then not feels like a giant unwelcome burden, even as it gives me gifts of indulgence. Writing about it, bitching about it, and even reveling in it give me a way of connecting to a time when I lived a more ascetic life.
It’s nostalgia, I know. It is a way of looking back on a time when life was soul-shatteringly hard, lonely and depressing with a fondness and a reverence. Those were days when I kept a journal because I didn’t own a computer, and could indulge myself when I ate because it would be the only meal I ate that day. These are things that I look back on as sources of strength and insight.
Now, I’m not sure that I have that kind of resilience anymore. I’m not sure I can take care of myself the way I used to be able to. This scares me greatly.
The only thing I can do to keep that fear from conquering me is keep pushing through with words and images. Thoughts and ideas forced from chaos and into some semblance of form.
It seems like a dark and brooding message, don’t ever let me say I don’t have an inner goth kid, but it’s not. It’s a hope. It’s a mantra chanted against the enclosure of banal existence.
Keep going, keep pushing, keep fighting.
Sooner or later, it will make sense.
This post is my personal answer to the question, “Why do I do this to myself.” A series of guest posts will follow as to why we bloggers do what we do.
Tags: Daily Doodle, Labor of Love, life, meaning, philosophy