Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Private Struggles

This was written earlier today in an unstable state of mind. I'm reticent to share it, the subject being what what I imagine to be both a common woe and possibly even too typical to merit such complaining. But I felt the need to complain, and therefore apologize for such failure to appreciate the privilege of my lot.

I am finally succumbing to complete madness after nearly a decade of policy-enforced social isolation by which my final, desperate, avenue of escape and/or mental outlet is the angry mashing of keys in my office chair, a hopeless channel by which to scream into the proverbial void in the least constructive of fashions, hoping to high hell that my better self does not squelch this ranting and raving but rather permits this exasperated outcry.

I confess and accept all responsibility for my plight, having traded in a thirsty adaptation to risk for a safer harbor whose consequence is the voluntary sacrifice of all voice, influence, and reason. I am well compensated to the end that I commit to no less than five whole business days weekly to insurmountable boredom, left to marinate in the stink of my own head space as it is permitted nothing but a steady stream of news cycles so emotionally exhausting every sweet scent of inspiration is scrubbed clean off my body, a thin layer of silk skin coarsely brought down to the grissly rough texture emblematic of modern black and white portrait cliche.

This is the state of mind I am driven to on a near daily basis, although in reciting the monologue privately in my head I feel better having finally allowed myself to complain.

Bill Burr made a fantastic rant on the topic of my woes, recently brought to attention through an acquaintance similarly reminiscing:

"Realize that sleeping on a futon when you're 30 is not the worst thing. You know what's worse? Sleeping in a king bed next to a wife you're not really in love with, but for some reason you married, and you got a couple kids, and you got a job your hate. You'll be laying there fantasizing about sleeping on a futon. There's no risk when you go after a dream. There's a tremendous amount of risk to playing it safe."

His stand-up monologue does not resonate with me in the direct sense. My life has by and large been middle-of-the-road, safety plays in conjunction with riskier maneuvers. But there is one literal parallel, or at least one that has morphed into a state of being miserably untenable miserable on account of boredom and an aggressive choking of outlets. Once upon a time, let's say in more progressive days, I was empowered to execute my personal business, cultivate and manage my ambitions given the assumption those pursuits had no impact otherwise. Today, under the pressure of a new culture, I am not empowered, and my personal ambitions, my goals, my dreams, are an object of scorn in the face of what are deemed "Greater Goals". My growth and direction of development have been violently shifted to focus on these Greater Goals, however only when most convenient, thus frequently all momentum and investment in my own achievement is suddenly halted until it is once again relevant to the realization of these Greater Goals. Self actualization, even as pursued on my own time, is hamstrung, defeated by the perfectly random incursion of momentum shifts and false promises to achieve an unknowable, tiny piece of the greater puzzle behind these Greater Goals.

All joy is lost. I cannot take this predictably repeatable transgression anymore. And yet I do. Because in the greater scope, it is the safety play, and I realize I am in such fragile mental tatters that I am no longer capable of handling the rewarding thrills of risk. This is the trap. And I am now broken.

I should be thrilled at the pending milestone of my photography business. Such a profit marker met in only 5 years is a success story not often realized. But I can't be bothered to care. I see my business' income trends dwindling, and I rationalize that it is the early indicator of a dying business model first and foremost. The idea that it is atrophying because competing Greater Goals are, whether actively or passively, derailing its success, cannot be parsed as realistic or rational. That would suggest actively denying the Greater Goals of that safe harbor to recover the atrophied dream, a risk, and I do not have the stamina for risks anymore. It is a doomed dream. It is broken. It will die.

I should be comfortable, and I should feel safe, financially secured and able to invest in my own happiness. But the obligations of the Greater Goals beckon erratically and without warning, therefore I remain in place. I cannot travel but an hour away from my home without weeks of parsed and vetted warning, lest my absence introduce an unacceptable single point of failure to those Greater Goals. I wish to drive West and think nothing of the consequences of such a random journey. I wish to travel North with my boyfriend and breathe crisp air amid the loud crashing of foreign waters. But I remain in place. I cannot leave. I must be complacent, and I must stay.

I should be happy to be compensated so handsomely for challenge-less effort. Is it not the theoretical goal of all men to reap rewards for doing nothing? The trade requested is that of time. Time dedicated, time committed. I am not permitted any creative use of this time. It must be spent behind thick walls and absolutely committed to the endlessly incremental steps toward those Greater Goals, be those incremental steps hours, days, even weeks apart. Those incremental opportunities come suddenly and without warning, and all time not spent making progress toward those Greater Goals must be spent sitting and waiting...

... Thus here I am, typing an uncontrollable thought train into Notepad (of all the basic things), hoping to smuggle out the day's metastasized sense of doom. The last avenue for desperate outcry. The last method of expressive, creative outlet available as I sit and wait for another incremental opportunity toward those Greater Goals.

And I genuinely cannot read another Donald Trump news article today or I may drive, defeated, into the 173 Northeast Regional.