(I’m sure that blog posts like this are the reason my dad thinks I don’t have more clients and am not more successful in business. That being said, I don’t know of any other way to get this stuff out and I feel an obligation to share. Granted, this isn’t as inspiring as most of the other real writers I constantly compare myself to, but this is what you get when you have no actual education in how to write correctly. Okay, I’m done apologizing for myself.)
Never satisfied. Always looking to get better. Constantly obsessed with busting the status quo. Disagreeing with authority on principle.
None of these things matter without an end goal. They end up making a person bitter, angry, upset, frustrated and a shell of who they should be.
I have no idea what a meaningful life is. Love? Have that and that is AWESOME. Financial success? Eh, but I don’t need much. Recognition? A fair amount–I mean, there are tshirts out there with my face on them. A sense of a job done well? Never.
I suppose part of being “creative” is never being satisfied, but that creates an endless cycle of disappointment.
And all the above creates stress. Stress that will slowly kill you. Stress that makes your body function at high alert for hours on end, exhausting our ability to think, fight off disease and even process food correctly.
In the new movie People vs The State Of Illusion, writer/producer Austin Vickers discusses, among other things, the amount of stimuli that we’re exposed to every single day. It’s something in the billions range, but we can only process about .0001% of that. No matter how much we read, how much we produce and how many places we travel, our minds cannot use most of what we’re exposed to.
But dammit, I sure as hell try. Writing, visiting, reading, giving an opinion, volunteering where I can…it’s become a race against time. How much can I do today? How much can I do for others today?
It’s really, really hard. So hard that I cried during the first 15-20 minutes of this movie. Right in the middle of the movie theater with my Donald Duck “This is my happy face” cap pulled low, I cried tears of frustration and maybe a little catharsis. After the movie, I couldn’t wait to tell Austin that it had saved my life.
I see it now, I told him. People can change, but only if we accept that our reality can be shaped by us. Only if we accept that some of what we do is bad for us and instead of running from those bad things (overeating, depression, addiction, etc.) we should run straight toward to see what GOOD it’s doing for us.
Why did I used to drink until I blacked out? I loved living in the moment.
Why do I eat an entire pizza and many bags of popcorn? It reminds me of home and being safe.
Why am I addicted to Twitter/Facebook/anywhere people will read my thoughts? It gives me a sense that I’m doing something.
But nothing has really changed. A long, relaxing trip to Flagstaff wasn’t enough. A five-day trip to LA and Disneyland wasn’t enough. The support of the lovely Katie (who puts up with my almost daily Gangplank criticism and does her best not to take it personally) sure helps, but she can’t fix me either.
This feeling of helplessness hits me every August. I really, really don’t like this heat. Call me a pussy if you want, but if people can get sad because of too much rain, it certainly stands to reason that the same damn thing could happen when I wake up sweaty, spend my day sweaty and go to bed hoping I won’t wake up with a soaked pillow and sheets. But I digress.
I wish I could say that I was able to act on what I recognized in The State Of Illusion. I wish I could say that I feel better and that I know what it is I’m supposed to be doing and how to ensure that my life and those of who I love will be great.
But I can’t. I’m stuck feeling dissatisfied, upset with myself and frustrated that I’m not doing enough.
Either way, I’m going to see the movie again. Perhaps the second showing will allow me some kind of respite from the spinning in my head. It sure as hell worked the first time, but I know something needs to change. This time, I’m taking notes.
And this time I’m not going to run away.