I ask this because I feel sort of unhinged again, in such a way that I think I need to talk to someone.
A professional sort of someone.
I feel stuck.
I am torn between total selfishness and the responsibilities I have.
But let me explain a little bit about my life at present before I delve into other things.
I lost my grandma a couple of weeks ago. Yes, lost. I think I loved her even though I never knew her. I knew what sort of woman she was. Or rather, now that she’s gone, I am better able to see her as a whole person, as opposed to just my Ma.
Her death has caused me a great deal of distress; not just because I lost a person who loved me more than I think I could ever love anyone, but because I feel a lot of guilt for not appreciating her when she was around. She was a good, simple woman. Few are so lucky to know one such as her, and few have the grace to be such.
Her passing has reawakened a restlessness in me. A death so close makes me wonder, makes me really think about my life and how I am living it. I’ve been doing a long and thorough reassessment.
Suddenly everything that I had taught myself to consider important, isn’t. Everything that my grandma wanted me to do, or simply just for me, isn’t what I want.
I don’t think a single life is worth a damn in the whole scheme of things, though it may mean everything to a few. I know there is good in performing simple acts just to momentarily appease suffering. I know that kindness can sometimes be the best gift one could ever bestow.
But I’m so thirsty. I want, and want and want. And I feel guilty for it.
I grew up with a relatively traditional background. Really. For someone with my upbringing, blood should always come first. My brother turned out exactly as he should have, except that his grades were never that great.
I turned out as “smart” as expected, but the ties that bind me are not the same as my brother’s. Whereas he performs as he is expected, I don’t. Family affairs are simply duties. We are tied by blood and shared experiences, but not by heart or mind.
I write this because I have always been torn between my own desires and the responsibilities I have to a family who has raised me. My grandma always told me to look after my family. Specifically, as I’m the oldest and the “brightest,” I should make sure my brother and my cousin are doing their studies. And I also have to make sure my Pa is doing OK. The burdens aren’t heavy, but at times they are exacting. Sometimes I would really like someone just to take care of me for a change, even though I know I don’t always make it easy. I am harder on myself than anyone. And vulnerability is never an option.
Surely there is beauty in Life, beauty and goodness, but most of it is soiled, sullied, perverted by the aspect of Life that also bullies and throttles until you give up and say, “You win.” The dark side of life is that it is full of constraints, both imagined and heavily enforced by custom, conformity and even love. You must decide which is more important. Of course there are those who thrive under such a system. Who flourish and have the brightest smiles. But then you’ll also find dozens of people like me who can’t shake the feeling that they’re living a lie. It helps if you have a specified end. But oh, it is hard to live a life when you don’t believe there is anything after. It makes you want to gorge yourself on the little time you have, because afterward is total uncertainty. It makes utter selfishness a doubly viable and attractive quality.
I am a glutton. I want everything. I want to taste, see and feel everything. I am also a coward. Or I have a remarkable sense of propriety. Either way, I am not particularly proud of myself. I am too much the coward to do exactly what I want to do, which is to disappear and experience Life on my own terms. Or I am too full of a sense of responsibility and obligation to do so.
And so I find myself stuck. Unhappy with my lot, even though it isn’t terrible. It’s actually downright enviable, I am aware.
I am a critical egoistic hedonist who desperately wants to be an uncritical egoistic hedonist. I want to revel in my experiences. Either option is terribly self-destructive, as living for simply pleasure is terribly destructive. But I don’t see any other point to my life right now. I don’t see any other point than to try to experience and learn everything I can before it is my time to die. There is no heaven waiting for me. There is no ultimate reward for being loving and giving. And while it is all well and good to accomplish your duties to your loved ones, I can’t help but always feel that there is something I am missing out on. And that feeling gnaws away at me.
School is exceedingly difficult right now as well. So far it feels like I am just trying to prove myself to people who don’t really give a damn about me. And prove myself to what end? To get a degree for a job that I can only hope will satisfy me?
All of this senseless rambling leads to one question:
So, what will make me happy?
Oh, I don’t really know. I would love to pack a bag and just disappear for a while, experience the world as a nobody. I don’t need to be somebody to be happy. I don’t need someone else to make me happy. Sometimes I feel that the trouble I have is that I have little to really stimulate me. Throwing myself across the globe sounds like a perfect way for me to learn about life and about myself. Severing all the ties that bind. Maybe if I’m knocked down hard enough I’ll crawl back with all of my senses, profess I was a total imbecile and get right back on track. Because honestly I am confident enough in my abilities that I know I can do something of merit wherever I am, whatever I am doing. I can be a damn good reporter. I could make a fine doctor. I could be a goddamn social worker if I felt that was right for me.
As it is I don’t know what is right for me. And I don’t want to keep pretending that I do know. Journalism just makes sense right now because it doesn’t require many loyalties, aside from to the craft itself, and it could potentially show me all of the world.
Blah. Blow my brains out.