Monday, August 15, 2011

Ah, fuck

You know, I really don't know what to do with myself.

The whole idea of giving up the blog (see below) had less to do with having been ripped off and more to do with being highly intoxicated at the time. From that state, it seemed very clear to me that I was - that I am - on the wrong course in my life, that radical changes are required. Sometimes there's a clarity that comes from being out of one's normal mind due to the use of drugs and/or alcohol, truths that could not come to light in a normal state, and I'm not convinced these insights aren't valid just because one happens to be wasted when they arrive. It probably didn't hurt that, once sufficiently loosened up, I received a shock; but however we understand the source of the experience - there was this powerful feeling of seeing something about myself that I had been previously dodging.

It's a hard thing to question, when you feel such things. There was this deep inward certainty - strong at the time and flickering throughout yesterday - of a higher purpose, a higher self - an inward voice that I have been neglecting, partially out of fear that I cannot afford to hear what it has to say.

Whenever one finds oneself there, the way out is to assume that whatever it is one is afraid of realizing is true. I remember that lesson well, but it doesn't make it easier to apply.

Back in my 20's, under the influence of a certain singularly persuasive and charismatic Lakota I used to know, I made drastic changes in how I was living, strove to hear what that voice had to say, to get in touch with a far greater purpose for my life than I had been previously acknowledging. I sometimes referred to it ironically as a period of "religious fanaticism," and raised more than a few eyebrows among my peers at the time. Not all the choices I made then were good ones, but the fact is, I pushed harder then than I ever had before to reform myself. I did uncomfortable and odd things to "step outside of my comfort zone," flirting with Native spirituality - smudging, sweating - and making challenging and completely out-of-character decisions to do things like take up tree planting (which I did for nearly a month!). I went back to school, not only completing a degree previously abandoned but taking a bizarrely intense "counsellor's training" course through a now-defunct institution known as Stellar College. I sold off half my property, plunged myself into rebuilding my relationship with my parents, and became a bit of a pain in the ass with friends as I adopted said Lakota's somewhat uncompromising and confrontational style, "calling people on their bullshit," as he would say. Which forced me in turn to practice what I was preaching. This would have been around 1996/1997, and the decisions I made in those years, the work that I did to unfuck myself up, take life seriously, and start moving forward set me on a trajectory that informed the subsequent fifteen years.

Which takes me more or less up to now.

Maybe in part it's an illusion caused by the fact that I'm back in Maple Ridge - where I was when the whole thing started, the location of the lowest lows of my life: a sleepy suburb condusive to lessened expectations, feelings of mediocrity, and growing despair. It's no wonder that the smell of pot wafts through the streets and alleys of this town every evening; there's a pervasive feeling here of nothing-to-be-done-ness, a sense that whatever decisions you make in a place like this can't much matter, because neither life nor you are particularly important. It's a humbling town, a hard place to sustain any illusions one might have about oneself.

My only purpose here, indeed my only purpose in life other than hustling for money and keeping myself entertained, has been taking care of Mom, and that's a fine moral purpose indeed, but it's insufficient to satisfy me. I need to be DOING something, need to feel like there's some purpose beyond lying on Mom's couch and keeping her company for Wheel of Fortune (or shopping or cooking for her or so forth). I'm stagnant. This blog doesn't change that. It keeps me locked in a sort of narcissistic trance, a tidy artificial identity-construct, helps me ignore what I'm really facing in life; instead of waking up in the morning and deciding how best to use my day, I inevitably just pop into my "office," such as it is, and fuck around online for a few hours. Check email, read headlines, scan the daily obits, masturbate. Often I'll check my two main email accounts a dozen times in the morning. Sometimes I'll even visit the Wikipedia Recent Deaths page more than once, to see if anyone has died since I last looked.

It's not always ENTIRELY counterproductive, but how many real challenges in ones life can be resolved by blogging, or emailing, or surfing the web, or...?

I helped a friend move, last week. She was a bit puzzled, I think, at the amount of work I was prepared to do to help her. Many boxes were carried, much furniture lifted. What's odd is that it felt entirely selfish: it gave me a sense of purpose, otherwise sorely lacking in my life. I'm hungry enough for real, meaningful work that I'd eagerly go lift furniture for someone else, if I were needed. But that's more about a fear-driven hunger for distraction (and maybe for the cheap pleasures of gratitude - because it's so easier to help others with their challenges than to face ones own) than it is about really getting anything done.

Fuck, I gotta do something with my life. A tribal elder would be handy, about now. Too bad we don't make them anymore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

angst, i get it.
thought you'd like to know (and I have no other venue to write you than on here), the new owners have swooped in and are cleaning house - firing 20% of the admin staff, cutting salaries by 15%, taking away ALL benefits, all sick days and cutting vacation to the legal minimum. They are bringing in their own people - even Monica is leaving (whether or not she was laid off or chose to go I don't know. Don't think she wanted to stay super long). the benefits going is the most demoralizing. And yet people are still clinging but complaining more than usual. I will probably lose all my hours next session and that is not a bad thing! you may not want to post this comment (could get me in trouble, who knows) but i'd love to hear your reaction!
oh and i kid you not - some kind of finger scanner has been installed at reception -a possible sign in/sign out thing for staff. People are ticked but, uh, the investors voted for this owner. We met him and his associate today - Armani suits and corporate all the way. yikes.
- Karen