Posts tagged with "stability"

My Average Life

You ever read any Nietzsche?

Nietzsche says there are two kinds of peo­ple in the world. People who are des­tined for great­ness, like Walt Disney, and Hitler. And then there’s the rest of us. He called us “The bun­gled and the botched”.

We get teased. We some­times get close to great­ness, but we never get there.

We’re the expend­able masses.

—Jack Lucas, The Fisher King

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When I lis­ten to this song, a post-hardcore blend of catchy, melodic gui­tar lines and tech­ni­cal scream­ing, a feel­ing washes over me. I rec­og­nize it immediately.


It’s the other, other, Jeff’s band, and he fits the eccen­tric rock­star per­sona to a tee. His clothes are all tight-fitting, thrift-store finds and Sally Ann recy­clables. Even his frames are a mod­ern­ized ver­sion of the old-school bad-boy sun­glasses. An unas­sum­ing type until you talk to him about his music, and then he’s a gal­va­nized, ani­mated per­son. He spends his money on stu­dio hours, and his free-time lay­ing down tracks, mix­ing songs, jam ses­sions. I don’t even know the name of his band.

I do know that this song is a huge improve­ment over the mate­r­ial he gave me a month ago. The struc­ture is less exper­i­men­tal, the sound is more pol­ished. The result of a new drum­mer, and redone vocals. Jeff’s goal is to get his name out there, win a record­ing con­tract, and spend the rest of his life mak­ing music. I can already tell that he’ll catch the atten­tion of the right per­son at the right time.

The envy burns a hole in my chest.

Knowing that this young man, in his mid-20s, is going some­where, is what fuels it. He has the ambi­tion, the abil­ity, the mind­set to achieve great­ness, while I remain one of the many.

If I had the time, the money, the ambi­tion, I’d do the same. I’d be a direc­tor. A pho­tog­ra­pher. Things I think I’d be great at. Instead, I sim­ply use video and pho­tog­ra­phy to doc­u­ment my life, as an extra form of expres­sion over the writ­ten word. As a result, my desire to improve is solely dri­ven by my per­fec­tion­ist atti­tude, not a desire to be great or to make money. I under­stand that to become one of the few is an invest­ment of one’s entire life, and the risks of doing so are severe. Too severe.

It’s my choice to live like this: risk-free and secure. It’s a part of my per­son­al­ity. I invest in gov­ern­ment bonds over stock. I’m a 9-to-5 guy, who doesn’t like going out on week­days, whose pri­mary goal is to pay off the mort­gage before I retire. My great­ness is a steady pay­cheque, a cat who jumps on my lap, and eight full hours of sleep. I enjoy the sim­ple things, and sat­is­fac­tion with what I have.

And I real­ize that not know­ing the name of Jeff’s band is a sub­con­scious choice I make. That way, there’s less chance I’ll learn of his suc­cess when I’m read­ing the paper.

Less chance I’ll be reminded of how aver­age my life is.

A Jumble Of Emotions

I’ve been a jum­ble of emo­tions lately. A mix of excite­ment and worry, fun and stress, unset­tling uncer­tainty and crossed-signals. On top of it all I keep get­ting all sorts of BULLSHIT from peo­ple, when it’s the last thing I need.

I gen­er­ally don’t like this feel­ing. To grow, and this is espe­cially true for me, one needs a foun­da­tion of sta­bil­ity. Once the basic things are con­stant, there can be changes and adjust­ments made to improve. Now I find myself strug­gling to keep the sim­plest things under control.

It’s cer­tainly been an inter­est­ing year so far.

The Return (Hiatus 1: Octave)

We move in cir­cles
Balanced all the while
On a gleam­ing razor’s edge

A per­fect sphere
Colliding with our fate
This story ends where it began

—Dream Theater, Octavarium

Back to this.

So much has passed, yet noth­ing seems to have changed. I’ve never gone this long with­out writ­ing an entry. For a while there, I didn’t mind. Didn’t mind not forc­ing myself to sit and write at every free moment. Didn’t mind my life not being taken over by this.

Now it feels like I’m in the mid­dle of a tran­si­tion. So much is hap­pen­ing around me, with so much to do, while my emo­tions remain neu­tral as if I don’t know what to think. There’s hasn’t been enough sta­bil­ity yet, or per­haps I haven’t been able to sit down to write and think about what’s going on. I’m ready now.

It’s been 33 days.

I def­i­nitely missed this.

The Uncertainty of Complacency

What do I have left to do today? I’m not really sure. I’ll roll my frozen choco­late mix­ture into truf­fles tomor­row. I should shower tonight. Fold up some clothes. Throw expired trans­fers in the garbage.

Sometimes it feels as if my life has become sim­ple, and all I have to do is turn on auto-pilot. I don’t really have any­thing to worry about. Money, com­pan­ion­ship, school, health, every­thing I used to think about con­stantly before have all ceased to be prob­lems for me. I even have peo­ple that I would con­sider friends.

Lately it feels as if I’ve reached a sort of equi­lib­rium, where any­thing can hap­pen but I’ll be able to deal with any prob­lems that arise. This is quite a change from before, where I was always wor­ry­ing, turn­ing over in my head the things that both­ered me.

It’s almost a form of com­pla­cency. However, this is a sense of total com­pla­cency, unlike even my pre­vi­ous com­pla­cent feel­ings. I’m unsure of whether or not this is a tem­po­rary thing, and how long it will last if this is true. Being com­pla­cent means that the excite­ment I used to feel, from the strug­gle to con­trol unde­sir­able emo­tions, to the ner­vous­ness asso­ci­ated to attrac­tion, to the sim­ple uncer­tainty of pass­ing a course, has mostly lev­eled out. These were all scary things, but exhil­a­rat­ing nonethe­less. This com­pla­cency is dif­fer­ent from feel­ing numb because it’s on a dif­fer­ent level. Numbness deals more specif­i­cally with emo­tion, whereas com­pla­cency refers to life in gen­eral, includ­ing emo­tion. This means that com­pla­cency is not nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing.

I’m just not sure what to make of it as of yet.