Reversal: Part 2 (The Floundering Mindset)

Out of the storm of life I have borne away only a few ideas — and not one feel­ing. For a long time now I have been liv­ing, not with my heart, but with my head. I weigh, ana­lyze my own pas­sions and actions with severe curios­i­ty, but with­out sym­pa­thy.

—Pechorin, A Hero of Our Time

When I was younger, I decid­ed that I want­ed to cast all my emo­tion aside, because at the time I knew noth­ing but pain. I set this as my goal, and start­ed to work towards a ster­ile, cere­bral mind­set. I want­ed to feel noth­ing, and this idea fol­lowed me through to uni­ver­si­ty.

At this time, I nev­er believed that I was com­plete­ly suc­cess­ful; I still felt too much. However, as my sit­u­a­tion changed, as I met new peo­ple with good hearts and minds, I expe­ri­enced what hap­pi­ness was like. I was nev­er sat­is­fied though, nev­er hap­py enough, and always want­ed more but could nev­er achieve it. Suddenly, it felt as if my cere­bral goal was too suc­cess­ful, and I was stuck, I was numb.

I’ve gone from one extreme to the oth­er, from want­i­ng noth­ing to want­i­ng every­thing. In both cas­es I was a fail­ure, but it’s only now that I real­ize that suc­cess would have assured­ly meant no turn­ing back. I believe that when a cer­tain extent is reached, one becomes igno­rant to any­thing that could pos­si­bly change one­self. Now I under­stand the bal­ance, the dichoto­my that absolute­ly must exist in order to have a healthy mind.

And things are much bet­ter this way.

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