Posts tagged with "realization"

la petite mort

I’ve been spend­ing too much time around friends and fall­en heroes, stay­ing up too late, run­ning away from my thoughts, pun­ish­ing my body, killing myself one day at a time. The exhaus­tion is numb­ing — exact­ly what I need — but I know I can’t keep this up for­ev­er. I used to lose a day here and there, think it’s Wednesday on a Thursday. Now I lose entire weeks. I’ve decid­ed that it’s all okay as long as shit gets done.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been feel­ing trapped. I’m too busy to see past things as they are right now, a vic­tim of my own self-dis­trac­tion, so it feels like I’ll be here for­ev­er, stuck in this end­less loop of heal­ing and heart­break.

I’m still try­ing to find that del­i­cate bal­ance between accept­ing myself (which risks com­pla­cen­cy) and striv­ing to improve (and the con­stant dis­sat­is­fac­tion). At the very least, I’ve come to the real­iza­tion that there’s a dif­fer­ence between the things that hap­pen to us and the way we react or deal with them, and since you have no say in the for­mer, all you can do is improve the lat­ter.

Sometimes you have to die a lit­tle inside to fig­ure that out.

One measures a circle, beginning anywhere

Been liv­ing on too much sin and not enough sleep, though most­ly it’s in the form of calo­ries and sug­ar. Thank god I have an Asian metab­o­lism.

Things are hap­pen­ing so quick­ly around me. Chris is get­ting seri­ous with his girl. Pat and Jen had their first baby, a boy named Kyden. ____’s get­ting mar­ried in April. (What? Yeah. What? Yeah.) Funny how I’m start­ing to feel like the one who’s all set­tled.

It makes me fan­tas­ti­cal­ly proud to say that I’ll be assum­ing best-man respon­si­bil­i­ties, though I still asked ____ who he was going appoint cause I nev­er feel like I can take any­thing in our friend­ship for grant­ed. His anger at my hav­ing asked was prob­a­bly the warmest ges­ture I’ve had in a while. That means with the bach­e­lor par­ty, the wed­ding, and anoth­er wed­ding I’ve to film, I’ll be dri­ving to Toronto three times between now and spring.

I’ve already lost ____ to an extent, as he’s only had about two months to plan his wed­ding, and he’s been busy with such. But even though our phone calls were my main form of con­tact with the out­side world, I haven’t noticed their absence, or as much as I thought I would at least. I think I’m get­ting used to being so out-of-touch with peo­ple. There’s so much ful­fill­ment one can find in a book or a movie or an instru­ment, let alone the vast­ness of the inter­net.

One of my ven­tures was mak­ing a tri­al World of Warcraft account1, just so I could try being social at a dis­tance, but I still could­n’t both­er inter­act­ing with oth­er peo­ple. And since the whole point of pay­ing a month­ly fee for an MMORPG is to have that kind of inter­ac­tion, I stopped when I maxed out at lev­el 202 on the third day. Good thing too, because it was the only thing I did for those three days.

I used to feel so guilty about being alone, think­ing I should be tak­ing advan­tage of some oppor­tu­ni­ty to be social. Then I real­ized that if I ever got too uncom­fort­able and lone­ly, I’d get up and do some­thing about it. I’m too hap­py and too com­fort­able here right now. I think that’s why I can’t tell if this is where I’m going, or where I already am.

  1. Which I’d pre­vi­ous­ly vowed nev­er to play, know­ing my addic­tive nature to any char­ac­ter-build­ing games, and WoWs nev­er-end­ing game­play. []
  2. The max lev­el for tri­al accounts. []

29 11/12: The Work in Progress

He who is not sat­is­fied with him­self will grow; he who is not sure of his own cor­rect­ness will learn many things.

—Chinese proverb

As much as I think I’ve become set­tled in my char­ac­ter and my mind­set, I still sur­prise myself with how much these con­tin­ue to change.

self-portrait at 29 11/12

Me and my Plushstache (hand­made with love by Shannon Gerard).

I used to think I’d final­ly be hap­py if I was a cer­tain per­son — some ide­al­ized ver­sion of myself who was inde­struc­tible, infal­li­ble, and flaw­less — but I recent­ly real­ized that I should­n’t see this as the goal. Instead, I should be hap­py with the fact that I’m not there yet, because change means evo­lu­tion and growth.

It would be fol­ly to believe that an arrival is also an end. One should con­tin­ue to strug­gle, and to doubt, and to hurt, and to be a work in progress.

I turn 30 in a month, and I still don’t know who I am.

The Turning 30 Series

Lye and Vinegar

(Just like old times, eh?)

Tyler licks his lips until they’re gleam­ing wet. He takes Jack’s hands and KISSES the back of it.

I fig­ured it out.

I had too much want.

The sali­va shines in the shape of the kiss. Tyler pours a bit of the flaked lye onto Jack’s hand.

I start­ed out self­less­ly — doing with­out expect­ing, giv­ing not to receive, work­ing not for reward1 — because all I want­ed was to live in the moment, to expe­ri­ence as much as I could while it last­ed. Eventually, that turned into a desire, a belief that I could­n’t live with­out what (or whom) I want­ed.

One could call it love.

The old me would have blamed myself for falling into that trap, but I’ve since rec­og­nized that I’m human. That I’m prone to falling, espe­cial­ly when I’m so amorous­ly intox­i­cat­ed.

Jack’s whole body JERKS. Tyler holds tight to Jack’s hand and arm. Tears well in Jack’s eyes; his face tight­ens.

Now that I’m able to stand back and rec­og­nize my long­ing, and I can also see how much that long­ing that was start­ing to tear me down.

It’s like in Fight Club, when Tyler Durden is about to pour lye on Jack’s hand. Jack already knows he’s going to die; it’s an unde­ni­able real­i­ty we all come to real­ize as we grow out of child­hood, yet are rarely forced to deal with (or even embrace). For Jack, that real­i­ty does­n’t tru­ly sink in until he’s faced with the chem­i­cal burn on his body.

Jack, snap­ping back, tries to jerk his hand away. Tyler keeps hold of it and their arms KNOCK UTENSILS off the table.

I was told it was over before it start­ed, but that real­i­ty did­n’t sink in until recent­ly. It’s tak­en this long because I dared to dream of some­thing greater, and a large part of me did­n’t want to give up the won­der­ful mem­o­ries. Unfortunately, those mem­o­ries are mixed and insep­a­ra­ble from every­thing else that’s been hold­ing me back. The fact that I think too much does­n’t help either.

At some point, I real­ized that I sim­ply had to let go. Truly let go.

Tyler final­ly says to Jack:

Listen, you can run water over your hand and make it worse or, look at me, or you can use vine­gar and neu­tral­ize the burn. First you have to give up, first you have to know — not fear — know — that some­day you’re gonna die.

I used to think I had lost some­thing spe­cial, but now I have no desires and noth­ing left to lose. It’s like I’m start­ing back where I was two years ago, which real­ly was­n’t a bad place to be. The world is final­ly lucid and clear.

Now I know, and it feels like hap­pi­ness.

Congratulations. You’re a step clos­er to hit­ting bot­tom.

  1. Readers of the Tao Te Ching will rec­og­nize this lan­guage. There’s so much of this Taoist idea of para­dox and con­tra­dic­tion in Fight Club. []