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Give up mastery

I made a list of things to do when feeling sad—ways I could move against feeling overwhelmed (spirtually as well as emotionally). Ways I could prevent myself from disappearing into nonexistence. What I created was I think in some respects a useful document, but its language and conceit were fundamentally economic. I was still thinking in terms of generation: if I am not generating productive labour I can at least generate a productive emotional response. In the document I advise working when I’m in one of those moods, even if I am “moving slowly.” Acknowledging that I’m avoiding something but not doing anything to try to sit or understand why. 

But sometimes you just need to move slowly. 

If I have a block when it comes to writing it is acknowledging that sometimes you need to drill down, deeper into yourself, in order to understand your responses… I have for too long been obsessed with surfaces, their maintenance and preservation. You can’t know when you will return from the depth that you descend to, and that’s terrifying. You can’t know where it will lead you. It’s not something that you can plan the same way you can plan doing your tax returns. It is a process. But it doesn’t lead to a conclusion. 

I sometimes like to imagine a perfect, crystalline future for myself. A moment in which I will feel sure, or understood, or fully myself. But in imagining that future I ignore my present. And I undergo a different kind of crystallization: I become covered with a brittle, hard shell, one that prevents me from seeing out even though it’s only meant to keep me from looking inside. 

It also, as I am gradually coming to understand, keeps the outside from looking out. (If it is a bitter shell it is no doubt because of this frustrated looking.)

I should listen to those feelings because rather than pointing to something that I will obtain in the unforeseeable future they are instead telling me what I need right now. 

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My life is objectively better when I’m not spending hours staring idly at my phone, or playing iterative video games that take up one hundred percent of my time. I like doing both of those things but of course there is a point where I can go too far, just as you can like having a drink or two with friends and take that to a terrible conclusion, drinking alone in your kitchen until you pass out on the breakfast table. It’s better to lay in bed when you are in danger of going that far, or to go for a walk or a run. It’s better to let yourself feel sad or overwhelmed if that’s what you feel. It’s better to seek answers. Somewhere in the last few years I stopped seeking answers so actively and I would love to return there.

Something I realized in J’s apartment. Then mentioning this blog and coming home and reading entries from 2013 and 2015 and recognizing that the work I have done here (and where these posts originated) is both valuable and good, even if it also represents—in a certain sense—a kind of betrayal owing to the thoughts and desires I have expressed.. Sometimes I will show greater loyalty to form or to language than to people. And perhaps that should change when I endeavour to represent my life. Or perhaps not, not because I should betray anyone I know (I would rather I didn’t) but because these posts are fundamentally inaccurate: by their very nature they are incomplete. I can’t apologize for the fact they don’t totally represent a situation, or that they do not temper my feelings correctly, because that’s not something they were ever meant to do. And if they did do those things maybe they wouldn’t be good. 

I should stop apologizing to myself and to others. But I can’t pretend, either, that in this space I have created I haven’t also created space in my self. And in that sense even if you don’t mean to betray you might commit a betrayal. By describing a thing you call it into being… I understood that even before I ever turned to theory.