The thing I miss most is having long conversations with people and really getting into what our lives were about. Now I feel like we try that on social media: for me that's like social hyperventilation. I want to get air -- a full deep breath -- but there only small gulps of air - interactions, in a few characters. I did have a nice night talking with my friend Sara and her new room mate -- I think we were up to 1 or 2 just hanging out and talking. Not many people seem to want to do that any more. Maybe it's me? Have I just migrated to a "whiter" more proper world where people just don't talk about things. It seems that way sometimes. And I feel like I've just fallen in.
At work I'm taking this course in lowering stress. It suggests I try "expressive" writing. By which it means I write very emotionally, then destroy it. Really, I feel like the whole course is about burying emotions and being phony. The whole company feels phoney. But that's not the point. The point is, I do *need* to write more. I used to write here a lot, but not so much anymore. I haven't been taking the time.
Well, let's start a bit.
I feel like I have something gnawing out the inside of me. I don't really know what. But something has been heavy on my chest and wants to get out. I've spent some time meditating on it, but I don't really get it. I guess people refer to this as not being "true" to myself. And it's true that I haven't been. But I can't figure out who the "real" me is. And to be honest, I've spent so much of my life taking care of base needs -- food, shelter, health-care -- that I didn't explore the self as much as I wanted. But I needed those things -- very much. It gets easy now to forget what that was like, being without. But very much now, I feel a little dead inside, and that's increasingly needing to be addressed.
For starters, I don't really like my job and chosen career. It was always something to make money; I needed to make money. Sometimes, this felt more acute than others, and I made bad short-sighted decisions when I needed money most. I don't know anyone would fault me for some of these. But some things bite me in the ass and keep going. I do feel "callings" as people would call them. Mostly to art and language. I like to write, to sing, to act, even to draw and to play music. When I teach yoga on Wednesday, I used to view it as a bit of a performance piece. Lately I've felt so dead inside, it's been hard to muster this up. But all this isn't what I do with my life. I digest and regurgitate algorithms and software engineering -- it's something I can do -- at least doing "the maths" it invoked my sense of imagination and creativity -- imagining these invisible structures, and manipulating them. But that's a long ways behind me.
But I've changed as well. I less do things because I want to say I did them -- as an accomplishment -- and more to experience them. And I realize more that the things I do, I need to live with for a very long time. And taking short-cuts early on seem just to lead to stunted growth later. It's like so many parts of life I've just been scanning. Including my degree. And I realize all this just as I start as my body starts a second phase of revolting against me, so I'm not able to do as much as I would have been when I was younger (if I were well). I find this with my study of literature, yoga, logic, music, etc. Now I want more of a deep dive. The deep dives last me longer, and give me a deeper insight into life.
One of the recurrent themes coming out increasingly is my sense of shame and how I deal with it. I know I'm supposed to be out and proud, but I don't know that I am, and I don't know that I ever will be. At least not in the ways that really count. Society can be cruel, and judgemental, and I don't have enough sense of internalized privilege to get past this. At work, I suppose I experience something of the "glass" closet, where I'm out but not. A lot of this was precipitated by the wedding earlier this year, else, I might not be out at all. At work, I typically don't use the word "gay", but try to be straight-forward -- use the correct pronoun -- use the correct name -- try not to make a big deal of it. But it is a big deal. I'm not even open and honest with others, as well as myself, about my interests, due to social opprobrium. For example, nudism. It freaks people out. I don't know why. I wouldn't call myself a nudist -- but I don't understand why people are so prudish about their (and other people's) bodies in certain settings -- especially like in a sauna or some swimming environments -- but people get really worked up. And there are so many other things that to so many people. But there seems to be a break-down of the public/private spheres that used to exist with the internet. So I become afraid of the private becoming public -- not a phobia, but a negative desire. But these negative desires - either I let go or they become worries. I really don't know why I have so many internal judgements. Maybe it's my Catholic upbringing -- thinking that I'm supposed to be a certain person, but increasingly realizing that I'm just not. And I keep feeling like society wants me to be that person I'm not -- straight, "white", hetero-normative-male, "Christian", middle-class, sexually prudish, socially acceptable polite, boring. It all gets -- yeesh!
And just to add to my stress, my new husband is going through some substantial changes of his own that he may not be integrating all that well. He's advanced in his career, but I don't think he knew what that would mean ahead of time. He's going back to school in May. His family of origin has radically morphed (deaths / moving). His core social circle has pretty much disintegrated. Even getting married. I see so much stress in him, so much indigestion of all the changes. But I can only do so much.
Ugh. The world is a lot. Even when things are *good* it's a lot.