look straight ahead theres nothing left to see

1 July 2004

You know, things are looking up, but the fight's never over. To be honest, lately I've wanted nothing more than to just be happy, to be grateful and comfortable, and without worry or complaint, and even when I tell friends and family and passers by that "I'm okay, can't complain," I very much can, I just choose not to. I don't know if it's repression or some self-absorbed feeling of nobility that keeps me from complaining as much as I probably could, or perhaps it's simply because I'm sure that no one needs to hear it, or because I'm shy discussing personal troubles with even those that I care deeply about. But in the end it just winds up being stressful and difficult regardless, and it makes me wonder how well I'm actually doing. It's easy not to see the forest for the trees when something's on your mind, so to speak. I suppose a better analogy is that it's difficult to appreciate the beauty and wonder of said forest when you just stepped in the leavings of some of the local wildlife. Which isn't to say that what I'm facing was created by someone else, because it probably wasn't. Anyway, I'm on about nothing here.

The point I'm trying to make is that communication seems to be inherently difficult. Where in my upbringing or our communal socialization did I begin to feel that I couldn't ask for help, or that I should be ashamed to? Probably when I got old enough to start taking care of myself and being independant, and well-with independance comes the reluctance to go back to being dependant. It's amusing like that, the less you have to ask for help, the less accustomed you are to doing it, and therefore the worse it feels when you have to. Sucks, but it's true, at least to some degree, and at least in my opinion. So I'm sitting here wondering how I'm going to deal with the situations in front of me, and I think to myself that it's going to be hard, definitely, but I have to muddle my way through it one way or another, because well, like I always say, the alternative is unacceptable.

My boy Tim (who just so happens to be getting married, you go wit yo' bad self) says in his away messages frequently a tidbit of wisdom that's often uncommon to away messages: "I want to be happy and thankful, not just getting by," and I feel him one hundred percent. Right now I'm getting by, my thoughts and actions are centered on self-preservation, and I'm not happy about it, not deep down inside. I'm worried, scared that one instant from the next everything will be threatened and things won't be the same-fire, loss of job, car accident, etc. I don't want to be that guy. I model myself after my family-that if something drastic and horrible happens, my parents have the knowhow to make sure they're okay in a pinch. If my father couldn't work, they'd be okay for a while. If the car exploded, they could get another one. You see? They say the majority of the middle class in America are living paycheck to paycheck, one tragedy away from poverty. I don't want to be like that, and I know I don't have to be. But this doesn't revolve around finances-it's so much more: everything I've been doing lately has centered around self-preservation, from going to bed to make sure I'm okay for werk to not talking as long as I could to my loved ones to save cell minutes to shuffling off my friends when they invite me out so I can be sure to destress a bit after werk. It's starting to wear on me, and it's not the humdrum of day to day life that's the problem, it's the lack of anything but the humdrum.

But that raises the question-how do you get past the humdrum when the humdrum is what dominates your attention? Maybe it's that very question that has millions of people unhappy with their lives, dragging themselves to work every day, angry at themselves and angry at the world, hating their jobs and their lives. Maybe it's giving in to this question that makes for all the drones we tell ourselves as children that we don't want to be. If that's the case, I need to find an answer, because I refuse to be that guy-I refuse to be the guy who goes home, utters a grunt of welcome to his wife, drinks a beer in front of the TV, and calls it a night, then gets up and repeats the process. I've answered harder questions before-this should be nothing compared to the average rotational rate of a pulsar-but perhaps it's the closeness of the question to my being that makes it difficult. Regardless, it's a question that needs answering. One more thing to overcome, and while big, I have to do it.

The alternative is unacceptable.