Sunday, August 02, 2009

Brand new day

(Uh...this is not a music blog. Bear that in mind as you wade into this post. If you're looking for something superficial and fun, abandon all hope, ye who enter here.)

If there's any one thing you can count on, it's that I am all talk and no action. I cannot count the number of times on this blog alone that I have declared that I am through with this, that or the other bad habit or self-defeating behavior, only to slip back into precisely that pattern after about 12 minutes. I almost wish I had a tag for it, so that I could go back and count them up.

So I suppose it seems a bit disingenuous to do it again, after having admitted that. Or perhaps admitting to myself that I continue to fail makes me more aware of that fact, thereby making it less likely to happen? I don't know, but whatever it is, I have to say right here and right now that I have had it up to here with the general trajectory of things right now. It isn't really anything specific (there are a few specifics, but I know better than to go into detail) but what I do know is that my brain cannot continue in its current mode. Something's gotta give, but what that something is I'm not really sure.

The one thing that I have noticed more than ever lately is that there really are two sides to me. That is nothing new - I've always known that and I'm a Gemini so I relish that fact probably more than I should. And when I say two sides, that doesn't necessarily mean two-faced (although I'm sure I've been accused of that as well). What it does mean is that while my exterior seems calm, cool and collected, way down deep I am so angry at things, so mad at this or that. My lifelong reaction to anger, like every emotion I have felt the need to suppress, has been to stuff it. Stuff it even further down than it already was. Stuff it until it is so compacted and hard and concrete that you can't even move it any longer. This worked very well for a very long time, but it is not working so well for me now. I find that the more I cram the anger down, the more it slips through the cracks and comes out anyway, usually in ways that are fucked up and at people and situations that were not the root cause of the anger. It also seems to come from nowhere and whip into a frenzy in less than two seconds, leaving the people in its wake confused and stunned by it. Most times, it doesn't come out as anger at all, but rather as a self-flagellating attitude that leads every time to me feeling defeated.

I don't feel like I am, by nature, a mean person, but I sure as hell can be. Most people can't even imagine me angry, which kind of makes me think of the Bill Bixby incarnation of the Hulk and his "Mr. McGee, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry." And because people can't imagine me angry, it's almost as if my license to be angry has been revoked. But the truth is, so much about life makes me angry right now, and I'm not sure why. Everything really is quite good, by rights. Oh, sure, there's the omnipresent money shit that is going to haunt me till the day I die, but I'm working on finding the Zen in the bullshit that is that. Really, that by itself does not equate to the level anger that I feel frequently.

Much like Joan, I am probably mad at the dirt. But I heard a story yesterday that really hit me right in the stomach and will not let go. We met up with an old college friend of Heidi's, someone we had kind of lost touch with over the years, even though he's lived only 40 miles away for the last 5 years. Anyway, they got back in touch and we met in Des Moines yesterday and caught up. The story he told involved the tale of how he made a radical shift in his life. Having been nothing but an educator for however many years, he found himself at the end of a day with a bottle of 409 in one hand and paper towels in the other. He was wiping off a large table in his classroom and suddenly, he said to himself, "If you're doing this exact same thing in one year, I'm going to kill you." I don't know how much hyperbole played into that statement - perhaps a lot, perhaps none - but I can't stop thinking about that story. It was an example of someone grabbing life by the shirt collar (rather than letting life happen to you) and actually making a change. A year later, he was in a different job and much happier.

I can't help but wonder if I were to say something to that affect just how much change I could create in a year. If I really set my mind to it, could I be doing something in my life that makes me more satisfied and less mad at the dirt? The biggest difference between Heidi's friend and me is that I have two people that I am supporting, who are more or less dependent on my income. Doing a radical career change or something like that would be foolhardy, not to mention that being the least senior member of any job team right now would have me biting my nails and worrying about the security of that employment. But I don't think it has to be something that drastic, and ultimately, that is just a big old excuse to not do anything. There are many little things I could be doing, but I simply lack the follow-through.

The words seems so empty from overuse, but I can't do anything but try again. Despite all my previous efforts that have started and failed, I'm going to say that things are going to change starting right now. How they are going to change I can't tell, but it's going to happen.

A part of me doesn't want to publish this, but I think I have to. I have to be accountable for it. I can write it in a Word document and blow it up just as easy as follow through on it. At least here, there's a certain level of accountability. Granted, I could delete the post and deny its existence, and the number of people that read these words runs probably in the single digits, but saying it out loud and to the universe at large feels right.

So there.

(My opening statement should not be misinterpreted as saying that posts on music blogs are incapable of being serious. Quite the contrary - my favorite posts on those blogs frequently are.)