This completely unrelated, but talk of self-love has gone from encouragement to emotional pornography. People need to remind themselves they aren’t the center of the freakin’ universe. You have to love others too!
Hey, I make a lot of mistakes. No really, I’m just waiting until I have some time to kill to write a rather long novel about all my wonderfully interesting f-ups.
I’m the Queen of weird stores. I can provide references on this, actually. I am the kind of person that finds myself in strange, awkward, and interesting scenarios that otherwise sane people wouldn’t put themselves in for the fear of….missing out in life.
I don’t know exactly where this comes from either. I thought in college it was perhaps being a bit too impressionable to Gonzo journalism (as I wanted to be a journalist for many of my formidable years) and beyond college I called it an existential crisis. Now, I just think I like novelty. Which scares me, to be honest.
I’m not one fit for settling in well. I think this has likely been the downfall to many of my past relationships. Likely, failed friendships also as I require a momentum to keep up with and people naturally want to calm down after awhile. I just…I just worry about wasting time.
My junior year of college I was reading too many modernist poets and the thought of isolation among the emerging modern urban landscape really struck a chord within me. There are lines, I can’t recall now, that I would write inside of calendars, on folders, in journals, etc., from poets like Eliot, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, Dylan Thomas….etc. The more I gravitated toward their written work the more I wanted to learn about who they were as individuals. Some led these various, eclectic lives and I idolized characters like Dylan Thomas whose infamous last words were “I’ve had 18 straight whiskies….I think that’s the record.” before slipping into a coma and dying at 39 years old. That’s a great role model, no?
But they’re rockstars to me. Beyond rockstars— they’re better. They had an opportunity to live this wild life full of expierences, yet have the wherewithall in them to sit down and write it out. Intellectually sharp, they cultivated fans and masses and were able to have people listen to their musings and thoughts.
Tortured artists. I will always have a thing for them
But, at the end of the day what does it, what has it, all done for me?
I don’t know. I used to think I would ramble around until the end of my days. A sort of beautiful butterfly never finding a place to land. I was okay with that. Roots weren’t something I had really desired for more than a few months.
Or so I thought. When I really think about the reason for all my rambling around, why some have to hit the road, why others need to take mescaline, why some drink, smoke, I think that most of us are just looking for some connection, some semblance of proof that we matter and contribute something.
Where this comes from is a question I can’t answer. Are we inherently born with a need to been productive? Or are we taught that productivity = intrinsic human value? Questions for a philosopher, I suppose. And even then, there’s an answer for anything you want to hear, really.
The modernists, my favorite, contrasted budding urban life with an internal loneliness. Many were influenced by the early studies of psychology as it was an emerging field of scientific studies and drew inspiration from Freud who was the first to speculate and is credited for studies on the Ego, Id and the subconscious. They enjoyed the idea that there is what you see, and then there is what lies beneath what you see. There is a member of society, and a society within a member. It creates a sort of segregation within unity that is fascinating to me. I was never someone who needed to physically express myself. I don’t dye my hair crazy colors or pierce weird parts of my body or wear all black – mostly because I don’t require nor appreciate that much physical attention, but moreover, it does a disservice to those like me who want to simultaneously be an outcast and yet fit in. F. Scot wrote in the Great Gatsby one of my all time favorite quotes that will always resonate with me, as it goes beyond situational resonance and more to the core of a human, “I was within and without; Simultaneously enchanted and repelled with the inexhaustible variety of life.”
My god, I couldn’t have summarized that better myself.
I guess what I’m saying here is that within the creative realm there are still many types of individuals without. Without tribe. With inspiration. Without companion. With muse. No artist is ever really with their “tribe” because no artist can really have one if they are an artist – these are my feelings. There are connections, there is the urban landscape and we may all go to the same neon signs, the same smoke shops, the same cafes, but within is another society belonging purely to whomever mind it belongs to. I will always be fascinated with dichotomies and I have lived my life in one in some senses. Started early with a father in both the ministry and government, and manifests today with a need for everything…in my love for the countryside and natural world and intense interest in the socioeconomic developments of urban neighborhoods and its impact on a cities overall culture. Studying humans, while also wanting to be far away from them. Loving traditions while also hating commitments.
I think for some, the mistakes, the strange stories, the odd places they find themselves is less a tall tell sign of incompatibility with order and more an attempt to strike a balance. Can we be everything? Fort Wayne really embodies this concept for me; a desire to be a big city, yet remain the comfort of a small town familiarity. A desire to attract new people, an inability to *really* include them. A hate for dis-ingeniousness, a need to maintain face. Etc., I love this city. And the struggle it has to figure out what it is I think echoes the struggle many of us mid-westerners feel, what do we want. Are we comfortable too comfortable in our small towns? Do we branch out? That welcomes in some really nasty things the world has out there. What are the pros and cons?
All this ramblin’ around and I’ll tell you something – I think what you do is just find a few things that you like, and stick it out. I have fluttered enough to known that investments have a higher return than friviolous spending. Of course, I wouldn’t have really understood this had I not gone into emotional debt from time to time. But someone to know you can offer much better perspective than a stranger who pretends to know the answers. Of course, listen and be receptive with an open mind – but I had to finally tell myself that all this outward lookin pailed in comparison to what was right within.
I guess I needed the city to feel the loneliness and connect back within to myself. I guess that may be what all the modernists needed…a mirror.