Wrong About Lots of Things, Probably

I did­n’t real­ize that one of the side-effects of writ­ing less and lis­ten­ing more would be that I can’t write when I want to. Every­thing gets rusty through dis­use & l’en­tropie est le seule­ment dieu. I should have real­ized this from the get-go, but was­n’t pay­ing enough atten­tion. There are plen­ty of things I wish I could pay more atten­tion to, but my biggest strug­gle for the last 18 months has been try­ing to find a hap­py men­tal state. You can’t take time to breathe with trees when you’re try­ing to escape some dark bear chas­ing you. Doom med­i­ta­tion helped until the class instruc­tor changed and it became gold­en light craft time.

This is not a crit­i­cism of that method­ol­o­gy; it sim­ply does not work for me. I haven’t been a gold­en light per­son for 25 years & while I love craft time, it typ­i­cal­ly involves an inde­cent amount of whiskey and lots of black and red ink.

Marie Kon­do is the big shit these days; her method­ol­o­gy for reduc­ing mate­r­i­al clut­ter has been help­ful — I’ve got­ten rid of a ton of things unneed­ed. This is most­ly a phys­i­cal reflec­tion of how I’ve got­ten rid of less tan­gi­ble things in the last 18 months. I got a call from some­one I’ve col­lab­o­rat­ed with a few times over the past decade. The Lot­tery League is com­ing up again this year, and I’m not being includ­ed. This is total­ly fine, but I thought it was fun­ny that some­one I haven’t seen or talked to in 3 years told me he wants to make sure our friend­ship con­tin­ues. This is a main rea­son I’ve stopped using most social media. The pur­suit & main­te­nance of ersatz friend­ships & rela­tion­ships is not some­thing I have capac­i­ty for while being bear-hunt­ed. Out of the 300 or so peo­ple I was con­nect­ed to online only 2 ever reach out to me for fre­quent hang­outs. I like know­ing who’s real & very much enjoy not hav­ing to read every­one’s show­er thoughts. Insta­gram is the dev­il, my QoL has increased since delet­ing my account.

Lots of clean­ing house. Lots of pod­casts. Lots of real­iza­tions that, in my mid­dle age, my capac­i­ty to shift with cul­ture decreas­es pro­por­tion­al­ly with my desire to do so. Give me heavy met­al t‑shirts, weblogs, din­ers, a bea­gle howl­ing after a rab­bit, retro video games, Richard Brauti­gan & David Bowie.

I’m doing my best to be Switzer­land in the cul­ture wars — civil­i­ty & politesse get you pret­ty far, but see­ing your­self in the dumb shit oth­er peo­ple think is even bet­ter. I’ve had some real­ly igno­rant opin­ions in my 38 years, and I’ve changed them and will con­tin­ue to change them. I basi­cal­ly try to deter­mine if the per­son has fun­da­men­tal­ist beliefs about their side in the war & if that’s the case, I remain civ­il & polite until I can dis­en­gage. Racist uncles get the same treat­ment as the folks who think men are trash. I used to think gay folks were deviant and that I deserved to date a mod­el. Dumb shit, but I have been, and hope­ful­ly always will be will­ing to learn more and change my mind. Plen­ty of peo­ple aren’t & I con­sid­er them kondo-ed.

I get that the largest imped­i­ment to my hap­pi­ness is me — my high stan­dards, how quick­ly I might write off some­thing before I under­stand it, how scorched earth I am when I per­ceive betray­al, or my extreme­ly low thresh­old for putting up with the sim­ple bull­shit that keeps soci­ety’s wheels greased. I’d be the worst politi­cian. Cog­ni­tive Behav­ioral Ther­a­py sim­ply does­n’t work for me. I’m not going to brain­wash myself away from the bear, I need to learn how to wres­tle it and not get mauled to death.

I stopped writ­ing because I want­ed to lis­ten to oth­ers. I for­got that writ­ing is most­ly how I lis­ten to myself.