For so many years I have been convinced that I understood exactly what was going on in my own head – that I had a firm handle on my own reality and that I was absolutely in control of my life – able to control my depressive tendencies, my anger and other foibles. However, the last few years have been rather unsettling and more recently downright disturbing, as I seem to be losing that feeling of control as well as unearthing various contradictions within myself which are undermining everything I once held true about who and what I think I am. I am now wondering if I have actually just been the victim of my own deceit for all these years. Could it be true that ever since my teenage years, I have been successfully pulling the wool over my own eyes in order to avoid dealing with, or admitting things to myself that may be difficult or painful. Now I’ve smelled the rat and questions are being asked… but on the surface of it, the answers to those questions seem confused and contradictory – they don’t really make any sense and I can’t seem to identify what I actually think. How can something be both black and white at the same time? Well, of course that is not possible, however I seem to have mastered the art of avoiding grey – or perhaps it’s the exact opposite – there is no black and white any more and everything is actually just grey? There. Good example – I can’t even decide which way round my metaphor should be.
An example of such a confusing contradiction presented itself only a couple of weeks ago, when someone left a comment on one of my previous posts questioning why I was writing this blog. The comment didn’t make any overt accusations, but I couldn’t help feeling they were perhaps implied. So, am I writing this blog for myself as stated in my introductory post? If that is the case, then why do I care if anyone reads it or not? If I were truly just writing this for myself, I really wouldn’t care if anyone else reads it or not. However, the truth is that I do in fact want people to read the blog. Naturally the next question to ask is ‘why?’. Is this blog in fact just some egocentric, self-piteous wallowing? An attempt to garner the attention and sympathy of strangers because deep down I don’t feel I get sufficient attention, sympathy or understanding from my family and friends? This thought absolutely horrifies me. I don’t want to be that person; some desperate, lonely attention-seeker, pouring out his guts to the world for a little sympathy?? I hate to admit it, but perhaps there is some truth in this? But it isn’t the whole truth. I am also genuinely writing this for myself in an attempt to clarify some of the confusion and mess that has currently taken residence in my head.
As I tortured over my motivations, another question occurred to me – why does anyone write a blog? Surely my motivations can’t be so dissimilar to anyone elses? If bloggers didn’t want anyone to read their blogs, then they wouldn’t write and publish a blog – they would write a private diary, right? That made me feel a bit better… momentarily, but then I realised that my blog is only about me. Not about world peace, or an attempt to offer a service, or to help other people… me. Selfish. Self-centred. Egotistical. U g l y .
It is now 8 or 9 days after I first started writing this post… I’ve really struggled with this one and still don’t really know where the truth lies. On the one hand I’m writing this blog for me to try and get a grasp back on my life, on the other hand I seem to want the world to read it, but why would they want to? What is of any interest here for anyone else? Perhaps others will read it and identify with some of my issues and perhaps it may even help them understand themselves a bit better? Or perhaps I’m just kidding myself and actually I am just seeking some sort of attention. Honestly? I don’t know. Perhaps both are true.
Another contradiction in my life is the desire to be successful, respected and preferably rich, but then not wanting a job which is going to take over my entire life. I actually have a reasonably paid job in which I don’t have huge responsibility, so when I go home at the end of the day, I don’t think about it. Perfect. However I hate the fact that I am just someone’s assistant, and feel like I have not lived up to my true potential…. then I think that actually I don’t care about that, that there is more to life than job status, fast cars and expensive holidays… then I feel like I am wasting my life and I can never achieve anything by continuing as I am… back and forth, back and forth. Then when you throw into the mix the fact that my great love is recording music, the career path is one sure way to annihilate any and all creativity left in me. Then throw into the mix the fact that I am a single man… hmmm perhaps lets not go there just yet. Can of worms.
OK actually I will touch on it just for the sake of another example: I love to travel and I love going on holiday. I also love being single, free and independent. Problem is, I don’t like travelling or holidays by myself. I’ve done this a fair bit now and although I don’t mind it and have met some great people along the way, I want to share the experience with someone and I don’t necessarily mean a ‘partner’ – a friend will do just fine, however all my best friends are now married with kids – I have no one left to go with any more. So I desperately want a holiday, but don’t want to go by myself. Not exactly a contradiction – but certainly a conflict.
I have spent such a long time filling my life and my time at home with things that I enjoy; watching TV, boxsets, movies, playing Civilization (computer game), playing the piano, writing songs, recording songs, recording other people’s songs, cooking, gardening, surfing the internet, building my family tree, planning holidays, taking photographs, playing with my cats, playing scrabble with strangers on my HTC Desire… the list goes on. I have built my perfect little cocoon, surrounded by all my toys and fun things, that actually I never really want to leave the house any more. I never, ever, get bored at home, in fact there are never enough hours in the day to do all the things I’d like to do. But what is this ‘cocoon’ that I have built? Is it my haven? my paradise? my home? Or is it in fact my prison? The world no longer seems to be my oyster. Perhaps all these things that I enjoy so much at home, are in fact merely self-appointed distractions to stop myself from having too much time to think about how dull and disappointing my life really is. Most people at this point in their life, find they have children to occupy their minds and stop them thinking about how crap their marriage is or how miserable their lives are, I however, do not, and even my clever attempt at distracting myself from the horrible reality with all these things that I ‘love’, is starting to fail. Cracks are appearing in the walls…
As I become increasingly restless, I begin to look at every aspect of my life… I inspect the newly discovered cracks and write a blog to help me analyse what the hell is going on. But I think I am looking for some sort of utopian answers. If I do ‘a’ then everything will be better again, or if I do ‘b’ things will improve. However, I find myself wondering whether I am looking for the right kind of change and more importantly, for the right reasons. What a lovely romantic idea to up sticks and go and live abroad for a while (see list of goals). The reality though, I think would be entirely different. I think if I did go and live abroad somewhere, I would very quickly feel very lonely, isolated and bored. Out of the frying pan into the raging inferno of hell. On the other hand if I were moving abroad with a partner or friend, then that would be fun and I’d like it. That brings me back to the ‘being single’ thing again which I am determined not to talk about yet…
So every solution I think of and every newborn dream, I view with growing suspicion – is that ‘ideal’ I’m dreaming of merely a wolf in sheep’s clothing? The few ambitions and dreams I have left seem to be morphing before my eyes into things that are ugly and dangerous… any motivation I have to strive for something better, fails before I can even take the first step, so then there is nothing left. If you no longer have dreams or ambitions, then quite frankly, there is no point in living.
My conclusion to all this, is that I think I need to stop questioning my own motivations in such brutal detail (as it causes great confusion and doesn’t really achieve anything), and also that I need to forge a set of new and realistic dreams and ambitions… and perhaps finally let go of some of the old ones that haven’t worked out, and once again step forward with verve…