Sunday, November 06, 2011

Out the Revolving Door

I can't believe it's been a couple of years since I've updated here. But what can I say? At the time, I thought I needed to direct all my writing energy elsewhere. And then I thought blogging was cheating on the writing I 'should' be doing. But it turns out, if I don't have an outlet for what I want to say, I kind of resent what I must to say to make a living.

I wish I was back with some sense of accomplishment or enlightenment about the meaning of my life, in particular. But I don't have that at all. From the last time I wrote to now, I feel as if I have been in a revolving door. Pushed in at one side and out the other having expended much more effort than it should have taken to get so relatively short a distance, if anywhere at all.

Everything I have, I think, I feel has been stripped down and away. Making it hard for me to believe I ever really had anything at all. Most days I would just as well prefer to retreat, but I go out. I do my job, then I return to where I started and prepare to do the same the next day.

I don't have a personal connection to where I live, but I might just as well stay here than move somewhere else because my life would be just the same wherever I went.

This not what I thought life would be like. It's not depressing; it's just inconsequential. If I had aspirations of grandeur, I might be ambitious. But I'm not. I've had some pretty remarkable experiences, but they are no better or worse than the remarkable experiences someone else may have had in life.

A few years ago, actually now that I think about it -quite a few years ago, I was walking in San Francisco. I stopped into a shop for no reason and saw a Lalique figurine. Immediately, I wanted that figurine. I couldn't afford it, of course. I was in graduate school. I admired it for a moment and left the shop. A few years after that, when I was settling into a new place after getting a job, I remembered that figurine. I took to the internet and eventually I found the figurine. Before I bought a sofa, or a table and chairs, I bought that figurine. When it arrived, it was much smaller than I remembered from the shop, but there it was. I had it. I put it on a shelf. Occasionally I looked at it. I dusted it. It had no purpose or importance other than my admiration of it.

Since then, I have taken that figurine with me wherever I've gone. Sometimes putting it on a shelf, sometimes keeping it in its box. But I have held onto it even when I have thrown most other things away. It probably isn't worth as much as I paid for it and it does absolutely nothing. But it's mine.

I am a knick-knack. This much I have decided. For a while, I thought I would just sit down and write something proper about that. But that seems daunting. Instead I'll just chip away at it. Perhaps in retrospect it'll make itself into something. Or it won't.

What does that mean? That I'm a knick knack. I figured it out when I was thinking about what it is and who it is I am in the scheme of things.

I don't have a specific purpose. I am not essential. I am not important.

None of those observations are meant to seem disparaging about myself. In objective terms, I just mean the relative impact I may have on others isn't that much. Everyone in my life could just as easily have never met or encountered me. No one needs me. Nothing I think or do can't be thought or done by someone else.

On the one hand that's rather humbling. There are very, very few people who can say with surety and veracity that their lives are essential and important in the larger scheme of things. It doesn't mean they aren't intrinsically valuable.

But for the most part, if anyone has a purpose or is cherished in any way by another, it is by way of indulgence. It's not that anyone couldn't get along without another, it's that they don't want to get on without someone (or even something) in particular.

I don't have that role in anyone's life. Sometimes that makes me very sad, but then I grab a hold of myself. It's only an indulgence on my part, me feeling sorry for myself. In fact, wanting to wanted and important in another's life is only an indulgence of my sense of self. I exist whether I am wanted or not.

So let me also give the other parts of that reality, lest you think it's wholly depressing.

I am unique. In every way. There's has never been, nor will there ever be someone exactly like me. And that is a marvel. A very humbling and magnificent marvel. Who I am, the thoughts I think, the feelings I experience and the life unfolding in front of me is absolutely incredible at the same time it is insignificant. Just like and even with 7 billion other people inhabiting the planet right now, no one is like another. Like a single snowflake or grain of sand.

As unique as I am, I am also ordinary. There is nothing about me that is particularly exceptional. I am so quirky, in fact, that some might be disgusted by my oddity.

I am smart. Not so smart that I could revolutionize anything at all. But smart enough that some people don't like to talk to me at cocktail parties, or play games with me. I figure out the plot twists of movies minutes after the credits. I can look at a pile of jumbled pieces and figure out how they fit together.

But I am also dense. No matter how many times it's explained to me, I cannot understand how insurance works or selling money. I can analyze people, but I don't understand them at all. I can tell what people are going to do, but have no idea what to do about it. I can connect with someone on a very deep level, but I loathe day-to-day contact with people and the kind of socializing that puts others at ease.

I'm not a great beauty, but with some effort, I can pull it together. But most days, I forget or don't think anything I have to do on that particular day merits the effort that would be necessary to do that.

The job I have is useful. But I could be quickly, probably easily, replaced. The people who seek me out are most likely trying to use me for their own ends and the people I seek out are merely a means to getting my job done. I do a serviceable job overall: somedays very good, others not so much.

These days I have anxiety attacks. I don't like talking on the phone. If I get really frazzled, I stutter. My hands rattle so much I can hardly hold a cup of coffee.  Spending so much time alone, when I do get the chance to talk to someone else, I go on for too long. I tell stories in circles instead of a straight line.

Too many people freak me out; too much noise makes me jumpy.

The people who love or care about me get along seeing me infrequently or rarely, with no consequence. And when they do spend time with me, it might be more exhausting for them than it is for me.

In sum, anyone who honestly says they want to see or talk to me on any given day, is doing so because they want to, not because they must. I am the cliched pill. I know it.

I am a knick knack. And I only recently realized I have been one since I was born.

1 comment:

Tafari said...

Wait!!! Am I reading a real post???

Cherish the figure. You do have an impact! That's why you're my friend.

I do miss you on my visits to NYC, I have to say that! I know you're living quite the distance but next time, I will make it worth your while because I need your brand of humor & comfort.

Keep coming back and writing. As you know, it is the ultimate release and a great ay to focus your energy....