Sunday, August 09, 2015

46

A beautiful Aphex Twin track plays. I listen to it, and think of how pretty it is. I remember discovering this album a lifetime ago, in all its mysterious wonder.

I look out the window at the dry grasses rippling in the wind. Beyond them, the waves undulate and crash. A wall of clouds and fog transition the horizon from sea to sky.

I feel the sun through the windows, warming my feet. I sip some water and breathe deeply. I turned 46 a little over 3 weeks ago.

The past few years, I've spent the night before my birthday re-reading the previous years' blog posts. I've been writing them almost as long as this blog. The quality varies, but it's always interesting to see where I was a year ago. Or 8. Life was rather challenging a year ago. Things have a way of working out, though.

***

At the moment, I try to think of life like this:

Every day, you get dealt a hand of cards. Some days, it's a great hand. Some days, it's a terrible hand. You play it the best you can.

Whether you win or lose one hand isn't important, and you shouldn't get too hung up on it either way. You keep playing. You'll probably get a better or worse hand soon. Things may be different tomorrow, next week, next year.

Or this:
Life is struggle. I don't mean that in a bad way. To quote someone else [emphasis added]:

You never really want an object, you only want the wanting, which means the solution is to set your sights on an impossible ideal and work hard to reach it. You won't. That's not just okay, that's the point.

Part of becoming a mature adult means fully assuming your own personal freedom. Not just the freedom to abide by an ideal, but the freedom to create one by which to abide. The way to create such an ideal is to set your sights on the impossible.

When you live your life this way, regardless of the doubts you may feel in the moment (and especially how you doubt your own motives), if you're ultimately able to make those doubts a part of your overall creative project, to fully assume control over your own life and live it in real-time, you will realize at the end that it was all worth it.


But not before that, because to be alive means, at the deepest level, to struggle in this very fashion.

There are countless obstacles. You already know how life ends. Trying to be better or to make things better for others is the point. Not even whether you succeed, or how much you succeed. It's the trying. 

***

I spent the first 15 years of my life learning I was different from everyone else.
I spent the next 15 years of my life struggling because I was so different from everyone else.
The last 15 years of my life, I've wondered whether I really am different from everyone else.
For the upcoming years, I hope to not worry about it so much.

***

I had a nice party not long ago. Low key. I hadn't really expected people to show up, and in the first hour, it looked like it was going to be tiny. But before long, my home was filled with wonderful people, and I realized somehow I had ended up with all of these special friends in my life.

I started a new job a month ago, and I still can't believe my good fortune. I haven't felt this excited about work in a long time. Maybe since the original Rhapsody...and that was over 10 years ago. I'm learning new things, meeting new people, and look forward to going to work every day.

I still have challenges. My arm is still not 100%, though I think it is finally starting to get better. I hope. That problem has led to some of the weight I've lost creeping back (well, that, and letting myself off the strict diet leash).

But in general it feels like I've attained a level of ease and peace in my life that feels different and new. I'm a little mistrustful of it, sometimes wishing for more of the burning anxiety that drove me so hard when I was younger (but did it really help?). I still struggle with myself and music and ambition and life and countless other things. Now I am starting to grasp that this isn't the prelude, this is the theme.

I may even be starting to enjoy it.

Outside, the grass ripples, and the waves crash, 

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