I’m at the undesirable place of near numbness that comes from forgetting not only how things work but why. It probably is a result of my disappointment in relationships. It doesn’t mean it is a person’s fault, just that some people are not always allies in my happiness. Example 1: sending a text of “I’m thinking about you etc.” followed by no response, dispelling the illusion of distant friends being just a text away. Or Example 2: friendship dynamics changing on terms you don’t control where you get dealt the sucky hand.
The other day (meaning weeks ago) God told me something. I feel like I should call “God” something else because the fact that I still hear good things from Him through my aura of apathy still surprises me. Apathy feels like eating greasy fried chicken. The idea of apathy as a “comfort food” is why I resort to it (accidentally), but then my heart feels greasy and sluggish.
…So back to the thing God told me. I heard, “I have to be willing to be smaller than my story or else I can’t experience it.” Let me explain. What that meant to me was as long as I’m the narrator of my life, my life can never be any bigger than who I am, and my life can never surprise me. It’s the same as a writer; if the entire story has to come from myself inherently, without outside sources, then it can be no greater than myself.
For a change let’s say God is my narrator. Then I’m not in charge of the plot anymore. I can be surprised or be at the mercy of not knowing what happens next or find myself overwhelmed even or challenged by unpredictability. I can feel incredibly free. So back to the fried chicken/apathy thing. Fried chicken is predictable. And my life has become flat like elevator music. In other words it’s music because it exists as music but it doesn’t make me feel anything I really want to feel.
Then apathy turns into the disease called “So What-arrhea” which is when every idea you used to think was fun or promising now feels like shit or “So What” because you feel depression coming on. And then you muster up the energy to say, “No Depression. I don’t want you here today…or ever,” even though saying those words are so hard somehow. And it doesn’t matter if you move to Austin, Texas or Atlanta because you don’t know how to picture yourself happy in either place because it has become easier to imagine yourself as slightly unhappy all the time except with scattered days/hours of happiness. And to tell the truth you don’t have the slightest damn clue where the fuck you should fit on a map.
And there’s this “hero” version of myself I always pictured becoming one day who had purpose and was successful and who adults always told “You will do great things”, but that “hero” looks more like a flawed person who believed in the Santa Clause version of myself, but I look in the mirror one day and realize I AM the Santa Clause so how can that be anything special. If you follow me, you become smaller than your life in a bad way and you are your own ceiling.
It’s really Toy Story 2 when Woody realizes he used to have an entire show on telivision, “Woody’s Round-Up”, and he was something special to lots of kids. He had worth. But then he finds the four letters “A-N-D-Y” on the bottom of his boot and that is what makes him special, not a bunch of kids watching him on a television show. So instead of feeling encouraged that I’m special because I’m “G-O-D’-S” (want some wine with that cheese?), I feel unprepared to know who I want to be, what I want to do, and how to feel the meaning again in doing it.
What happens when you want to be special not because you are, but to prove a point to everyone else. If you can be special in a big way then maybe that can make your friends who disappoint you feel guilty for not responding to care or love. (Disclaimer: I have several great friends, but due to where I’m at right now it’s easier to harp on the places that aren’t so good.)
So there you have it. In college I got a 4.0 so people could know I’m smart, and I could use that as empirical evidence that they could never call me lazy or think less of me. And now I need something else. And I have an unhealthy attachment to approval that I wish would vanish. Good news though. The people who don’t care enough to read my blog are the one’s I’m talking bad about. See how that works out. So thank you for doing this archaic thing I like to call “effort in friendship.”
P.S. After reading this (if I were you) I’d be like maybe I should send Jackson cookies or a card. He is in the pinnacle of his darkest hour! But I’m really fine. If you’re a writer or friend of writers then you are probably the kind of person who can liquify on the spot and then get yourself right back up and feel better, and go hang out with friends. It’s almost insanity, but it’s an actual process. Here’s to becoming smaller than your story in a good way.