Notes from a Starbucks in Mexico
I don’t really know how to say what I want to say. I know that I feel this near constant tension that makes it hard to relax, and that the caffeine has something to do with it, but that’s old news by now I’m sure if you’ve read any of my other confessionals. I guess I’m trying to say that I want to change, that I don’t want to waste any more time stuck in this headspace of immense worry and comparison, of anger, resentment, and jealosy. That I want to get out, I want to get out so badly, but some days I feel like I just don’t know how.
At present, I’m out of the job. That’s something I feel guilty about because I know it was avoidable, but the way that I always seem to be behind on things, and the way I always seem to be so exhausted by own thinking, maybe it wasn’t. I can’t remember the last time I felt calm for more than a few days in a row, so often does my anxiety spike up and freeze me in this terrible and tense paralisis. You know that scene from Doctor Strange where Stephen traps Wanda in the mirror dimension, and then slowly sends mirror spikes at her so that if she moves, she’s stabbed? Well that’s how I’m feeling right now.
Sure, this has something to do with the fact that I’m a caffiene addict, and caffeine makes me jumpy, agitatated, and it’s very difficult to focus, but there’s something underneath that addiction to. Some deeper thorn in my head that manifests as this belief that I will be forever cast out, forever left out, forever misunderstood, and forever falling behind. And, while even having the courage to write about the way I’m feeling is a good start and an excellent way to blow off some steam, I’d really like to get past this.
Maybe my expectations are too high. Maybe my hoping for a “brighter day” is keeping the current day dim in comparison. Maybe life is always hard, and maybe our darker demons are always at our door, and what makes life beautiful is the pushing past them. So maybe that’s the good news here, and maybe that’s what I’m doing now.
The doubt alone wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t also coupled and tripled with doubt about the doubt. If you’re anything like me than you know what I’m talking about: the spiral. Uneasy feelings are one thing, but then to be caught in a wave of fear that these uneasy feelings mean something terrible about you, or are the reason you are trapped, falling behind, forever a loser, whatever the case may be. I know that a lot of this has to do with belief and expectation. Hell, belief and expectation are the reason that the market is crashing right now, and if beleifs are strong enough to crash a global economy then I had better beleive that they are strong enough to crash me.
But if it’s a question of beleifs, then how do I change my beliefs? How do I take the parts of my brain that are creating this utterly stuck reality and change them to the beliefs of a champion. Or, at the very least the beliefs of someone who believes in themselves, someone who feels passionate about their mission, and who is willing to do what it takes to turn those passions into realities?
This of course is where the demon of comparison comes into play. At the moment my partner seems to be that kind of person. She wakes up early, excited to get to work on her projects, and she’s getting a lot of well deserved recognition for it. I’d say I’m feeling a healthy amount of jealousy about this, which I hate. I wish I were feeling no jealousy at all. I wish I could just feel in my heart what I know in my head: that all of her hard work is the direct cause of all of the blessings the world is bestowing upon her now, and that I could have simillar blessings in my own right if I worked as hard as she did on the things I cared about. But what do I care about right now except this novel I’ve decided to devote the summer to. Is it a bad thing that I’ve decided to place priority on something that could only potentially make me money years down the line? Of course it’s not, but still it’s scary.
And I would say that’s what I’m haunted by almost every fucking day. Sure there are some days that are better than others but still, I’d really like to feel calm. To be at ease. To know that what is meant for is coming, and to not feel as sorry for myself as I often do when thinking about other people’s blessings. I know that that road leads absolutely nowhere, but I’m a person with a lot of strong feelings and not a lot of places to put them except into my art which, at the moment isn’t making at money.
I know that can change in an instant. And I know that having one foot in and the other out of the door is no way to be an artist. I want so badly put into the world the things I know I can put into the world, but this fucking wall of what ifs often freezes me in my tracks.
Well, even though I was crying all throughout this entry I do feel ever so slightly better now, and I think I got my answer to: go make art. So that’s what I think I’m going to do, even if I have to cry myself through that. I think I’ll keep writing these informal confessionals here. They help me clear my head, and I know nobody reads them.