Tuesday, January 10, 2017

It's not what it isn't.

I get very philosophical at night. As I quiet down my mind wanders and I'm able to think cohesively. Being tired brings with it a type of slow-form lyricism and I think to myself that what I'm thinking is beautiful and I should write it down.

Alas, it's bed time, and I shouldn't be pulling out a computer, or getting out of bed because of a thought I'm barely hanging on to.

When I was a child I would write in my diary every night before bed. Maybe that's what I should return to. It's difficult now, since I don't have my own space, but maybe I could try it out, here and there, and see how it feels.

This past weekend was my birthday. I spent the day with my friend S. We ordered food and watched Swiss Army Man. It was the perfect film for me. Dark and flatulent.

It was probably the most successful of birthdays I've had in recent memory. I usually try and avoid any ceremony. I always end up disappointed. People are broke and tired in early January and I don't get much attention - and isn't that what you're supposed to get on your birthday - attention?

This year my two closest friends are the only two who got me anything. Solid gifts too. S got me tickets to see Amy Schumer and C gave me a 50$ amazon gift card, which was perfect since I had about 400$ of books in my cart when she sent it to me. All of the best of 2016 / what to read in 2017 book lists are out and they make me crazy with book lust.

C also took the time to film her dog in a birthday hat while singing happy birthday to me. That made me happy. I mean, that's all I want, really.

I always feel like a birthday is really a test of who knows you, and who doesn't. And who will take a minute to care, and who won't. Both C and S know me well, and it showed. And I appreciate it.

I'll most likely write them each a note about it. Maybe I'll do that next.

My mother will be heading to Cuba for about 10 days, so I'll have some quiet and some space for a little while. That might be good for me. I like being able to stretch out a little, and the quiet is good for me.

Here's an excerpt from my letter to C:

My birthday brings up a lot. First and foremost, it’s right after the holidays and people are broke, tired and generally annoyed. It’s always been impossible to plan anything and in general a lot of people forget.

I think it’s also that birthdays are generally meant to be a time for socializing and “going out” and stuff and I don’t really do those things. And although I have no desire to go out and do certain things, I do get lonely. And sometimes a part of me thinks that there’s a distinction between “not wanting” to go out, and not being able to, and that really I’m just not part of that world. It’s not that I want to go out. It’s that I want to be someone who is capable of fun.

My birthday being right after new years means it’s an extension of what new year's evokes, culturally speaking: a desire to look over the last year of your life, and to plan for the upcoming year.

2016 was rough for me. I’m tired. I have a lot of worries about my job and working, and my ability to work in general. So looking forward to 2017 means extending that tangle of fears, since I am looking for employment in order to ideally quel some of those anxieties. I try and let it go as much as I can, but sometimes that’s really hard.

I also think that now, for the first time ever, really, I think about what I’m missing by not having a partner. I’m able to live alone, and am nearly resolved to the idea of it, but there are times I miss the comfort of being cared for, and having that favourite person you’re intimate with.

In a lot of ways, as I become more resoundingly myself in a lot of ways, I also question what parts of my character are set in stone and what remains malleable. Over the last year I have worked on my compassion and kindness, and I’ve also taken a step in trying to more actively live my values.

And though the parts of me that always ask questions, and is curious and existential, is a fundamental part of who I am, it’s also alienating, and I grow tired of it.

In terms of how this relates back to my birthday, it leaves me asking myself about what I should and shouldn’t expect from the people around me. What do I expect from my friendships? From my family? I am not owed. I do not deserve. But there are ways people show care, and do these people care about me?

It’s just so ironic. I want things to be light and easy - but I am not light an easy, not really.

My frontal lobe is throbbing. Sometimes I feel like my desire to understand and organize information is infinitely larger than my ability to learn and understand, and so my brain just gets overwhelmed.

I think right now my hang-up is questioning what parts of me keep me lonely, and if I’m willing or able to do the work to live differently.

I’m just so tired these days.

It's 2017. This is the future. 

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