Saturday, June 13, 2009

During my own long dark tea-time of the soul, I come face-to-face with my own dismal view of reality. The way I see it, there are two choices: to live or to die. Since I would never intentionally inflict pain on those I care about and who ostensibly care about me, the latter is not an option. Coercion through rewards in a mystical afterlife or some kind of divine retribution does not figure into my life, so those are not considerations. Should I ever reach the point where I honestly feel my loved ones would be better off without me, then the question must be revisited. For now, I’ll live.

And since I have been blessed (or cursed) with being born in a ‘civilized’ society, there are certain expectations, like bathing regularly, wearing clothing, a modicum of politeness in daily interactions. I can deal with all those. I have to eat to maintain this physical body. Exercise, while an annoyance, keeps the body healthy and may ward off those debilitating conditions which encourage unwanted dependence on others, so throw exercise and a reasonably decent diet into the daily necessities.

Since our society has regrettably moved away from self-sufficient existence, earning a living is encouraged which, again, leads to two choices (keep it simple for now!): enjoy the work or just bring home a paycheck. If at all possible, the former is highly preferable. To facilitate that option, an appropriate level of education is necessary. Granted, learning is of value unto itself and, given the financial means I would be satisfied as a professional student; for now I’m simply being practical. My much-delayed education is incurring a horrific debt load, but life is a debt that can never be repaid, so I can’t dwell on that burden.

Then there are the people with whom I interact daily. Not family so much; we get along pretty well (the immediate and important ones, that is). Everyone else…well, I claim not to care what people think, but then I find myself tailoring my actions/dress/commentary to fit their expectations. Why is that? And how do I stop? Even with loved ones I need to speak up more, cut the passive-aggressive crap, and let them experience the full me. Only then can we have the genuine relationship I crave.

On Facebook I quoted author Rita Mae Brown: “The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself.” I need to take those words to heart and live accordingly. Maybe then I would feel better about myself and the realtiy which faces me every day, rather than wondering if it’s really worth getting out of bed in the morning.

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