Friday, July 26, 2013

Can I Call This My Quarter-Life Crisis?

It's been a while since I put something up here. So let's try something different.

Usually, I have an idea. Or inspiration strikes.

This is neither.

This is one of those moments when you write down the hard truths that you hide from yourself everyday. The ones you don't talk about. The ones you don't think about. The ones that you don't tell people about because you think they might judge you.

But they're there all right. I feel them clawing at the back of my head, waiting for me to look at them. Because once I see them, I can't ignore them anymore. Unless I find some other way of distracting myself. Like Douglas Adams' SEP fields, they simply become Somebody Else's Problem.

That's why this has to be a list. That's why this has to be shorn of all ornamentation. I'm trying to surprise myself into saying something I normally wouldn't.

1. No one cares about my hard truths

This is one of the hardest to face up to. Yet once I do, it makes everything else a lot easier.

Nothing on this list is a "hard truth", as such. 

People starve. That's a hard truth. Eventually, all trace of our existence will be wiped out and humanity may as well never have existed. That's hard too. An ideal government is probably a pipe dream. Pretty hard.

My problems are not hard truths. Not by a long shot. I'm not even sure if they're true or not. And even though I find them hard to accept, to most other people, they will mean nothing. 

I tried to dodge this. The fact that I'm sharing this on a blog instead of writing it down on a torn sheet from my notebook is one way of doing that (as is using 'you' repeatedly to try to engage you, the readers, and win your empathy). But then, not a lot of people read my blog. That's a hard truth for me, but not for you. 

I will share this and some people will read it. Infinitely many more will not. For every person I reach, I am ignored by millions. And the people I reach will invariably be friends who will say nice things without meaning them, although, to their credit, they may believe they do. 

What's more, the very desire I have to reach more than this small circle is monstrously presumptuous. I have nothing to say that no one hasn't said before. If I do, such things are specific to my life alone, and hence will interest no one other than myself and, again, my well-meaning friends, let alone the bulk of humanity. Yet, I expect to capture something essential, something universal, something human that everyone can identify with. 

I'm bound to fail. 

If I succeed, I'm bound to repeat what others have already said. The world is simply too old for originality. There are only refreshing permutations of oft-expressed ideas.

How do I know that? I don't. It sounded deep, it sounded meaningful, but it's utter horseshit, let's face it. I'm no scholar, I'm no philosopher, I'm nothing. I barely know how to survive on my own. What do I know of anyone other than myself? How can I claim to understand human nature if all I've been exposed to is my own nature, which I still don't understand? Oh sure, I've observed other people, but do I know what they think? What they feel? What they dream? Not a lot of people talk about that kind of stuff openly because they're scared of revealing too much about themselves, scared of seeming weak, unintelligent, whiny.

No. That paragraph contradicted itself. I don't know for sure that that's why people don't bare their insecurities on a regular basis. All I know is that that's why I don't do it. Or, rather, why I don't like to do it. For some inexplicable reason, I find myself doing it with increasing frequency. 

I've never asked another human being how and why they manage to hide the maelstrom of doubts, fears and critical voices in their heads because I don't know if they have them too and I'm afraid that if I ask them, I'll only reveal something small and painful and ugly about myself that no one will want to know and everyone will be repelled by.

That's the way to do it. 'I'. Not 'them'. Not 'us'. Not 'you'. Sentences using the first person are the only way to really face up to your, no, my demons; not by projecting them onto everyone else by using other pronouns.

My demons. How melodramatic. I don't have demons. I have tiny niggling doubts which burrow into my brain and stay there for me, in my idiocy, to pick at even though they're inextricably lodged into the lining of my skull. Or maybe my foolishness lies in assuming that such is the case. If I have a problem, I should solve it, not complain. Examine it, yes, but then use what I learn from it to get rid of it.

What have I learnt? I'll turn twenty this year. I've been a burden on this earth for two decades and I've learnt nothing but trivia and half-knowledge. 

Wait, who am I to claim to know important things? But then, everyone else seems so sure, so confident, so well-read, so eloquent about the world, its problems, its histories, its rules, its genesis, and what do I know? 

No, I'm not a burden on this earth. This earth is massive. It's teeming with life. It's crammed with the decaying bodies of the dead. My 49 kilos of human flesh, matter, quarks, however you choose to look at it, are not going to weigh the earth down significantly, whether my body's propped upright and walking, talking and breathing or whether it's laid down flat and covered with dirt.

So no, I'm not a burden. Consequently, there is not going to be any noticeable lightening when my weight disappears. My place will simply have been occupied by another; it probably already has been.

I have no problems. Other people have problems. Other people deal with their problems and they become better people because of it. I have neuroses that I refuse to deal with and that's all.

Am I incapable of doing so? Or am I capable but unwilling? Honestly, I don't know which one is more pathetic. But can anything be pathetic in an apathetic world?

No, that's exaggerating things. 'Apathetic' is such a negative word. The world is not apathetic. Lots of people care about lots of things. Some people even care about me. But I can't understand why. There are lots of people just like me, better than me, funnier than me, smarter than me, why me? 

I don't know.

And until I do, I can't believe that they really care about my "hard truths". Not because I think they're bad people but because I think they're better people with better things to do than pity me.

I don't want people to pity me. But I don't want them to ignore me either. I want them to respect me, look up to me, love me, miss me, need me. And that sounds so...pathetic. So clingy. 

The worst part is that some people say they already do respect me, look up to me, love me, miss me, need me (although not necessarily the same people say all of these things). And I don't understand why. And if I've already got what I wanted...why am I still here? And is this all there is to being looked up to, respected, loved, missed, needed?

The thing is, I want to be able to accept myself. But I'm unable to. Because the hard truth isn't that no one cares about my hard truths. It's that even I don't care about them.

I'm just confused by them. I'm just scared, yes, I said it, scared by them, daunted by them. And yet I know how insignificant they are and that only makes me feel worse about fearing them.

I've tried not caring. I've tried caring a lot. I've even tried hating, which, in a sense, is destructively, violently caring about something.

But I still can't get past the hard truths. I can't even express them properly. Look, I can't even move past number one on my list. 

Why did I write this? What do I want it to achieve? Who do I want to read this? What do I want them to do about it once they've read this?

I wrote this because I'm scared that I'm forgetting how to write. I'm scared about being left behind. I'm scared about getting even dumber than I already am. I'm scared about wasting my life. I'm scared that no one will never know what I think about even though I don't know why that should matter, even though I don't know what incentive other people will have to want to know what I think. 

Nonetheless, I'm scared about what other people will think when they read this. I'm scared that no one will care. I'm scared some people will care but be unable to help me. I'm scared that the only way I can understand what's wrong and what I can do to fix it is if someone else, someone I know, love and trust implicitly, who knows everything there is to know about me and who can do anything, comes and explains it to me.

I'm scared that, in the absence of a deity that I can believe in without a skeptical mind, the only person who fits that description is myself. I'm scared because I don't know, love or trust myself. And I don't think I can do much. 

That's the fucking problem. 

I need to solve the problem in order to solve the problem. 

Now that's a hard truth. 




I don't know.