Regarding Matters Contextual
It feels like so much energy is expended in this strange effort to isolate. To narrow things down…to identify and dissect. At least, it feels like so much of MY energy is spent doing that.
I worry—I toss and turn—about which things and people I love; which of them I love more. I worry about my attention-span; my skill-level; my acumen against this or that or the other thing. It does seem like this worry-state is my default…and it does also feel like this default is altogether incorrect.
The truth of the matter is that I’m a pretty complicated and damaged person. Looking at any one aspect of me doesn’t tell that story. I know that, no matter what I tell myself about resolving, refining, or reducing any one element of my personality or how I spend my time, I’ll still be this weird nebula that swirls unseen in some unknowable place among other strange nebulae, and that’s life. That’s us.
I don’t know what I find more terrifying: the notion of never looking too carefully at oneself because what’s the point?, or the overwhelming idea that in order to truly know yourself, you not only need to study and understand and be intimate with all of your characteristics—positive and negative—but must also understand precisely how they fit together, flex, and progress through your life.
Not really knowing how you feel, why you feel that way; what you like and why you like it; who you are and what makes you you is never something I’ve been able to do. Frankly, it seems idyllic in some ways to be able to just shut your brain off and die with each day, but it also seems entirely unrealistic.
On the other hand, the naked work of getting to know yourself is exhausting. I’m tired of knowing who I am. Or at least, I’m tired of wanting to know what I am. I wish I could just be one thing or another—I’d choose ‘dad'—and shut everything else down for a long, cold winter. What must it be like to become (and stay) one thing at a time. Such freedom.
We have a thing that we say at work about this sort of thing…’Fuzzy Personas’. It’s the idea that you can’t count on a person to be JUST one thing…they have overlapping interests and so that has to be considered.
I want to just be one thing. I’m tired of the zoomed-out understanding that I’m too complicated and fucked-up to be truly seen and known and loved all at once. And I’m tired of zooming in on this or that and warping my perspective; of fooling myself or others into thinking that this one piece of me that we all happen to like at the moment means anything.
Without context, nothing can be known. Nothing is the truth.
< Back to Essays