Deep Thoughts By Spiders

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Do you want an interesting life? Or would you rather your life be settled, routine, ‘normal?’

The supposed ‘Chinese curse’ is may you live in interesting times. That is by no means the same thing as may you have an interesting life. Interesting Times happen TO you. An interesting Life, hopefully, is your choice.

What would you define as interesting? What is interesting for some is tiresome, tedious, or downright horrifying for others. I think crocheting is interesting, but I’m terrible at it and it makes me angry that I suck at something creative that I also want to do. I think mountain climbing, or rock climbing, is fucking dangerously stupid and why would you want to do that!?!?! But, I have a friend who loves it.

I’m reading Koontz again, his Odd Thomas series. Main character, Odd, is constantly approached by dead people needing help. He’d rather be a short-order cook, or a tire salesman. Well, he is a short-order cook, because the rest of his life is just a bit too interesting. But, he makes the case that he would never want to be famous. I don’t think I’d want to be famous either – not with the lack of privacy and the downright creepy attention people pay to everything you wear and every wrinkle or bulge on your physical body. Perhaps that’s only something famous women have to worry about? I can’t really care about my body’s appearance when I live entirely in my mind. And, if I had a choice, and lots of money, I would dress like a three year old goth: Spongebob and skulls. I don’t want to ever be put in a situation where millions think way too hard about the crap I’m wearing. And I will only wear makeup these days when it is socially expected (which I resent heartily) or I feel like hiding behind it.

There are innumerable women who stay with abusive men because (combined with other reasons) the excitement, the passion! involved is interesting. If and when these women break free, they absolutely miss that excitement. I totally understand that. Adrenaline is addictive.

So. All this comes about from a comment on my Gory Story Time post. Tom basically said that my life was too interesting and he had nothing close in his history to what I’d gone though. And my first reaction was to laugh – because that’s not a big story in my life at all. That’s an amusing side note, a small anecdote, a bit of nothing in the larger history! My life has been truly interesting – but I’m only now realising that it’s pretty much all been by my own choices. These, for the most part, have been pretty stupid choices. But goddamned exciting, nonetheless.

After I grew up a bit, I thought my biggest problem was that I have a tendency to run away. And I do, going back to childhood. But as a ‘growedup’ I would find a great relationship and stick for years – until I got bored, and/or cheated, and used that as an excuse to run away. I’ve also never worked a single job longer than four years straight – pretty impressive as I had my first ‘real’ job at about age 10. I’ve a history of moving around America, town to town, job to job, that finally ended up with me moving entire countries. On a whim, in retrospect. I didn’t have to. Not that I don’t love my husband. But I could have moved him to the US instead. Truly, it made sense for me to move here. BUT – and that’s a big but, that’s why it’s in all caps – I went looking for a man in Ireland intentionally. Because I was bored. I didn’t know that then, this is a new insight into my own motivations. I thought I just didn’t really like the US, and had finally realised that moving from redneck Lower Alabama to Big City Ohio didn’t make a difference – I still didn’t “fit in” with American culture.

Well fuck me, but I sure as shit don’t fit in here, either. After nearly eight years (an all-time record for me staying with one person and a growedup record for living continually at one address, since I was about…14), I’m bored again. I don’t know what is my trigger this time! Do I think I’ve learned all I can about where I live and this culture and all the people that I know? Is it just that the job I’ve had for the last year+ is one I dislike intensely? Am I, deep down, just a lazy feicer and I really, really miss the almost two years I was unemployed as it finally gave me a chance to feel that I had a right to be creative – to write, to draw, to start this blog?

Is it all of the above? How am I supposed to know? Is there something else I’m still missing? I’ve had a few shrinks and therapists, and not one ever pointed this rather important bit of insight out to me.

I know this much: Tom’s comment was a revelation for me, once I gave it some thought. I was pretty damn surprised, because it gives me hope – if only I can figure out what I can do to save myself that doesn’t involve running away. That’s a hard one, as the feeling of being trapped is, for me, something that inspires fight or flight. I fight for a while, but in most situations in my past, I have picked flight. The fight right now has nearly deserted me, leaving only a serious dearth of flight choices that gives me depression in spades. You can guess, if you’ve had depression, what the ultimate choice for flight is when all other options appear to be closed.

But, for now, I’m at penultimate. Because I am still fighting this! I had nearly given up, until Tom’s comment. I’ve fought before when things got this bad: I once decided that getting in my truck in Florida and driving to Maine, with nothing – nothing at all than would fit in the cab (including a very angry and upset Siamese) was better than suicide. Why? I’d never been to Maine, and Stephen King lives there. Those were my only reasons. My point being that I can still see that insane changes will make a difference, for me, rather than the one, irrevocable, change that I will come to, eventually, by choice or not.

I understand that this truly is a revelation, and I don’t expect deep thoughts or even good advice. I needed to write, and this is my outlet. I have written my thoughts and discarded them so many, many times over the last few months – because I don’t want this to be a negative space. This blog is my happy place and I just couldn’t ruin it. I hope I haven’t ruined it now? I still have a lot of stories to tell and – maybe – some art still left in me.

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24 responses »

  1. Well, firstly, sometimes we are so full of negative that we bleed over our happy places, it doesn’t change that, for the most part, the thing you bled on was your happy place. I just don’t think humans can do happy all the time, and sometimes the only way to get over it is to cut yourself and bled. I promise your happy place will still be here, still waiting for you after you’ve licked your wounds. And those of us who truly like you will still be here.

    I’ve had many people tell me my life was interesting, or they say something like “How did you survive?” or many other versions of that. Nearly every time it throws me for a loop, what are they talking about? My life is just my life. It’s not until I look back that I realize that in comparison my life has been unusual, troubled and interesting. Although some of it was truly horrible, I’m glad my life is what it is, I can’t fathom a more boring life. How tedious to live in the same place forever? How boring to just sit and NOT do anything. I can’t and refuse to live like that. Sure it means that I’ll never know what it’s like to know my neighbors life cycles, and I’ll have to suffer through busted hands, but better that than “normalcy”.

    So, honestly, I’m gonna toss some stuff out and if I’m wrong forgive me. (I just saying all this as if I don’t know you and read some strangers blog)I think that for you, running is just easier sometimes, plus you obviously have some wonder lust, mix the two and you drive from FL to Maine. It’s hard to stay and clean through the mess of life. Sometimes it’s like swimming through molasses. If you move, you don’t have to make that swim. Of course it’s never just that easy, some of it I think, is likely self esteem. You don’t deserve a happy life or someone who loves and needs you. So in a way you self destruct. Life gets good and gets hard. Anyone who says being with someone you love is easy, I doubt has truly been in love. I love Kwix with everything in me, and yet there are times that being with him is a struggle. I have no doubt you love your man, I have no doubt you love Ireland… but you have to struggle for both. Living so far away from the world you know is hard, I struggle with it here and I’m living in the US. So right now you are walking though a tide of crap, and the other side of the bay looks so calm and inviting.

    But the Bay is a lie. Sure you can run, and that scared knotted part of your heart will relax and for a while you’ll be positive you did the right thing… but you’ll find yourself alone and in a place you don’t know. I think now is the time to plant you flag and stay. I think you’ll be ok.

    And now I HAVE to go! Anyway, I meant no offense, that’s just what I was thinking…. before Kwix said, We HAVE to go now!

    • Thank you! I do disagree a bit, however. I know that when I’m okay, cleaning (literally – sweeping, doing the dishes) isn’t a problem. But when it seems to me that the only emotions I feel is anger and futility at a life of nothing more than cleaning up the mess that will be there again the next day… Well, that isn’t life. I am FABULOUS in a real crisis. Not a bother. But drudgery every day is soul-destroying.

      Now.i used to think it was self-esteem issues, as I got dumped on so much as a kid. And yes, a lot of the stupid things I did as a teen was entirely because of that. However, I don’t believe that’s my problem now. If anything, I probably have an over-inflated opinion of my strengths – why else should I get so thrown off-kilter when I realise I am weak after all?

      I clearly have been doing a grass is greener thing for decades. And I love my man, and my new country. But…I need more. Finding the more that doesn’t involve a crazy choice is the difficult part!

      • I think that’s part of the great paradox with people like us. Yeah, day to day drudgery can be…depressing. But as you said, we’d likely not be happy being famous in some high rolling fast paced lifestyle either. At times like this, I really have to stop and think…really reflect on that fact.

        Also, I think your choice of the word interesting is “interesting.” Because as you are aware, I recently signed up for school to train dogs, BASICALLY because I chose “happy” over “interesting.” Not that I don’t think working with animals would be interesting, but not in the same way that being a forensic criminalist might be “interesting” or intriguing.

        I don’t know if any of that info I just spewed out helps you, but…well, there it is. LOL

        PS… We in cyberspace love you…

  2. I am the same way. Wonderful in a crisis but I suck at day to day life. I can’t stand to be bored and when I have found myself feeling that way I ALWAYS run away. I too have never worked a job more than a few years and I have been working since I was 14. Are you sure we weren’t separated at birth? Lol. Sincerely though, if you find an answer to how you can find fulfillment without running away for the love of all that is holy, let me know. Because fuck all if I know the answer. Right now the only thing keeping me in one place is being so busy with my kids I don’t get the luxury of noticing how soul crushing it is to live an average, drudge filled life.

    • Yeah. Hmm. Well kids aren’t an option I’d explore myself! I know they must add joy to your life but I’d be completely horrified at that sort of work.

      I’ve made a joke a few time since I realised this last week: no WONDER I always wanted to work with big cats! Durr, danger on a daily basis. I also wanted to be a pilot as a kid. But, I fucked up too many times and screwed myself on opportunities then, and lack of money has kept me from doing anything since. If I could think of something exciting to DO with what is left of my life!

  3. Fear not. Boredom is a side effect of intelligence. The trick is to find a level at which you can follow whims without ripping through the base fabric of life. Me for instance. I’d be suicidal if I actually thought about the day to day nature of my existence. But I’ve got this supra-life where I’m constantly focusing on new stuff. In the last three years I’ve followed whims as diverse as Japanese art, app building and most recently, RPG. That could be a lot of fun actually, if you’re remotely interested 🙂
    Let your mind wander. Otherwise, it’s like keeping a big hairy dog locked up in the utility room. But remember, generally speaking, dogs live their walks to the full, but then want to come back and curl up by the fire.

    • RPG as in role playing games? I bought myself the most recent Zelda, and thinking about turning it on tonight. The last one ate up either 60 or 80 hours, that was good. The problem is that I do have depression, so once the bad thoughts start they get sunk into nice deep ruts and there I stay. I can’t seem to get into the doctor for happy pills as things are just stupid here. I also can’t seem to find anything to be fun lately.

      • Huh…. Well there goes my solution 🙂 Sorry. Wish I had a better one . Yes, totally new to RPG, but diving in headfirst, in true me fashion. I’ll be drowning not waving….

        • No, no – you are 100% right – I’ve just let it go too long and the joy has gotten sucked out of things. Believe me, I’d like nothing better, it’s just not a matter of jumping in my car and driving to a place where I like things again. Which is a dammed funny way of putting it, considering what I said about running away. That wasn’t even intentional!

          Put on my game last night and found out I need the upgraded controller! Okay, I can make it another day til it comes in the post 🙂

  4. You’ve had some super advice here, if advice is what you’re looking for. There are wonderful times to be had in the boring minutiae of life but they only have meaning if you’re fullfilled creatively. The job sucks.

  5. Spiders, I’m stopping in for a moment to tell you that I’m going to ponder your post–and that your post was as interesting as you present yourself so unconsciously. You didn’t take away happiness; you showed the layers of you…. bye for now. Love, L.

  6. Hello… One thought that might help. You’re good with words and have such a strong creative streak. These are your tools to maybe finding some way into a new way of thinking or being. Perhaps, for example, it’s not a question of ‘finding’ the more, but ‘making’ the more. Instead of the traditional way of seeing ‘moving on’ where we physically take ourselves from one situation or location to another, perhaps there’s something you can reach out and grab, and pull into your existing life. If part of you is restless, let it squirm for a while and see what it comes up with when you ignore it.

    I am not expressing this very well, but I think what I’m saying is about changing the way you think about and look at change. And if you have any friends who are Buddhists or do meditation, get them to help you clear your mind first. Actually I am rubbish at meditation, but I’ve found the mindfulness approach really useful. Apparently even the Marines use it!

    Ax

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/wellbeing/9772911/Nows-the-moment-for-mindfulness.html

    • I’m looking for that thing, or that action. That is the positive thing, the reason I could say anything at all here about where my head has been. Unfortunately the squirming has gone on a loooong time now, and I guess I am now at the point where the horrible mangy critter I’ve held clamped to my chest in a death grip has finally been crushed a bit by this new idea – I’m picturing exploded eyeballs. Sorry for the graphics. That mental picture kind of makes me feel better, picturing depression as a diseased weasel I’ve been carrying around! I might use that again…

      Glad I still have words to share – that’s the other thing the job is trying to kill in me, they are making writing a horrible thankless chore! No! Mine!

      No, no Buddhists around that I’m aware of. Know one guy who meditated but he was also on happy pills (that nearly killed him). Currently I don’t think he can focus for more than 2 minutes on anything, poor guy.

  7. I’ve not said anything since you posted this because I’ve been too delirious — everything from a misbehaving refrigerator to a chaotic schedule — to do the subject justice. And I’m not sure I have anything useful to say on the matter except that it is pretty much *the* important question… where are you going to direct your attention? What is your life going to be *for*? *What is it you want?*

    Because to the wonderful remark about that boredom is a side effect of intelligence, I can add that boredom is what you experience when you aren’t directing your attention where you want to. Something that survival requirements can make difficult.

    Making the space to do that can be real scary, but really — what is the price of doing so compared to the price of not doing so? Meanwhile, if that desire to slip out the side door starts to nag, you DO have critters who depend on you — so take a deep breath and think of them, and then go back to the problem of finding a way to be who you are.

    • I am very much a teenager, mentally. All I know is all I’ve known, and there’s been some crazy shit in there that didn’t leave much room for thinking about the bigger picture. I’ve spent too much time focussing on my rage, hate, and disappointment. The rest was spent having adventures of the unhelpful kind. I don’t really have the tools to figure this out yet. I am trying! I’m not likely to believe many of the self-help folks, either – my woo-woo radar goes off. At this rate I’ll figure it out when I’m 70. Now, partly this is tongue in cheek but only the part that sounds like I’m making excuses – which I also do, but don’t intend to do.

  8. What would you define as interesting?

    This is something I think about a lot. I think scripting, drawing, inking, scanning, editing, coloring, and publishing comics while reading about people discussing their favorite inking techniques or how they color or what medium fits which story type best while also drinking tea, petting the cat, and listening to music is interesting. It took me awhile before I realized what was interesting to me was something I could do on my own, rather than something external I had to acquire. And when I think about it, what I think is interesting is pretty boring, haha! But I’ve always been an “adventure of the mind” type anyway!

    I don’t think I’d want to be famous either – not with the lack of privacy and the downright creepy attention people pay to everything you wear and every wrinkle or bulge on your physical body.

    That’s true for me too. I think about this a bit too–do I really want to ever be well-known, or so well-known that I have fans commenting about spots on my skin or a loose thread hanging from my sleeve? (Seriously.) I want to be known and respected for my work, definitely, but the idea of having the kind of famousness where people feel the need to dictate your work, your ideas, your body…ugh. It’s like as soon as people realize you are putting a good thing out there for free, they get upset and offended that you aren’t putting out what THEY want, or when they want it, or how often they want it. That can totally take the joy out of creation.

    Perhaps that’s only something famous women have to worry about? I can’t really care about my body’s appearance when I live entirely in my mind. And, if I had a choice, and lots of money, I would dress like a three year old goth: Spongebob and skulls. I don’t want to ever be put in a situation where millions think way too hard about the crap I’m wearing.

    Haha awesome! Or maybe if I get famous everyone will want to copy me and wear spongebob pajama pants and messy hair. Sometimes I don’t even bother to get dressed if I don’t have to.

    I know this much: Tom’s comment was a revelation for me, once I gave it some thought. I was pretty damn surprised, because it gives me hope – if only I can figure out what I can do to save myself that doesn’t involve running away.

    It’s interesting because I’ve sort of been going through something similar. I’m not really a person with wanderlust, I tend to prefer situations where I can stay rooted and secure, provided they are situations that are positive. But recently in my life some definitions have been changing, some solid things in my life are things that I realized I wanted to change. I also realized I hadn’t quite figured out which direction I wanted to go in life. I know where I wanted to be, and I’ve wanted to be here for a long time, but past that I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So I had a crisis, a screaming crying cut my hair off crisis trying to figure out where to go and what to do. I won’t say I came out of it with my life tied together, but what I did come out of the experience with was a sense that my inner self always knows where I’m at and what I need. I was just too freaked out to listen to what it was saying and for a long time I didn’t know. But in the end, when I finally found that voice, it said It’s ok, you’re ok, you’re where you want to be, and you can take time to figure things out. You don’t have to have all the answers at once. So I’ve really been thinking about where to go with my art projects and what steps to take with that, because that’s a focus of interest I can concentrate on. It’s frustrating and slow but rewarding I think, at least I hope it will be. I feel an inner peace now even though nothing external has changed.

    When I read your descriptions of your turmoil, it’s funny because I think I am the exact opposite, being upset and unhappy if things are unstable and uncertain and always seeking to lock myself into something permanent. That was the mindset I had when I married at age 21. It was the mindset I had when I had this quarter life crisis and didn’t know where the next box to shove myself into was coming. But then I realized, I can create whatever definitions I want myself, rather than waiting for or forcing someone else to create them around me. Because in the end I do feel trapped if I let someone else create and define my life. It’s a constant battle with myself just letting things be open and not feeling the need to close all my options down or define or understand or predict every little thing. Anxiety mind I guess.

    Anyway, I absolutely encourage whatever it takes to get you doing your creative projects and putting more of what makes you happy into your life, however you can! Also, whatever you can do to not feel like you have to do something you hate and that makes you miserable just to get by. That’s always the most soul draining experience! And you know you’ll always have supporters here!

    • Oh, Grey – thank you so much for this. I’ve read it about six times. I can’t even begin, still, to touch on the parts of your comment that have really made an impact! You’ve given me so much here. Maybe now isn’t the time, so soon after I wrote another long-ass post about my mushy brain 🙂 Okay, no, I can’t focus. But I will come back – I do take a while to think things over!

  9. I’m glad you write it out. And whether your posts are negative or happy, we love you either way. 🙂
    We can make our lives interesting or fun, or whatever we want it to be. But often things like job, school or other things stand in the way — I would know!
    But don’t give up. 🙂 Never give up.

    • It is… I’m surprised he’s doing a series, finally. I’m annoyed with the one I’m on now, Odd Apocalypse. I know DK edits every line obsessively…but I don’t want to read a book where every line is fraught with deep meaning. Yes, I’m a reader, but not a DEEP reader! I like a story, not a hidden manifesto on modern culture.

Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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