Empty

This essay is another of my relatively long rambles about life. A bit abstract. A bit full of fluff. A bit incoherent. The usual mix. Sometimes I think to myself — wouldn’t it be better to not write this stuff? Like, perhaps I could write about some other topic? Some more productive topic?

But then I come back to why I am writing in the first place, and it’s broadly to externalize my thinking, create distance, and actually process information better. If I were to choose a topic that is not top of mind, sure it could be a productive exercise, but this _stuff_ – this stuff that you are now reading – would just be stuck at the top of my brain blocking all the flow.

So who cares if I write about similar topics over and over I tell myself. I peeling an onion. It takes time. It may take years, truly, to fully internalize certain parts of the world. Heck, it may take my whole life! And that is okay – it is a journey without a clear destination, that’s for sure.

This is the rationalization I give myself when I roll my eyes as I can feel myself about to write another cynical essay on the ins and outs of humans and our existence here, on this earth, trying to engage with the world. I can write these style essays, for at minimum the justifications provided above, but what I hope to do in them is inch towards true authenticity. When I find myself lying to myself, that is when this writing is really most valuable. The lies are often hidden in my brain. Taking up free real estate. Without distance, it is hard to catch these crooks. Not paying rent.

But when I give them a little space. When I put them out in the open. In this writing format. With the bright white background and the black text. They quite obviously look like the criminals they are — lying to myself and themselves. Thinking they will get away with tormenting me.

Not today.

Not the day I choose to write.

And that day…that day is every day for me.

And so, returning to the spotlight. The essay. The thoughts right now.

I am thinking about how I am currently sitting next to one of the nicest beaches in the world. A truly amazing place in Central America. It has been totally capitalized by capitalism and has everything one could think they would need to be happy: yoga, surfing, running, smoothies, weightlifting, relaxation…really the works.

And yet, as I sat on the beach yesterday, and I looked around. I saw two things. The first thing I saw was the beautiful sunset (alongside the crashing of the waves). The second thing I saw was crowds of beautiful people, often with their significant others.

This second thing soured the first. And it should not have. And it sounds lame and egocentric even saying this. But it’s the truth. I was jealous. I felt alone. I felt empty.

I was jealous of what they all had. I wanted that. I had that at one point. But not anymore. And now I feel so much alone.

And as much as I try to let those thoughts flow through me. They are still hitting me hard. They still hurt to swallow. They still feel nostalgic. And sad. And like I want more. Like I do not want to be alone.

For so long I have biased towards the individualistic mentality. Towards independence. Towards not needing another. Or others.

But then when I have started to more deeply look at how I actually spend my time and what gives me energy, I realize that I spend a lot of time in pursuit of others in some way shape or form.

That hurts me to write. It makes me feel like a salesman and charlatan. Words I do not particularly mind but ones that attack my identity and ego in at least some ways. But they are true. So true.

I spend a lot of my time and life trying to please others. This is a defense mechanism of sorts. Or an offense mechanism – to try and feel better than I am.

I am sitting at one of the nicest beaches in the world. I have no responsibilities. And yet, I compensate by working. By going on my laptop. By creating work for myself when I do not need to be doing anything.

Even if I made all the money in the world, what I’d be doing still is sitting on the beach. And still sitting there feeling extra lonely. Feeling like I was missing a big part of my life. And feeling like I should get back to doing work.

Do you all see how broken this equation is? Something is broken about the race I am running. I know it. And you probably see it. You probably see the ridiculousness.

For a lot of my life I don’t think I saw it. I just went along with the motions. I built a wall. And now the emotions have entered the chat. And they are dancing to the music, but it’s making me feel empty inside.

And so I have this fundamental tension that I am wrestling with — do I lean into my coping mechanisms or do I try and correct the fundamental feelings? (Correct implies there is a right feeling, and I realize that I am not too sure about that, either).

Part of me agrees with most of the above. This stuff is unhealthy.

But another part of me…a smaller voice…one that is trying to be less correct. Is thinking to myself: perhaps no. Perhaps I lean into my superpowers. I do not try to become the person who watches TV. I cannot sit still. My brain feels hyperactive. I need stimulation. I need validation. These are obviously not true things but they are stories in my head. That I need. And so what if I continue letting them?

This could/would/has cause(d) extremely productive behavior in the past. To get shit done.

Feeding off the fuel of insecurity. It seems to be a very powerful force (and if you read any history, you’ll see that so many things in society and progress wise in civilization have fed off of the insecurities of people).

Is it so unhealthy?

I am not sure. It obviously reads as silly and unhealthy. But is it so bad?

There’s probably not a silver bullet answer. I mean there probably is, you could convince yourself, but there are surely pros and cons to any decision.

The decision I am leaning into at least of the moment is just for a moment to worry less about the inputs and outputs. About the optics. About the pros and cons. About the assessment.

Do the thing you want to do. Whatever that is. And see what happens.

I think doing that over and over will be the path to avoiding emptiness. Simple, yet effective. Let’s see.


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