I honestly know that self comparison with the outward appearance of other people’s lives is both inaccurate and unuseful– and yet there seem to be these moments of large life transition that come in waves. right now I feel a certain swirl around me– friends who had waited out the initial earlier moments of such things are now getting married and having babies. other friends are deeply involved in further developing their professional careers and areas of expertise. people have projects. identity constructs. and I am largely without one, currently.
lately I’m feeling like I have occupied too many subject positions without a deep level of commitment or sustained ideological identification. I’m using big academic words. signifies just how clunky my understanding of where I am right now is. I’m trying to get a handle on it.
it’s not just one thing or another, life never is– it’s a complex network of factors that conspire to leave me feeling a bit adrift and nonplussed. what do I believe in? what is important and worth my focus and directed energy and care? this is, probably, a postmodern dilemma: result of too many opportunities, too many perspectives conspiring to leave nothing at all certain or decisive. granted, I tend to be a P, in myers-briggs terms, and so incline toward open-endedness and indecision. but this feels like a larger, longer sea-change– a point at which I’m feeling, perhaps, that I crave a somewhat more consistent self-definition.
for some people the drive is internal: I am X or Y. I do Z. these things define me so. for some people the driving factors are external: they fall into a line of work, they need the money, or they find themselves pregnant inadvertently and choose to proceed– and the necessities of life to some extent dictate the course of decisions.
when you live so much alone, so thoroughly independently, without any sort of religion or culture or really overt doctrinal guiding systems of thought, existence can be a little overwhelming and unbearably arbitrary. I know I tend to generalize and engage in all kinds of distorted thinking– I may still be doing it here, though I am trying, this morning with a sudden boon of clarity and strength to begin to address it, somehow, to scratch the surface, to do so without huge distortions– as much as is ever possible for a person enmeshed in their own existence.
I have a very good therapist. I believe in the kind of work I’ve done and continue to do in therapy. honestly, I tend to think many more people could benefit from a little guided self-examination than choose to do so. I also know, after all these years of doing it, that analytical thinking constructs can very easily be circular and as much of an illness as any other. analysis does not solve. thoughtful action solves.
and so this morning I am hanging up clothes and organizing my space as I organize my thinking. I am putting up a bulletin board by my drawing table and pinning up scraps of ideas that have drifted around the clutter. this weekend I am going to try to follow through on a few small things. and to take a couple of small steps up out of the mire of my own lack of motivation in any particular direction. this morning the horizon feels lighter than it has been feeling. and tonight we spring forward.