One question I used to ask my Tinder matches: “On a scale of 1 to Existential Gloom how well is your life going right now?”
Part of my own debilitating life-long existential despair stems from my inability to be content in the present moment. No matter where my feet are planted, I always want to be somewhere else, doing something else than whatever I am doing right now. I have a disease of always wanting more, and no matter what–still never getting enough. Still never being enough. Crawling under my skin is this pervasive suspicion that I need to do better, grow more, experience more, be more. I’m not writing enough, I’m not creative enough, my aesthetic isn’t authentic enough, my heart isn’t open enough, I’m not excelling at work enough, I don’t make enough money, my thigh gap isn’t dramatic enough, my skin’s not smooth enough, I’m not reading enough radical French philosophy, I’m not going to enough protests, I’m not dismantling patriarchy enough, people don’t laugh at my jokes enough, I don’t meditate enough, I don’t eat enough superfoods, I’m not practicing enough self-care….
Fuck, I need to do more!
This relentless restlessness that leaves me in constant search of *something more*
And this insane idea, that if I did any of these things more–THAT’S when I’ll be content, that’s when I’ll feel understood and seen and heard and loved, that’s when I’ll finally feel like I’m a real human with a real life, instead of a rugged patchwork quilt of fragments of identities and idealism with holes all up in it, instead of a buried corpse filled with the disillusioned memories of almost-lived experiences.
This feeling of never really occupying your own body. This feeling of never really escaping your own mind. This feeling that maybe just maybe, I might exist.
I talk to myself constantly about finding balance. How balance must be thee major key of whatever I’m doing “wrong”.
So with all my God-given Capricorn discipline, I painstakingly strive for balance while I’m simultaneously pursuing everything in excess (#SaturnProblems). And then I punish myself for never having enough time to really do what I really “should” be doing. As I breathe in extravagance and sweat out nothingness.
SELF TO SELF: LET ME LIVE!
The real truth is, I live a full fucking life filled with a full range of human emotions and experiences.
I show up to work everyday and I learn new things and implement new ideas. I box and I run and I do jumping squats, yo. I eat pretentious dinners at trendy restaurants with my alt-hip friends. I pick up the phone when I’m not feeling so hot and I have hoards of humans who will answer and listen and bring me back to reality and make me laugh. I tell the truth. I show up for people in ways I never could before. I go on dates and I have fun on dates and when it’s over, it’s over. I do service work. I read books. I write poems. I get shit published. I buy flights to Cuba. I say I’m sorry when I’m sorry and I don’t say I’m sorry when I’m not sorry. I walk through fear and I try to do something different every single day. I cry when I want to and fuck when I want to and I drive to the mountains by myself when I want to.
My life is hella balanced. My life is rich with lived experience. My life rules!
Maybe I still drink too much coffee and not enough water. Maybe I still forget to brush my hair. Maybe I say I quit cigs and then I still light up another one. Maybe the number one thing people describe me as is still “intense”. Maybe I never wanna settle for anything less. Sometimes I lie to myself with realizing it. Sometimes I listen to Radiohead on repeat for too many hours. Sometimes I self-obsess all day long. Sometimes the world revolves around me instead of the Sun. Sometimes I seek out validation in unhealthy ways. Sometimes I struggle to see. Sometimes I’m scared I won’t fulfill my purpose in this lifetime. Sometimes I’m scared to take another breath. Sometimes I don’t know the answers. Pretty much always, I don’t know the answers.
But here’s what I know right now on April 6th, 2000-fucking-17 at 10:10am:
I’m a human having a human experience and so are you.
I don’t have to settle. I can do whatever I want. I’m free.
Wherever my feet are right now is exactly where I’m meant to be.
Everything is indeed in its right place.
I have everything I need, right now.
To live a life of Joy is a Revolutionary Act.
[cover photo is from “LOVE LINES” by Spenser Little & Jaclyn Rose @ 111 Minna Gallery]