One of the most occurrences that I found most confounding in the past few months was the difficulty I had putting thought to paper (or in this case, thought to blog). A curious phenomenon would occur: I would be deep in thought about an important issue or other, feel the strong urge to write my thoughts and continue to make progress, and then upon finally arriving in front of my computer, I would want to do anything but write. This oft-recurring phenomenon is part of why I have so few new posts in the past few months. I’m not sure why words come easier to me right now. Perhaps it’s because despite a day of work, I’m not yet mentally overloaded. Perhaps the quiet familiarity of the library allows me better focus. I’m not really all that concerned with why I’m writing now, though.
I welcome any thoughts and suggestions, regardless of how helpful you think they are. For someone searching for answers without knowing the questions, every bit helps.
Let’s start at a beginning:
I do not know why I feel so darn strange. I usually don’t have much trouble describing emotions I feel, but this time, I’m not sure that I’m accurately pinning it down. I’m not even sure that what I’ve been feeling is really an emotion–maybe it’s a lack of something, a feeling that something is missing. But yes. I feel that something is not quite right, and I notice that this feeling has persisted through several years of college and into my not-quite-full-adult life.
Thinking back now, I think that my college response to the feeling of emptiness, at least in part, was to cultivate a liking (some might say natural inclination) toward action and novelty, to press myself toward action and progress. The results of that were that I became (more) strongly attuned to trying new things, seeking out new experiences, and perhaps wanting to keep doing more. I don’t regret this shift of attitude, since I like the idea of expecting more of myself and others. But I don’t see a huge point now, to continue looking for ‘more’. I still try to push the occasional boundary, and I hope that these occasional pushes will lead me to an answer or a question that I don’t know I’m seeking. Perhaps my blind searching has something to do with why I feel strange and why I feel unfulfilled, and why I feel that I’m missing something in the grand scheme of things.
If I was to take a mental inventory of that which I had, I might say I am lucky to ‘have’ family, a home, relatively good health, a job, a significant other, some great friends, some good friends, some excellent teachers, and many opportunities (I could drill deeper into what I think I have, but as I see no need, I won’t.) If I was to consider what I do not have (but want), I think the most important things to be financial independence, full employment, fulfillment, or purpose in life. I would think that the most important of these to me is the fulfillment, or the purpose. Financial independence and employment, both should be achievable and both are quite tangible.
I should clarify: the reason I think I’m not quite content is because when I consider my situation, I know I am fortunate. My job is decent–while I’m not leaping out of bed each morning, I don’t deny the benefits of the experience I am getting. My family is caring–at least, I have a family that “has its heart in the right place” and is even open to discussion some of the time. My girlfriend is supportive–she shares a part of my enthusiasm for experiencing and is my partner in many adventures.
why do I still feel that something is wrong?
Taking a slightly different approach, I’ve noticed that my life has accumulated too many ‘unnecessaries’, by which I mean the activities or items that clutter up my days without adding much positively to my life. Gaming, for instance, while sometimes fun–most especially when with friends–often falls into the ‘unnecessary’ category, because while sometimes fun, I don’t feel that I need to be gaming in order to be happy. Hmm. Even the reading of fantasy or science fiction, which used to provide me with so much entertainment, has had its appeal lessened because I don’t feel enough growth coming from it. This is perhaps why I’ve mostly drifted towards reading self-improvement, psychology, business, marketing, news–the kinds of articles that will in theory help me in becoming “better”, or at the very least more able to navigate the world in which we live.
I wonder if the feeling of wrongness is because I do not know where to go next, if perhaps I’ve finally arrived and can view, unimpeded, the final vastness of the future unknown. College is behind me and life unknown is in front of me. Could my uneasiness be merely due to perceiving yet another unknown? Thinking about this now, I think the way to put that hypothesis to the test is by training my mind to both become accustomed to and to not fear the unknown. If I can make some kind of perceivable progress along those lines, and if the feeling of wrongness has receded, then I might be a step closer to contentment.
I’m afraid that this feeling of wrongness has caused a spillover into aspects of my life like my relationship. That I am afraid is maybe reason for concern–I would like to understand and come to terms with fear in general–but I think my worry is valid in this regard. If I’m unhappy or discontent, I would like to be very sure of the source of that discontent. In this case, if I’m dissatisfied, the question is naturally whether I’m dissatisfied in my relationship or whether the discontent from my life as a whole is affecting my general life.
What’s the next step, then? I’m aiming to do less of what will make me better and more of what I think will. So, less spending on unnecessary materials things, and more focus toward self-improvement, toward exercise, toward other non-computer-related activities. I think I’ll keep moving, as I decided to years ago, and hope that I’m going in the right direction.
Until I feel a good moment to write and think again,