Tuesday, October 11, 2011

From the Outside: Blowing in the Wind

For months, I was suffering from an existential crisis, a state of extreme ennui. I was in a coma in which I could not act, did not want to act, and felt if I did act, everything would be shitty anyway. It was my attitude that made everything shitty. I was trapped in this horrible state of boredom, malaise, weariness, negativity, and cynicism-- a state called not giving a fuck about anything.

My attitude, my state...they affected my life tremendously. I was paralyzed. Immobile. I was convinced that everything in the entire world was lame, boring, not worth my time. I hated the world. I was convinced that everyone hated me-- that everyone was against me. I was convinced that hardly an ounce of goodness could come from human relationships. And even if goodness could come from them, what would be the point? We're all gonna die anyway. Why bother? Why hope? Why care? Why change your life when nothing really matters? Why give a fuck?

The existential crisis is over. I have moved on. I have realized that it's ME who makes my own happiness, my own meaning. The world will not make it for me. The world doesn't even notice. And I wasn't going to kill myself, so I would go on living, regardless of my shitty state. So, why not make it joyful? Why suffer unnecessarily? Why not make my own meaning?

There's a song and the lyric goes, "Well, I don't know what I'm looking for, but I know that I just want to live some more." And I kept playing that lyric over and over in my head. It was clear. I wasn't gonna die. So, why not live?

And I have the answers now to important questions...

How do you get yourself out of ennui?
You get yourself out of ennui.

How do you stop believing that the human race hates you and that you hate them right back?
You stop believing that the human race hates you and that you hate them right back.

How do you live?
You live.

I was making progress for a while. Until I hit a new wall. Until I realized that at my core, I am someone who never really hated the world. It is at the crux of my personality to not hate the world. It is at the crux of my personality to be empathetic, to care, and to want people to be happy (not as ants marching along, but to question their lives and to achieve real potential that has meaning and isn't based in what's been shoveled into their mouths by social and corporate brainwashing).

But this should be good right? I wasn't really an awful, hateful person all along. I was just scared and detached. For at the heart of my personality is another core element-- I tend to care too much so I defend myself, from hurt and pain and all that comes with caring, by not caring at all. I've done this for years unconsciously. I am now conscious of it.

But I'm experiencing a lot of uncertainty. I'm in a crisis. I don't know who I am anymore.

I lived for so long as this person who "hated" the world. Who had so much hate for everyone. Who took extreme measures to shield herself. This was my identity. My sense of my Self. It felt rigid and fixed. Even though it was based in negativity, it felt safe. Safety. What a human motivator.

And now I find myself recognizing that I was never really that person at all. And that there's good in me that can be harnessed. But I don't know this path. It's foreign to me. It's scary. I feel like I'm on this path that I've never taken, it's dark, and I don't have a flashlight. I feel myself bumping into things. Colliding into them in the dark.

And all this self-awareness is maddening. But it's important. Growing pains are important. Without growth, how can I live? Without growth, I'm apt to fall right back into that coma.

But I'm scared as I enter this crisis. I don't know who I want to be. I don't know what parts of my personality to harness and which parts to throw away.

I know that I am done hating. I know that I don't want to be the way that I was. But how can I be the best "ME" that I can be? How can I achieve a greater Self?

And sometimes I don't even feel like I'm on the path at all. Sometimes I feel like I've floated off the path. Like I've lost my grip. Like I'm just lost. Like I'm a balloon that someone let go of.

The old path was a bad path. It was hardly a path at all. I was pulled to the side of the road. But on that path, my feet touched the ground. I knew who I "was" even if who I "was" wasn't who I really needed to be nor who I really am at my core. There is safety in the known.

If you don't move, at least you know where you are.

I wonder if this is what it feels like to lose your sanity. One of the core elements of insanity is losing your grip on the world. To lack grounding. To float.

And then I read about my personality, it's one of the "Idealist" types. And I'm troubled because Keirsey says that: "For NFs the search for Self is a quest which becomes very much an end in itself...Idealists can become trapped in a paradox: they are themselves only if they are searching for themselves, and they would cease being themselves if they ever found themselves."

So, having gone from existential crisis to identity crisis, how do you resolve said identity crisis when it's at the core of your personality to be in an identity crisis?

I am lost.

I am blowing in the wind.