Monday, December 31, 2018

Turning Points & Placeholders


It’s possible that I’m writing this post just so that I will have written seven blog posts in 2018, rather than the even more pathetic six that the count stands at now.

I’m honestly not sure what to make of this year. In terms of my own life, I can think of equally convincing narratives in which it’s a turning point, and other’s in which it’s just another placeholder. I guess if you really think about it, every moment is both a turning point and a place holder simultaneously. But I’ve been trying not to think about it.

I think too much. Writing makes it worse. So I’ve been trying to limit how much I do of either. I’ve obviously been successful at limiting the writing part. The thinking part has been more of a struggle.

I need to spend more time with people. I’ve known that for several years, but I’ve been reminded of it again visiting my old friends back up in New York this past week. But it’s difficult. A couple weeks ago, I went out for tea with someone I met on the internet, and she told me she couldn't believe me when I said I was a sort of a loner and spend about 98% of my time alone. But I am, and do. I don't think it's what I want, but it happens somehow. 

I think I need to change my lifestyle, because I’m worried about my health — and become more focused on my goals, because I’m worried about the future. But I also think I need to stop worrying about my health and about the future.

In terms of the world, I don’t know. I just don’t know. And I feel like I know the least I ever have.

I hope you have a happy New Year, wherever you are. Whether 2019 is a turning point or a placeholder for you, may you find what you need in it, be that peace or striving or something in between.   

Sunday, December 02, 2018

I [finally] finished the Harry Potter series

It's funny how things in your mind can change so much without anything really changing at all. Coming to the end of this weekend, my near-term outlook on life is much less hopeful than it was this evening seven days ago. So much has changed, all without anything changing. I just now know a couple of things I'd been hoping for months would come to be most likely never will.

The funny thing is, those outcomes were probably just as certain a week ago as they are now. As all outcomes are probably certain all the time — or at least I've always tended to think they probably are. The difference is knowing, and the way we always hope. Even an incorrigible pessimist like myself hopes.

I finished the final book in the Harry Potter series today. Two years after I started, and about fifteen years late. But that's beside the point. Without giving anything too much away to the handful of other people on the planet who didn't read them in junior high, there's a very thought provoking little discourse in the second-to-last chapter about how we all know we are going to die, but simply the fact we don't know exactly when makes it seem much, much more bearable. I guess that's the same principle. Or maybe its inverse.

Maybe that's where all this is coming from, and I should stop reading the teen literature I wasn't allowed to read as a teenager to try and recapture something long gone. Or maybe it's that just when I was starting to feel like I'd become remarkably better at coping, I'm suddenly having a difficult time again.

I'm really sorry if you thought this was going to be my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and are just now realizing it's probably a trap to try and make you feel as glum as I have the past couple days. You shouldn't, and I shouldn't.

The past year has been amazing and far more than I ever could have dreamed would be December last year when things really seemed to be falling to pieces for me. All the things I've got to do and be part of, and all the people I got to get to know and be with have been amazing. That it hasn't all gone in the next direction I thought and hoped it might doesn't in any way tarnish what it was.

Like Harry realizes, in the grand scheme of things, we all end up dead. But we don't know when, and the fact that we will shouldn't detract or minimize from what was or is. So this much smaller ending shouldn't either.

There, see. I brought it back to Harry Potter. So you can't be that mad at me.