Another month, another rollercoaster. I can honestly say that I don't think I have ever had the lows and mediocres that I have had over the last few months in such quick succession. I'm surprised I haven't gotten whiplash. It has made it very clear how one state of mind can only perceive a limited amount of reality however, as even just days ago I could have said that the best I could imagine wasn't all that good, and yet here I am again looking at the hint of the vast potential of life opening up before me...and this has happened so many times in the last few months that my 'Less than ideal' self understands on a more fundamental level that the views expressed by that particular self do not reflect the perception of my state of the world in other states. It's kind of a good thing to know in the back of your head when all seems lost...and its sometimes very hard to believe that when you are down there.
But mediocre is where I'm currently at, and I can at least imagine a state of being in a better state of mind again where previously I could not. Dissociation and chronic pain makes it a bit difficult to engage in the joy of things. I can still mechanically enjoy things of course, but generally the concept of 'I' seem to be at the back row eating popcorn wishing I could feel that too. It's like watching a movie that I am not engaged in, and can only run commentary on what is going on. And very cynically at that. So that's still a bit hard to conceptualize better horizons in any meaningful way. I can certainly presume, like any other state of mind I may have, that I will continue to change and who knows what I will be capable of. If I can get 'into' dissociation, then there is a reasonable chance I can get out. Although a lot of the things that I would do to help that along are quite difficult in the middle of the latest spike in Covid/Omicron. People and experiences are what I feel I need, and generally those two are hard right now, at least due to playing it as safe as I am as I don't need any other physical issues added to my growing list.
A couple of things that have helped a lot over the process is getting a couple of basics down each day. On the worst of days, I still make my bed. For some reason that allows me to believe I have done something that day, everything after that is just a bonus. I do find that over a day or so it is easier to move onto one more thing, then another. Its a slow process but it seems to work.
Another interesting thought is that to succeed at living all you need to be is not dead. Society has put so much into the idea of what 'success' is that it has kind of lost all meaning. It's also quite clear that the traditional concepts of success do not remotely equal happy, so our metric for living needs to change...but if you ever feel like you are not succeeding at life, then the fact that you can think that means that technically you are. Everything on top of that is just a plus. Now 'happy' is a whole other beast of course, but still, some days we need to take what we can get.
A thought experiment that I have been running with lately is that of Identity, and what that means. I used to have one, before...all of the things. And then I lost that in a bunch of physical, emotional and logical discomfort, and to this day I'm still walking the results of that...so I'm wondering if that 'near perfect self' has been merged with that pain and is now inaccessible to me, be it conditioned fear or doubt perhaps. So do I try to get that version of me back and deal with all that pain directly, or do I find a new me to aim for. A new me seems easier, and probably more practical with the world as it is, but to be honest I have no idea what that identity might be. A creator seems the most logical, and really lean in to that, but I have never leaned into my creativity short of making a living from it perhaps. I have a few elements of conditioning I would have to overcome to get really behind that version of me. Its a direction at least, and one I am pursuing if a little half heartedly.
Figure out what identity you want, and then aim for that identity. What would a person with that identity do in any situation, and then do it. Do it enough, and that will become who you are. It's less about the actions, but what those actions make you become over time.
All that said I have decided to shake up my reality significantly by dropping my hours at my current teaching job by half in order to go deeper into the Monaverse and beyond. I've been enjoying, or at least being comfortably distracted by, developing spaces and helping out people create their spaces over the past two months or so and find that quite rewarding. Although I have to admit the 60+ hour weeks after working just under 30 hours a week for so long has been...a shift... to say the least. This step will basically force my hand in trying to do something new on a lot of fronts, so its going to be an interesting step for me after doing basically the same thing for the past 14 years straight short of the occasional trip overseas. In a way, this Thursday is the beginning of the next phase of my life (as that's when my current contract ends) and apart from a few transitionary tasks things are going to get a fair bit different. I am excited and terrified as this move basically goes against all of my conditioning of 'stable' income...that said, I have 'Will still have a roof over my head and basics mostly covered' income if all else fails, so its not jumping all in, and that's a compromise I was willing to take. Will see how it all plays out over the next 6 months!
As of exactly this moment I am cautiously optimistic about moving forward which has been hard to come by for quite some time now. I do find that as soon as I actually get optimistic I have a tendency to self sabotage immediately and go through the whole process again, so I'm trying to figure out ways to reduce the chances of that happening, even if its tentatively saying that things aren't that great when they kind of are.
The Legend of Vox Machina
Kickstarted ages ago to a roaring success of $12Million and then some after asking for a measly $750k, the first season of the animated show has been really fun and fantastic quality. It's been really interesting seeing the journey of Critical Role crew and can't be happier for a group that has brought me, and the world, so much joy.