One week and counting...school starts next Monday.
So, this is my last week of absolute lethargy. After that, no more spending the entire day looking up stupid shit on the computer: looking at Ebay, re-runs of Hell's Kitchen, or what have you. Time to get serious.
Yeah, sometimes having too much free time is poisonous. In my case, it has caused a lot of self-conscious thought, which has led to self-doubt. Not the greatest thing to be feeling when your in college looking for a career and shit.
I'd wondered if this had to do with my age, just about to turn thirty, but then I remembered that I always got this way when I came to a complete stop. I've always been told that thirty is a magically debilitating age; makes you think 'bout stuff like: where am I going, where have I been? I don't know, I feel like this is stuff that's been floating around my brain ever since I can remember. Chalk it up to insecurity.
I have found a pattern in my jobless sprees: I tend to quit jobs in early Summer or Spring after previously saving at least a three month "cushion." Soft and pillowy, like a Sopapilla of freedom and unemployment. Then, I spend the majority of the time doing somewhat pointless things, all the while procrastinating about job searching and resume writing. Then, I get to the point where I currently am at: barely any money left, slightly depressed, questioning just what the fuck it is that I'm doing with myself. You'd think I would've learned by now.
Fortunately, I've been able to at least spot this pattern and realize that I get over these moods rather quickly once things start moving again. Not too long ago, I would've made some impulsive move just because I was feeling a little down: selling all of my belongings, living in my car, moving away, or traveling. You know, the less-bold equivalent of outright train hopping and street living. Maybe the phrase "yet stupid" should be interjected somewhere in that last sentence.
I know why I make these brash decisions. It's a fear that some awful cloud of depression is lurking just around the corner. The kind that was so crippling when I was young. I can only describe it as the feeling one has when coming down off of a very long acid trip with no sleep. Imagine that everyday for three years. Sort of like being perma-fried and being acutely aware that everyone thinks so too. It truly felt like a mental disorder; actually, it felt like what I imagine schizophrenia feels like. At the time, I couldn't see an end in sight, so naturally, my thoughts were very, um..., dark. How's that for a euphemism? I have kept that cloud at bay since, and maybe it's not really there anymore. But I get goosebumps occasionally.
I sometimes feel like a robot or a wind-up toy that is just off-track. There needs to be a point or a focus for my brain to function. A path to work towards. And yes, money certainly comes in handy when considering this. Hell, money is usually part of the goal. Maybe that exposes me as a compromising, conformist piece of shit. However, if you've endured many a dry spell, then you quickly grow tired of the periods when you have little money. Relative poverty is not a badge of honor anymore.
This makes me think of what two entirely different authors had to say on this point. On one hand, Charles Bukowski wrote a poem ( the name of which I couldn't tell you since this was years ago that I had read it) which basically said that it didn't matter where you were, or how healthy you were, how rich or poor, or what kind of headspace you were in: there will never be a perfect time to be creative, and that it's foolish to wait around for it.
On the other is H.L. Mencken, who wrote about this concept, calling it the "Greenwich Village complex." Here is his take on it:
"Poverty may be an unescapable misfortune, but that no more makes it honorable than a cocked eye is made honorable by the same cause. Do I advocate, then, the ceaseless, senseless hogging of money? I do not. All I advocate -- and praise as virtuous -- is the hogging of enough to provide security and ease. Despite all the romantic superstitions to the contrary, the artist cannot do his best work when he is oppressed by unsatisfied wants. Nor can the philosopher. Nor can the man of science. The best and clearest thinking of the world is done and the finest art is produced, not by men who are hungry, ragged, and harassed, but by men who are well-fed, warm and easy in mind."
Right now I'm leaning towards Mencken's take on it. That could be because I enjoy Mencken, and can take or leave Bukowski. Obviously -- I don't even own a book of his to pull a quote out of.
Do I consider myself an artist then? Well, sort of. I have an artist's one-track mind, and the tunnel-vision needed to achieve certain outcomes, since the process could seem extremely tedious and tiresome to some. I possess that sort of mad urgency for completion of projects, and my imagination is a better friend than most. I'm indecisive, a bit neurotic, and I grow bored with things quickly, alarmingly so. I think those are some good qualifications.
Pardon my weird mood. Trying not to sound self-pitying here, since I have no right. Just musing about boredom and its consequences.