June 27, 2020

On Achieving Goals

Some days I feel hopeless. I feel that I should give into everything I am fighting against. What good is rejecting modernity when modernity is happening all around me, constantly evolving into something so wildly encapsulating I will never be able to escape. Why do I not just fall in line and take what I can get. Why not live my life working for the weekends, going out every Friday so I can not remember on Saturday and waste my weekend feeling ill. Why not live my life behind a screen and accept every little dopamine hit I am given by social engineers working for software companies. Why not go just a little further in debt to get that car, or that house, or those clothes, or that plastic made in china shit. Why do I not spend all of my little free time consuming regular programming, written to satisfy the lowest common denominator. Why do I not replace intimacy with the convenience of pornography. Why do I not play video games all day, getting a small adrenaline rush every time I turn a corner, so enamored by the rush that I have to do it again just to feel something. Why do I not allow myself to be grateful for the availability of the things that everyone else seems to enjoy so much, excited and waiting impatiently for the next microdose of stimulation and satisfaction that will surely come if I just keep watching, keep scrolling, keep buying, keep mindlessly flowing through life, taking the path of least resistance. Why do I prefer to spend my time angry at culture and society, when I fully realize that I am powerless to change it. Why do I continue to fight for my desired lifestyle when I know it is an uphill battle. A battle that makes me feel isolated and alone. A battle that causes those around to distance themselves from me because my ideas seem so radical. A battle that makes me second guess myself and my actions, because nobody seems to feel the way I do. A battle that I know I can not win, at the best I can achieve a stalemate, where I don't give in but I never fully achieve my goals.

Some days I wish I were in prison. In a grey walled cell with nothing to do but stare at a wall until I am told to do something else. In an institution where I have no choice to go against the status quo, because it is impossible. Waiting to be told when to eat, and wanting no more food because there is no more food to have. Getting new linens and not wanting softer ones, because there are no softer ones to be had. Being told when to go outside and exercise, and not wanting more time because there is no more time to be outside and exercise. Getting a set amount of free time and not feeling disappointing, because there is no more free time to be had, just the next scheduled event. There is rigidity and structure, camaraderie, order, everything I crave. There are no choices I can make, so I can not be fearful that I will make the wrong choice, there is no choice. In prison there is no fear of missing out. There is nothing to be disappointing in because there is no option for something better. If free will were taken from me, I could be unbound from the feeling that I am not all that I can be. That I am doing all that I can do. That I will one day be satisfied.

Some days I have an overwhelming feeling that I am on the verge of a breakthrough. That I am going to realize something. That I will achieve something. That I will ascend to something better than I currently am. That things will be okay. I am engulfed by these feelings. I am excited by these feelings. I am hopeful that it will come to me, whatever it is. It never does. I feel so close to having "it" materialize right in front of me, I can almost feel it. I can almost see it. It is right there, fuzzy in its shape. Almost something that I can make out, but not quite. It is Latin, I can recognize it, but I can only understand little parts. The bush is burning in front of me, but not being consumed, and God does not speak to me. The feeling overtakes my senses. I am jittery. I am a child again, giddy for the greatest day of my life. I am graduating high school. It is my first kiss. It never comes. It stays fuzzy. It stays Latin. I dream about it only to wake up with the disappointment of nothing changing.

I wonder if it will ever come to me. I wonder if I can stay in the shower long enough, if I will finally reach my conclusion. If I sleep long enough, it will come to me in a dream. If I work hard enough. If I scream loud enough. If I push back enough.

Some days I know there is nothing there.

Some days I feel this a resurgence of teenage angst. Am I only acting out? Is this my quarter-life crisis? Is it just a phase? Is my life so comfortable that I feel the need to create an artificial hardship just to feel like I deserve happiness in the future, that I need to justify my existence to myself?

If I want happiness, what do I want? Could I not achieve happiness by taking the easy route and ignoring this feeling I have inside me? Can I not replace it with easy, pleasurable things? Can I not replace it with hedonism and overconsumption and rapidly dissipating rushes of excitement? What is my goal? I have freedom of choice, why am I putting myself in a situation where every option is difficult? Am I on the high road? Am I justified in feeling the way I feel? Do I have a leg to stand on?

Am I delusional? Am I too puritan in my thinking? Do I long for something that doesn't exist, that isn't possible? Am I fighting a fight, or am I fighting myself? If I continue on, will I be on my deathbed, looking back on my life and be fulfilled? Or will I be filled full of regret?