I had the introduction to the post already writing itself in my mind, and was going to launch into it as soon as I’d popped the title, which had come to me in a flash as I was thinking about something, into the relevant box in the post editor…
But then my mind went blank.
Not completely blank as in I’d forgotten what I was going to write about, but the kind of blank which means that my mind has noticed something connected to what I had in mind to write about and it wants me to stop, look, listen.
Everything is connected. Or. Everything can be connected.
When you create a blog post, in the post editor there are… screw trying to describe it to you if you’ve never blogged, let me just show it to you
For those reading this who are WordPress bloggers – I use the old editor because I find it easier to use. It has fewer glitches. It makes writing posts the way that I write them a pleasure to do. When WP introduced the new improved editor I was worried that they’d force me to use it, I tried it out, just like I tried out the new tumblr system a few years ago, and then this blog would have gone the way of my tumblr one – I don’t post there anymore.
For anyone reading this who thinks I shouldn’t post at all – Why are you reading this?
And my mind has gone blank again. It wants me to notice the connection between the last sentence I wrote and the idea fueling the writing of this post which is summed up in the title of the post.
What made my mind go blank the first time was the part of writing a post which requires that you choose a – Category. If you don’t choose a category, the editor will do it for you and the post will be categorised as – Uncategorized.
When I first started this blog I was still caught up in attempting to blog properly (I have finally, after years of internal argument, debate, and struggle, concluded that my tendency to never do anything properly is an ability rather than a disability. Properly = as other people do it and/or as other people tell others that they should do it, which includes telling you how to be yourself), and I + Added New Categories like a scientist who has arrived in unexplored territory, has discovered what they think are hundreds of new species, and is in a label everything panic and frenzy.
The Categories on this blog are a mess.
I kept telling myself that one day I would tidy them up, and I almost did but then I didn’t because I read somewhere on someone else’s blog that doing that can make even more of a mess.
Which is better – Mess A or Mess B?
I’ve gone with Mess A, since that system is already in place and requires no effort (which suits the Lazy system which is already in place within me, which I have tried to alter in the past, and that led to decades of self-torture. I have now decided that being lazy is necessary for the rest of my system. The definition of ‘lazy’ which I am using was provided to me by the same people who provided me with the information that I never did anything properly. Apparently I was ‘lazy’ when I worked non-stop from 5 am until 8 pm day after day without breaks because holidays were for ‘lazy’ people until I burned myself out – which proved both their points. If I had been doing things properly then I would not have become the epitome of lazy – burned out and unable to function like the good little perfect thoughtless emotionless slave robot that I should have been).
How would you categorise this concept?
I just took a break from post writing to do some work, and while I was doing it my mind kept partly writing the post, and it wrote the following:
For those of you afraid of getting Older (the word itself is shuddering from the weight of the burden it carries with it for people), of growing old, of say turning 40, because then the world will categorise you as too old to be as useful as you once were, not as attractive as you once were, not as intelligent as you once were, not as able as you once were, etc.
You should be afraid of getting old, but not for those reasons.
Not for the reasons which others have given you, which society, the media, the news, the companies (which are going to make even more money out of you because of your fear of those reasons), advertising, etc, keeping pounding you with, brainwashing you with their own washed brains, and you’ve taken on board as your own.
What’s frightening about getting old isn’t being old.
What’s frightening is going through that rite of passage known as – The Midlife Crisis – wherein you get the opportunity to see how much bullshit you’ve absorbed from the same sort of people who have told you that getting old means you’re ready for the recycling bin or garbage heap.
You’ve lived your life according to everyone else’s rules, trying to do it properly, and it hasn’t made you happy, even if maybe it made you rich, famous, successful enough to make you one of those people whom other people are always telling that you should be happy with all that you have and have achieved and that you no longer have the right to be unhappy. If you’re unhappy then it’s your own goddamn fault! – that’s kind of true, you listened too much to people like them, you thought they knew better, you allowed them to be the boss of you, and you really should stop listening to people like that – Why are you still listening to them?
(for those who at this point want to flip what I just said into a – Why should I listen to you? – good question! I see your question and raise you with – Why are you still reading this post?)
Your choice, the opportunity which you offer to yourself, during The Midlife Crisis becomes – Do I keep going with Mess A or do I try out Mess B?
I opted for Mess B.
And Mess B got me into Mess A of Blogging.
And I’m right back where I started… at the beginning of this post, when my mind went blank because it wanted me to notice the Category of Uncategorized.
Why did my mind want me to notice it?
For several reasons, all of which connect to the idea which sparked this post for me.
The connections which merged to spark the idea which sparked the post began in many places at different times in my lifetime timeline – I connect them all, I am their common denominator. And even though many of those connections travel further back than my lifetime timeline, and further out and away from me, through others, through their lifetime timelines, and further back than that… all I can deal with is me.
I’m 49… well, I’m almost 49, close enough to it to say that I am. I’m looking forward to finding out what 50 will be like, what that decade will offer, since I know quite a few people who are in their 50’s and they’re awesome forces of human nature, a human nature which has accepted its own natural human forces. And since the 40’s have been great fun, liberating in a way that I never expected them to be…
I’m not sure what I expected them to be, but I have a vague memory of feeling that it was more downhill sliding. When I viewed the 40’s from the perspective of being in my late 30’s, I saw it from the viewpoint of someone who had in their 30’s given up struggling against all the brainwashing from the world outside and decided just to let it wash through me and wash me out.
I don’t know who originally created this image. An online image search reveals only that the image has powerfully resonated with many people. I came across it on Pinterest, then checked out the link to a wonderfully written post about Depression:
My 30’s were basically all grim reality, and from that place I saw everything after that as grim reaper reality. But when I crossed the threshold into 40, and went through several crises (all of which were connected to one crisis, the ancient human crisis of – Who am I? Why am I?). I had a psychotic break of sorts from everything everyone had told me, and decided to listen instead to what I was telling myself.
But what I was telling myself was a chaotic confusing chorus of voices – How could I find out which voice or voices were mine and which were the voices of others, voices I had absorbed and which had become mine? How could I tell the difference between the ones which were helpful, healthy for me, and the ones which were a hindrance to me, and harmful?
I opted for writing all of the voices down, giving them all a chance to have their say – via blog posts.
I chose to share my voices publicly because one of the voices told me to do that, it seemed friendly. Another voice ordered me never to do that, it seemed very unfriendly even though it was desperately trying to convince me that it was my only friend out of all the other voices.
The voice which told me to share all my voices publicly explained its reasoning calmly and gently. The voice which didn’t want me to do that did not want its authority questioned and did not feel that it should explain itself – when it told me to not do something, I should not do it, end of discussion period.
I share my voices publicly because this way I can’t say to myself that I didn’t say that. It helps me to remember.
Writing things down, letting all the voices express themselves, helps me to remember, and to read between the lines, hear what I’m really saying.
It’s helped me to understand myself better – in some ways literally. I feel better because I understand myself.
Blogging isn’t the only thing which helps me to do that. I get a lot out of reading the blogs of others. Blogging has helped me to understand how to read the blogs of others in a way which better helps me to understand myself, and through understanding myself I am slowly beginning to understand others better – although not literally. My understanding them does not make them better (thankfully as they don’t need that kind of static interference).
However, when others understand me, it does make me better.
When others don’t understand me – these days it actually makes me better. Sometimes because I see myself in them, in their words, in the way they’ve expressed themselves. And how I react to how they’ve expressed themselves, shows me myself, but also all those others who have reacted to me as I am reacting to them. I now understand why others reacted that way to me, because I am reacting to someone else in that way, someone else who reminds me of me, a me I used to be, a me I sometimes still am (because once you have been a me, that me is always a part of the whole me) I can see the process of the reaction from the inside out.
Just after I finished the previous paragraph, I clicked – Save Draft – and instead of the saving process operating as usual, the screen went blank and the WordPress Failure Notice shown above popped up.
See, everything is connected! Or at least I can connect pretty much everything.
This one is hilarious!
Yes, WordPress, I am sure that I want to:
1 – Save Draft… even if you perhaps aren’t sure that this post is worth saving, aren’t sure that it deserves to be saved, be given voice, or maybe think that this post is a mess and belongs in the trash.
2 – see the process of the reaction from the inside out.
When I pressed – Please try again – and the post returned. WordPress deleted everything after – I can see – which made me have to rewrite it. It isn’t exactly what I had written before, but that’s only because I couldn’t recall the exact words I’d written even though I’d only written them seconds before.
However now it makes me:
1 – Hmmmm…………………….
and that Hmmmm……………………. makes me:
1 – question whether I do see, can see, want to see
2 – wonder (not the same as questioning) about the question and the spots or blind spots it raises on the inner fleshing out
3 – feel more certain about that other idea I wasn’t certain about, which is using a close up crop of my eyes for the new header on my blog. It’s time to change it – it just is. I was messing around last night with a photo, a selfie, I took of myself a couple of years ago. I wasn’t sure about using it for several reasons. I kept telling myself to take a new photo, but I’m feeling lazy about doing that. And my eyes…
This isn’t the selfie I was messing with last night. I’m too lazy to upload that one, especially as it’s still in being messed with mode. This is a selfie taken at the same time as the photo which I use as my Gravatar – this is what happens when I move my hand away from covering my eyes.
My eyes + what people see in them when they look at my eyes looking at them = a crossroads of sorts.
My eyes are ever so slightly cross-eyed, but that’s not a problem.
Some people look at my eyes and see kindness – I’ve been told I have kind eyes, often by strangers who were trying to figure out which stranger around them wouldn’t kill them if they walked up to them and started talking to them, asked them for directions.
Some people look at my eyes and see intelligence. Sometimes this annoys them, sometimes this is a relief to them especially if I’ve just blurted out some stupid tactless bullshit.
Some people look at my eyes and see naivety. Sometimes this leads to either one or the other or both of us getting a pleasant or unpleasant surprise.
Some people look at my eyes and see understanding. Those who see my eyes this way… is the main reason why over the years people I don’t know have told me all about themselves without my prompting them to do so.
Some people look at my eyes and see me seeing what they thought they’d managed to hide from everyone and maybe even from themselves. I’ve been told fairly often – Don’t look at me that way! Stop looking at me like that!
Now, that wouldn’t be unusual if in those instances I had been giving someone a look along the lines of – If looks could kill – or – I saw what you did – or was looking at them while thinking – should I tell them that they have lipstick smeared all over their teeth (it’s usually women I am hesitant to inform of such things, I know they’d want to know but then again it could be the wrong moment to tell them).
Usually I hear – How dare you look at me in that manner! – when my eyes are slightly unfocused while focused on someone and my mind is blank, when I’m not thinking about the person who thinks all my thoughts are all about them and they’re not good thoughts – I know they’re thinking that because after they tell me not to look at them the way they’ve decided I’m looking at them, they then proceed to tell me what I was thinking about them, and why I was thinking it, and why I shouldn’t be thinking that because it’s all wrong. They did not do what they just confessed to by telling me what I did not know about them.
In some ways my posts are like my eyes – people read into them what they see in them.
Sometimes what others see in my posts, is not at all what I see in my posts – this can be either a pleasant or unpleasant surprise, occasionally it is a mixture of both.
And of course, that also happens when I read the posts of other bloggers. I read into to them what may not be there, I take things seriously when maybe they were said in jest, I find them funny when maybe they were serious, I misunderstand what they were trying to express, and so on.
I am, like you are while reading these words, unable to see them because I see them through the filters of myself, I am seeing and hearing myself in them.
That includes seeing a not-me when looking at someone else, because the not-me is a part of the me. The not-me’s help us to define the me. Occasionally the not-me is very much a me, it’s just that we haven’t accepted that me yet, and may never accept that me.
The not-me is not necessarily a negative not-me.
It’s not necessarily when you look at someone, decide they’re a narcissist and then are pleased with yourself because they’re a not-me.
The not-me is sometimes a positive not-me which you’re convinced you could never be, and perhaps you’re convinced of it because you keep trying to be that me but it’s not happening, you keep failing, or maybe someone else has told you so often that you will never be, can’t be, that me that their brainwashing has washed into you, been absorbed, and become a me of yours who tells you repeatedly about your failure to be that not-me which you so want to be.
A lot of bloggers start blogs because they want to be published writers (that’s a not-me for me). In the honeymoon phase of a blogger’s relationship with their blog, they’ll write post after post like they’re possessed by a writing demon, by the muse, but then things slow down as the relationship hits the hard work phase, the gauntlet you run wherein your commitment to the relationship is tested.
At this point if the blogger is an aspiring writer who hasn’t become an overnight success for their writing prowess in the blogging community and beyond, and had offers pouring in from publishers and the media, they might get dejected. They might write a couple of posts complaining, angry at themselves for complaining, and then they might disappear for a while from their blog, perhaps to never return. If they do return they might write a few posts discussing writer’s block, their lack of inspiration, apologising to their readers for being absent but the problems they have in their real life are keeping them from writing and pursuing their dream.
Are these wanna-be-published writers chasing a not-me pipe dream, and grim reality keeps trying to tell them that they’ll never be that me they so desperately seek to be? I don’t know, but the ones whose posts I’ve read, whose blogs I’ve followed (sometimes in lurker mode), are (or were before their blog vanished) very talented powerful voices.
If you read the posts of published (and that includes self-published) authors, they often write about how hard it is to become that me, and to keep being that me. It is a tumultuous, perilous sea full of all sorts of sea monsters trying to capsize you, drown you, eat you, steal you away from yourself for themselves.
That sort of sea… is the sea of life which we all sail in.
I had a debate with myself over a quote I wanted to use in this space.
I was going to go with the blue one even though there was a slight unfriendliness about it, because I like this shade of the colour and the lay-out:
but then I saw the white one… I felt it was friendlier and expressed the quote better:
because it had typos – if people (or their phones) didn’t make typos, what would those who love finding and correcting typos do for fun? How would those who like to prove to themselves how right they are prove that if they couldn’t use those they seek out and see as being wrong?
There’s a blog I’ve been perusing lately with which I’ve developed a bit of an obsession – that blog reminds me a lot of this blog. Some of the things that blogger writes, says, in their posts are so similar to things I’ve written, said, in my posts (particularly my earlier posts of a few years ago). Our styles of writing are different because we’re different people and have different voices.
I had a bit of fun with that last night and copy & pasted a whole segment of a post of theirs into – I Write Like – their writing in that particular post is like H. P. Lovecraft. I did it with a second post of theirs and it also came up with another Science Fiction author. Then I did it with one of my latest posts which apparently was like Anne Rice (which was cool because I loved reading her books, her style was to me vividly visual).
I also tested out segments of their posts and mine on Hacker Factor: Gender Guesser – we’re both Male/Weak Male (‘Weak’ in this context = possibly European). I probably don’t need to mention I’m female, but I probably should mention that I’m an INTP and doing stuff like this (investigating/testing/experimenting) is normal for that MBTI (don’t take my word for it, look up INTP – that’s what I would do. That’s what I do. I like to check things and people out for myself, do my own thinking and feeling.
Let me know if you find anything interesting, don’t worry about sharing something I’ve already found, your take on it won’t be my take on it and that’s always interesting!).
Getting obsessed with a blog is part of the fun, adventure, and experience of the online world. Just as getting bored of a blog is. When you get bored of a blog with which you were once obsessed that = you found what you were seeking, and can move on to the next phase of your quest, your next adventure, finding the next thing you’re seeking.
(for those who haven’t yet got bored with my blog, when you do – Thank you! …oops… did I mean it like that? Best wishes on your next adventure in your sailing on the sea of your life. Thar ye blows, thar ye gows!)
But what is it that you are seeking?
Is it a me or a not-me or both?
If you looked at all the blogs, blog posts, which you’ve been reading recently (in the past week or month or year depending on how many there are, how often you surf – keep it down to a max of 10), and saw them as dots – what connects those dots for you?
What if you added to those dots, recent – news stories which really caught your attention, caused a strong reaction (one which went deep within and connected to something inside of you), films you’ve watched which you violently hated or passionately loved, TV Shows you’re addicted to watching, songs you keep playing on repeat, thoughts you’ve been having which you can’t dismiss, feelings which keep surging up, emotions which are pounding inside of you like hunger, events which have happened that left you with an unsatisfied loose end as though there’s a connection there to something else, and anything else which strikes or struck you and made you notice it, even some stupid tactless bullshit you or someone else said, something embarrassing which keeps haunting you, a memory which popped up out of nowhere, etc.
If you look at all those dots – what connects them for you?
Yes, you connect them – but which you? You now, you before, you in between you now and you before? You not-you-anymore? Not-you who you’d like to be you?
Which you is doing most of the talking? Which you is listening?
Are you really listening to what you’re saying, are you hearing yourself – what are you hearing? Is it something you want to hear or is it something you don’t want to hear? Is it something you don’t want to hear because you’re telling yourself it would ruin everything, hurt, to hear it? But what if hearing it healed you a bit and made everything a bit better?
You remind me of me…
and if you read my posts, then it’s likely that I remind you of you.
Over to you?
What was your first thought on waking up this morning?
Did it reply to the last thought you had before you went to sleep?
Why are you reading this post?