There's been a lingering question that I think disturbs us all. I think it's somewhere in the lower-left compartment of our subconscious. Maybe it's not a question at all. Maybe it's the answer we avoid. But to depict the idea as clearly as I can, it would be "What is the meaning of 'meaning'?
Somewhere along the way I think we can get caught in the pre-programmed nature of who we are in our culture -- to truly chase what America offers as security but with transient benefits. We busy or worry ourselves with the "the next thing", or we tithe our interest to a hope of success we associate with "progress". And with all these ideas of progress, the cons seem smaller, or in our optimism non-existent. But who can blame anyone for that? Life goes on, you deal with the cards your dealt and you play the game because stagnation leaves you in a worse place. It's opportune time to cut losses. So, you push, and you push, and think about yourself constantly and when it never seems enough -- when it eats you alive at night or in the morning -- you ask yourself the question, "What does it mean to mean anything at all?"
I stopped asking.
You see, after the year 2014, I had gone through a mess of misfortunes (save for a supportive family). I give the year 2014 the title of Waves of Rejection. I didn't fit people's idea of a meaningful existence several times, and I would feel ever so humbled to even approach that point with so many. However close I got, the trap door collapsed from underneath me.
It wasn't totally over. There, lying in wait, 2015 was a punchline of a joke I'd never see coming; I had a stroke of luck (that's the setup).
A fantastic girlfriend, a new job, pleasurable new friends, some sense of direction, and a way out of my own poverty. I was grateful. It looked like I was back on my way to finding greater meaning or purpose. How could I not be after 2014 humbled my soul to the consistency of an acrid sponge? On the day I got my new job, a couple days after just filing into the unemployment office, I got the call every heterosexual male dreads.
It was over. She broke up with me. I don't know why, but it was meaningful to her. A couple days before this was one of the happiest days I've ever experienced, and then I was shown the door. Someone has got to stop installing these trap doors everywhere.
In all its glory, a new phenomenon appeared:
Gut-wrenching, vulnerable, and quixotic as any psychopath's primary method of torture, it was here, and it was here to stay.
It was an unwelcome house guest, somewhere near that lower-left compartment of my subconscious, throwing rocks at the part of my brain that tries to figure things out. But I can't.
Heartbreak, I imagine, is like the boss of a gas station who wants you to scan through all the tapes that video surveillance captured within the last two months to gather any evidence or clues of who stole ALL THE DAMN CHEETOHS. At times, when scanning through the videos, a highlight reel emerges of the greatest moments you could share with that person, and when you've gathered enough footage of possible evidence, you still can't quite conjure a strong case. I can't decide if the good memories or the bad ones are worse to think about.
You blame that person. You blame yourself. You blame the world. You blame God. You are running out of fingers to point with. So, you play it over and over again. You share it with other people, and they have different interpretations. Nothing is conclusive. The married couples are glad they're not in that game anymore. It all means something different. People project their own interpretations and it gets you nowhere. Everything leaves you more and more incredulous in your scrutiny. At some point you ask yourself if this even productive enough to keep trying to figure out this puzzle. There has to be a threshold of pain where mental anguish can only do so much.
Heartbreak still writes me scathing emails about my past performance, sends postcards acting like we have a friendly, professional relationship, or likes my Facebook statuses despite the fact we're not talking. Heartbreak, quite frankly, is a dick in upper-management.
I started talking to someone else who was special to me. Someone I thought could finally mean something more; it just couldn't romantically pan out.
And in the slow fade away girls seems to do, I found myself opening that lower-left compartment again to discover something about that question. I found that despite the long quest I've trekked to learn how to love myself, I had forgotten that I change. My relationship with myself was simply going through the motions of what success means.I was losing reality. So, like any relationship, I began to resent what I had been doing, who I was, or who I had become. You start the blame game over and over again, and nobody wins. I wasn't aware that I could grow a pocket of hate despite how confident and steadfast I try to be despite life's surrounding struggles. But there it is, hiding away like a marijuana plantation in someone's closet. I use that analogy because it should be illegal.
Whatever -- I moved on. I can't sweat following people's delusions of meaning all day, everyday.
Several insightful conversations, a reevaluation of myself in contrast to the universe, and a time to be so small -- I had to admit to myself a few things, examine the pieces, of what 2014 and this heartbreak all "meant".
But is that really necessary? No one's telling me it isn't. Some say to grieve. Some say there are plenty of fishes. Some say an opportunity is just around the bend if you work hard enough. I chose a different approach: rebuild the relationship I have with body, mind, and soul. I have the opportunity to better myself ($$$).
What perturbs me most is that people date like it's all a game in the presence of meaning, yet when we've found "the one" we act as if it was fate all along. It's how seduction becomes a four-letter word. People don't seem to date in the utter pursuit of meaningful relationship with purely seduction in mind, but welcome to dating! I have a hard time believing in destiny, and an even harder time thinking destiny and positive meaningfulness go hand-in-hand. I find destiny to be possible within the power of God, but I don't give everything over to that cosmic lottery.
So, here I am, focusing more intensely on my personal well-being, and following the dreams I've always had. I can't say it will all be meaningful, but I can hope it lends myself to profound moments where I can really love again in all that love requires of me.
I'm working out more regularly, wrapping up the production of my musical EP, eating better, being involved in other creative projects, visited NYC as bucketlist place to visit, and feeling a bit more confident again. I suppose part of loving myself is learn how to accept my weaknesses and find where they are best suited as strengths.This year was the impetus to rebuild what it means to mean anything at all. The saga continues. It takes time.