Honest Self Appraisal?
Can we really do this?
Are we not, usually, still deluded on some level that is just past our own awareness?
I try, really try, every day to look at myself and my actions as honestly as I can. I try to peel back my own layers of denial and self deception. But can I ever really get there? Is there really ever a time when I am seriously honest about my own capabilities and limitations?
I do not know...
Sometimes I think I am just wandering day to day with these lofty ideas about myself and the universe and God and you. Sometimes I think that I know something, more often I feel like I know nothing at all.
I am finding a new level of "I am not sure what" in my life. I feel stalled and empty and somewhat like an Alzheimer's patient must feel like as they wander the streets of a familiar town, having a totally unrelated experience. I am here, but not really.
Present. That is the goal. To be here now, with whomever shows up in my life. To allow what comes to permeate me and become a part of my living, breathing and enjoying. To let go of those things that seems to flit about and never really land. Mostly men for me. They come and they go, none of them lasting or really too impressionable. The longer it goes on, the easier it is just to open my hand and release.
I am having a harder time with allowing what remains to sink in. Especially when I am not really even sure what it is that is here. My job. My kids. My pets. My home. These are my everyday. These are the staples of my current life. Why, when my life has become so simplified, do I still find that I have issues with allowing those things into me, intimacy (in to me see). Why, when it has become so very basic, do I still struggle?
Harder still is the idea that I should not worry about all that is not here today: will I get the virus, will anyone ever be interested in reading my book, will I ever have another date, will the pandemic end, will the political crisis cause so much societal instability that our nation crumbles into a place that I do not recognize or wish to participate in anymore, will this desire to flee to a small house in the woods of Mendocino become a reality?
I spend so much of my time thinking about that which is not here. The past or future. I have this life that is occurring right now, as I type these words, and I have to say that I miss a great deal of it still. Thinking about my plans and schemes and desires and wants. Discontented always with the here and now.
Oh, I have made progress. A couple of weeks ago, I was mounting an insurrection, my mind completely amok in exit strategies and delusions of grandeur. Today, I am just here living life in as discrete units of time as I possibly can. And trying not to let that drive me mad.
To circle back to my initial question, can I honestly, really figure out where I am in my life? I don’t think so, there appears to be so much chitter chatter in my mind, always distracting me before I ever arrive at any kind of believable conclusion. Perhaps, it doesn’t matter. Perhaps the most important thing is for me to just keep trying. To be willing, daily, to pull my own covers on the inner agenda that seems to create itself and recreate itself without my knowledge, consent or awareness. To just keep looking for the bright spot in the dark twist of my character.
Perhaps if I keep doing this, I will come to understand myself better so that I can apply those same skills to understanding you. I really want to understand us both. I want to be brave enough to ask you how you are and then really listen. I want to be brave enough to really tell you how I am, even if my description may be graphic and not particularly socially acceptable.
Most moments are ok. Some are sublime. Some I feel like the flimsy reed of sanity I have been holding onto is finally coming unearthed and I will drift. Regardless, what I know for sure, is that we are all trying to make sense in a world that has ceased to make much sense to any of us. Getting up and going to work yesterday took an act of internal congress. All of my delegates had to vote me out of my bed and into my day. I know that I am not the only one that needed a senate vote to get me in the shower.
I keep going because what else it there to do? This time of change and uncertainty feels too long in the tooth and requiring too much. However, I know that I have changed in ways that have made me less happy but more content. The lack of busyness to keep me constantly in motion, have caused me to sit with myself and to find a new layer of honesty about me and also about you. I have to say that I am not sure I really like it, which is what fueled the running for so long. But, here we are.
Honest self appraisal may never be completely attainable. But it is the mantra for me at this time in my life, in a world that I understand and can make sense of less and less everyday. What I am getting is that this relationship I have with myself has been so unstable and deleterious for a long time and that has caused there to be a corrosive thread in all of my other relationships. So, I am trying to make use of all this down time and get to a place where I have stabilized and improved this most fundamental relationship with myself. It is the only way I can see me ever having a prayer at having a decent relationship with others. While I may never get to 100% honesty about me by me, I can keep trying.
“The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.” Cheryl Strayed