Saturday, September 27, 2014

Useful

You've probably noticed that my past few blog posts have not been the most cheerful. I've been far more prone to mood swings since moving to Vegas, presumably because I have a smaller, not-quite-so-well-established support system out here compared to the one I had in Chicago. However, this slump has been going on a little longer than I'd like, so, naturally, I've been trying to figure out exactly why I'm unhappy. There are many reasons that don't need to be discussed here in detail, but I think I've hit upon an overarching theme.

I've realized that my happiness is contingent upon my perceived usefulness to others. I haven't felt particularly useful lately, not even to myself. Perhaps usefulness is not a good way to determine one's happiness, but I'm not sure how else one is supposed to give meaning to life. I don't see how caring less about people would be better. Not that I'm the world champion of caring or anything. I can think of plenty of times when I've failed at caring, when I could have been a better, more helpful friend. But I generally try, at least. 

Recently I've felt like no one needs my help, even in the mildest way, which I suppose is a good thing, except that I feel like I have little to offer. The bigger problem may be that I'm not certain how to be useful to myself. There are currently many things in my life that I'd like to change, and I feel that if I could successfully change one of them, my spirits would be high enough to make the other issues feel less insurmountable. Usually I'm good at taking care of myself, fixing my own problems, but right now I'm (mostly) at a loss. Therefore, I feel sad.

I suspect the best thing to do is just go through the motions until one day I wake up and don't feel this way anymore. That's typically how it works. Unanticipated events transpire and then everything is hunky-dory once again. The trouble is, I feel like my underlying unhappiness is starting to make me impatient and snippy with others, even though they have nothing to do with my problems, all of which are either my own fault or nobody's fault. Unintentional, passive aggressive rudeness simply won't do. I will now compile a list of things that make me happy, in an attempt to lift my spirits:
  • Thursday the poet Bridget Lowe visited school; she gave a craft talk and a reading, and her poems are right up my alley. Weird. Beautiful. There should be a word that combines those two words. I'd recommend her book At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky.
  • Leta recently shared the band Lucius with me, and they are neat. Here is their heavily 1960's-influenced music video for "Turn it Around.
  • The weather cooled off considerably today, so I was able to work on my balcony. Plus, I can open the window in my bedroom. Fresh air is far superior to air conditioning.
  • I haven't been thrilled about my weight lately, so I've been exercising, trying to eat better. Despite all this, my ass still looks pretty good, for which I am grateful.
  • We're karaokeing at Pioneer Saloon next Friday.
  • Lulu made enchiladas and they are yummy.
  • David Bowie.
Ah, yes, always Bowie. And on that note, I must grade papers and, ideally, read several hundred pages of a novel. Bon soir, dear readers.

P.S. Sometimes I worry that I'm too honest on my blog, but if I can't be honest about my feelings on this thing that I write for myself, with whom can I be honest? It seems wrong to lie to my blog. That said, I don't mean to alarm anyone. Things will work out. Always do.

3 comments:

  1. The best posts are the honest ones.

    Utility can be a good measure of happiness. Being needed is nice. But it's an awfully tiring thing. If being useful is being happy, then happiness always comes at the cost of giving something. That's a lovely sentiment, and generosity is good. But it's draining.

    And remember that sadness hides your usefulness from you. It lies. It makes you feel useless, despite that fact that you are very much needed and wanted.

    Sadness sabotages your logic circuits, and human brains relish sadness, because it feels important. It feels more real and more significant. It gets really easy to logically come to conclusions that you're useless, that you don't have anything to offer anyone - but that logic is skewed and flawed. The sadness just doesn't let you see it (even if you're someone who's more than usually introspective and objective).

    I know it doesn't help since I'm not there, but I definitely need you around. Maybe I'm not having a crisis that only you can fix, and maybe you're not the only one who makes me laugh or whatever service I might want at the moment, but I still need you. You're super useful. You give me advice and perspective, you encourage me to not give up halfway through things, remind me to write, help keep me sane when I'm stressing out about dumb stuff, make me laugh, keep me humble, act as a role model (really, you do). So many things. You do these things, and I need you to do them. I need you as a friend, and I'm so happy that you are my friend. Like, it feels ridiculous that we're friends, because it's so awesomely excellent that it's slightly unreal, like a movie. I can't believe that we're better friends than we even were when we were twelve. Like, it's crazy, right? It's crazy that we met when we were kids and we're still friends, still love each other, still share a smear of brain? It's crazy. And unlikely. And amazing.

    Anyway. I love you, whether I need you or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, the captcha for that comment was "2218" which looked like "221B" which obviously I had to mention because it's the internet telling you how awesome our friendship is because Sherlock Holmes is obviously our thing.

      Delete
    2. Further proof our friendship controls the universe.

      Delete

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