Stream of Consciousness
I’m battling a bout of writer’s block.
To get something to paper, I thought it would be interesting to capture a stream of consciousness. And to be honest, the resulting word vomit turned out a little weird, a bit dark and somewhat incoherent. But as an act of vulnerability, I decided to let it fly.
Maybe it will convince you to share your own thoughts in a more vulnerable way.
Here it goes:
Am I happy? Can I be happy? I think about this a lot actually. Even when I’m happy I’m wondering how long I’ll be happy. Or if this will be the last time. I wonder if I can control it or does it just come with the genes. Like if my great grandparents were sad all the time that means I’m destined to be sad.
I’m thinking about my future. Not in some big existential crisis sort of way. But in a “Do I need to move across the country and meet new people and change my life?” sort of way. Okay, so maybe in a big existential crisis sort of way.
I’m thinking about writing. And how for something so rewarding, it might just ruin my life. How it makes me question my ability to do anything of consequence and leaves me feeling guilty. Like if by doing anything else, I’m missing my one real chance to have an impact. Like I’m a coward taking the easy road.
I love music and I admire musicians. Being able to share your thoughts with so many, in such an emotionally impactful way. It doesn’t seem fair. I wonder if all writers feel this way? Like if great writers look at great musicians the way the coaches look at the players. With an intimate understanding of what’s happening, but always enviously, from the sideline.
My apartment is for sale. I’m 30 days from homelessness at all times. I’m addicted to the lack of commitment, but I struggle with the lack of security. I’ve built my strategy around keeping options open only to end up paralyzed by indecision.
Our hands will get more wrinkled and our hair will grow gray. Lyrics from the song I’m listening to right now. Does this mean I won’t recognize myself when I’m old? Like one day, I’ll look at myself expecting to see young Nate, and instead, I see someone else. Some old guy with a young guy stuck inside.
Sometimes, I think I can imagine the fear that comes with old age. The fear of knowing the numbers are against me and no amount of gluten free, organic anything is going to make a difference. Typically, when it’s not your choice, you can relax in knowing it’s out of your hands. But with death, the out of your hands part is what’s killing you.
I worry about my job. Not if I’ll lose it. Instead, I worry I won’t ever lose it. I’ll settle, stagnate and fade into obsolescence. What if misfortune is the deadbeat, yet misunderstood, parent of fortune?
I worry everything played out too perfectly, but I just need to be grateful and content with what I have. Not ever knowing if I am capable. Going untested. What if hell is the person you became meeting the person you could have become?
Or regret? What if I leave my current situation and doom myself to trying to recapture what I left behind. Like leaving home, only to realize later, in dramatic Generation Y fashion, you can’t return to something that no longer exists.
I worry about my family. That I don’t talk to them enough. That they could leave this world abruptly without saying goodbye. Before I can show them how important they are. I’m sad for the chapters of their lives that have already passed. I’m sad for the part I played in closing many of those chapters. That my arrival meant so many endings, so many sacrifices, especially for her.
That I can’t share in or understand the fear my parents must feel as they grow older. That I can’t help them feel younger or more fulfilled. That I won’t succeed enough to prove them right. That I won’t give them the return on the investment they made in me.
I think about all the potential around me. That no matter what I act on I will be closing the door on countless other opportunities. That time is moving and I’m regressing. I worry mostly that I’m doomed to mediocrity.
I hope I’m not shallow. That any perceived depth I have is not an illusion. That I won’t wake up one day and realize everything I’ve said or thought is obvious and common. That I am in fact average, not different, not exceptional. Why don’t people talk about this? Why do we feign confidence? Why do we put up our Facebook highlight reels and hide our real thoughts where no one can see them?
I worry about money. How more is never enough. I worry about material things disguised as freedom, hiding their chains of financial burden. I worry I won’t see them until it’s too late and their weight is too great.
I think about the meaninglessness. How good or bad, on a long enough timeline, the results are always the same. The outcome unchangeable. The powerlessness of mortality.
I think about riding my motorcycle across incredible distances. I imagine the freedom and weightlessness of riding to an unplanned destination. The relief of shedding the past and the excitement of chasing the future with each pull on the throttle.
I worry about the people I leave behind. I worry about the hole my departure leaves. I worry about not leaving a hole at all.