Sunday, Jul. 13, 2003
Well, as one of a socially dependent species, I'm often amazed that in order to achieve some sense of self I have to separate from the crowd - the same, I imagine, as every one of us must do at some point in our lives, perhaps on more than a few occasions. In order to come to terms with our inescapable inclusion in humanity each of us must venture away from it, journey into solace so that we may be aquainted with ourselves and with our humanity and the cosmic purpose of that combination. As if I'm not really certain that I am an individual sentient being unless I can prove that my choices are my own, even if my choices prove to be harmonious with conventional wisdom. (Ah, the awakening consciousness of the college mind.) So, I guess that means I'm unsure whether I'm being myself when I carry home habits from Amy's, or whether I'm pretending to be something that I've not yet become.
I think this means, for some reason, which I am eager to explore, I'm not ready for my existence to be absorbed into a greater circumstance of living. Whether I decide to peacefully forge a life (and concieve new ones) within the maddness our world, or whether I decide to reject it all and die in a cave, (anyone detected a slight bias?) it is imperitive that I know and understand that there is truth behind my reasons for whichever I choose.
Still in my twenties, it's with the blind ignorance of The Bigger Picture that I'm resisting the urge - yet vulnerable to the seduction - of wanting to belong within a familiar community (typical married-couple family types) without a more substantial arugement to defeat the convenience of familiarity. It's like ordering Coke-a-Cola in a strange country: I wouldn't do that if I comfortably understood my options. However, being deathly insecure with the unknown, Coke Is It! I choose what I know, even if I know it is bad.
This is the (problematic circumstances) of every rebelious soul. When our lonely walk into the desert fails us in revealing the nature of life in 21st century society (wherever on the planet we may live), frustration, anxiety and fear stear us either to complacency or self destruction. Most young rebels eventually choose complacency: having achieved peer validation with a certain tax-bracket status, regardless of the contradiction to twenty-something ideals, they park their gas-hog SUVs in the asphault pastures at Walmat and surrender the rewards of their social status to the Gods of free-market capitalism.
(Has anyone ever thought of the point of purchase as a corporate kickback? Rules of the Game: "They" allow us to work for a certain standard of living as long as we pay them to provide it for us. We work for the privelege of paying them. Slave labor complacent with the illusion of self-determination. You plug your Martha Stewart Home Ikea into the socket; there's no independently battery-operated lifestyle in this acceptable society. For that, you're on your own. Cold out there, isn't it? Which do you choose?)
The rest of us have a tendency toward self-destruction. Unable to realize a metaphysical satisfaction with our position within a contradictory civilization, we'd rather sever our umbellical connection and float aimlessly in our tin cans.
As always, if I were to step outside of myself and make some brutally honest observations, I might find that even I would simply rather be shaped by the changes of aging, by a natural evolution of consciouness, although not without the confidence of deeply profound consideration: the self-security in concluding that my self identity can exist and thrive with the compromises of a backward society.
I'm sitting here laughing out loud at myself, having just written some blather which tops anything I ever submitted to my professors, as if I am the only person to have ever found myself questioning my decision to get married. It is pretty funny. Even though every individual must consider such life-changing decisions very carefully, it feels good to finally laugh for the first time in days.
Daaaaaaaamn, what a fight we put up (and you know - or will know who you are) in a meek chiuahuan accent: Back off man! ...I can do eet.
The most difficult part of this is confronting my unreadiness for a graduation I want so badly to earn. The facade of my self image is shattered. And all I can say is, with involuntary reflex, FUCK !! For weeks, indeed, since Amy and I began dating - oh, geezuz, be honest, Dan! For years I have been living behind my self-satisfying painted-canvass impression of "maturity". An honest examination of that projected image shames me into facing my painfully stunted understanding of my mature self. Somebody flog me. Please. I'd do it myself if I could find my own ass with this silly map I've drawn.
For 27 years my life has been defined by easy living, a selfish outlook bred by a childish expectation of privilege. Most of the time, rather than make a responsible decision to accomplish something productive, I would defer to the thoughtless inclination of running around naked with a bra on my head, screaming in a girlish voice "lookit me! I'm a squid!" For all my complaining about our culture's preference for the empty fluff of self-gratification I can nonetheless relate very well. But it has been a problem. I've dealt with it half-heartedly so that I might avoid responsibility and excape accountability. And now I'm quite sick of it all.
Marriage isn't my answer to this issue. I certainly don't expect my relationship with Amy to be fifty years of rose petals and carriage rides. Her becoming a permanent fixture in my life is like aquiring a whole new thought process in addition to the one I've developed. When she and I talk, play, make love, mingle at parties and go to Sunday night dinner I can see the world from her point of view (even if it makes me mad sometimes) and I feel like a fuller person for it. The problem is, when that fullness is drained by cowardess, lethargy and weakness I feel like I'm cheating the woman I love.
Witnessing someone stuggle hopelessly with growing pains, seeing them writh and cry out with confusion at the unfairness of life's unsympathetic lessons exposes the most absolute unattractive aspects of the sufferer. My charm, my wit, my comfortability with strangers, my projected determination aren't necessarily the pieces of me that I'd want my wife to be attracted to. I feel like it's a performance, a slight of hand, an expensive carpet pulled over the emptiness of what I actually am. And when something bad happens, there's Gollum sitting on the can spankin' away. Stinking hobbitses. I leave her without my contribution of emotional security, dependency or of nurturing and strengthening the bond. To have said that knowing Amy makes me want to be a better man was a half-truth. The sentiment, of course, being that, having known her I can imagine a greater potential in myself and once I've grasped it I'd want to make it her's, too. The truth of it is closer to wanting to make myself more attractive to her, to meet her highest expectations, to fulfill her every need so that she won't ever go away.
I guess the disciplin of maturity is resisting those basic urges to goof off, to pass off my responisbilities, to flake on the bills, to mooch my lifestyle. Even when I think I'll easily resist the old habits of childhood simply by having outgrown them I learn with pain and humility that growing up has nothing to do with getting older.
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