March 20, 2022•735 words
My heart feels yanked, pulled to write. But when I open the laptop, a white screen stares back at me, waiting for something worthwhile to fall out of my fingertips into being on the keyboard.
But, I don't have it. I maybe have never had it. For a long, long time, I had hope that I had something worthwhile. I had a dream that I'd do something important. But I've set that dream aside, pushed it to the corner of my desk like a project to be forgotten. Pushed it into the back corner of the closet like the camping equipment you never use, or crafting supplies you never got around to learning. I have abandoned my hope of doing something useful, something worthwhile in this world, without even really taking a moment to grieve that loss.
Is it a loss? In some ways, no. The idea that I should be productive, that I should be producing things, the expectation that I should be a cog that outputs things, is just a residue left on me from my culture. (How sad. One of the few pieces of American culture that I can claim happens to be a pride in working ourselves to the bone, nodding in reverence to our gods, Capitalism.) I have lived my life, awash in the expectations that I behave as expected, working hard, sacrificing, contributing to society. Puritanical American values look down upon me sternly, scorning laziness, urging ever forward to do more, work more, earn more. So, no. Shaking off the expectations that were imprinted by some shitty people who started this nation shouldn't really be a loss.
Maybe the loss lies in the death of a vision I had of my future self. Maybe I need to grieve the death of the potential path I could take. Maybe I could grieve that potential future. Maybe the idea that I had something of value to create for this world can now be like a phantom limb. I lost it, but I can still feel the ghost of it, the outline of it. Maybe.
Gosh, I've sort of been rambling without really clarifying thus far. What am I on about, actually?Well, recently, I've sort of given up the idea that I'm special, that I'm destined to do something valuable and worthwhile. I've accepted that I'm just sort of floating along, without a coherent thread or purpose. It would take a lot of staring at my history, squinting at the events therein, trying to connect dots, to find any sort of through line. It would take thread and pins and a bulletin board, and a creative detective to find any sort of pattern here, any sort of story.
And boy, oh boy, it's a bit of a let down. I realized this in the last few months. And boy, do I feel like I don't have a lot to show for this time on this globe and I don't have a plan to make the rest of my time really worth much either. That sounds pretty defeatist. Indeed, it is. But instead of doing something about it (I've always been a person of action; it's strange to not be, for once.) I'm going to do nothing. I'm going to stare blankly and hope inspiration or passion hits me.
For a while, I hoped I could make my job, as a technologist, mean something. I couldn't. I just don't care enough. I jump from job to job, unable to really hold on to a social network after leaving. I jump from city to city, unable to keep my restless heart and legs still. After that, I hoped I could do something for skydiving. I hoped to be someone that could inspire other women, that could coach others, that could be a force for good in the community. I've even tried. But it doesn't seem to stick. What's the point of trying to be a mentor when no one wants you as a mentor? And now, I am without a plan, without a point. I am pointless.
But, what, acceptance is the first phase of grief? Or labeling things helps you understand them? Or talking about things helps you process? Whatever. At least I've written something about it. So maybe, for me, that's the first step. Now that I feel pointless, maybe I'll be free to live in whatever way I feel. Who knows.