Thursday, January 26, 2012

Words in, no words out

Every day, I compose blog posts in my head, usually while I'm driving. By the time I get to work, the thoughts are in the ether. The return commute finds me too exhausted to sit and write. Write, write, write, May. Do it.

Instead, I've been reading. I also play a lot of Scrabble on the Nook. Among other things, I recently read all three books in the "Hunger Games" series in a week. I read "Wicked." I've been reading magazines--"The Atlantic" and "The Economist," mostly.

But I haven't been writing. Bear with me, I think it's all going to change soon.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New year, same me

It has been quiet around here. It has not been quiet in my head because the words are staying there, running through patterns and sentences, forming complicated thoughts that no one will hear because the thoughts remain unspoken.

There are two reasons for this. First, I am not a person that other people choose to talk to. I think about this a lot. Maybe I talk too much, or I talk about the wrong things, or I say the wrong things, or I don't seem sufficiently engaged in the conversation, or I ask too many questions or just the wrong questions. I can't really say why I live in mental and social isolation. If I knew, I would change it. For now I assume that I am not the person anyone seeks out for meaningful, worthwhile, or interesting exchanges.

The second reason the thoughts stay in my head is I believe it is futile to try to lay out the ideas. Nobody cares. Nobody is listening. What's the point? Eventually, everyone drifts away, and no matter how satisfying the time spent together was, eventually, the time comes when once again it's just me and the head full of thoughts.

I realize that self-esteem is not what I do best, but I think that in order to have good self-esteem, one needs to have more to work with than I do. I've been an unpopular dork my entire life because I lack the looks, social skills, and savvy required to be better than this. I'm not feeling sorry for myself. This is simply reality. Certainly, there are people who are exactly like me but who shrug their shoulders and act like it doesn't matter. I've tried that. It's an exhausting, sisyphean task with an outcome that never varies.

As the new year rolled in, I contemplated making resolutions. Lately, I limit all aspirations to no more than 15 minutes of commitment at one time. Anything more than that feels overwhelming. Anyone can stick to something for 15 minutes, right? In the end, I resolved not to aspire to anything in 2012. I'll feel too defeated if I don't succeed. I've had enough of that.

I wonder if there's ever an age when I won't care who likes me, what I weigh, or what I look like. Yesterday I was working my way through my current skin regimen of cleansers and peptides, serums and exfoliants, and I tried to imagine the youthful glow that would eventually result. Then I realized I wasn't trying to wash away the visible signs of aging so much as I was trying to scrub away the homeliness. Another sisyphean task I've been toiling at for over 40 years.

Lately the personal parts of my days have been spent doing routine activities: Folding socks, reading advice columns, watching TV (a lot of TV), playing Scrabble and Angry Birds on my Nook tablet, paying bills, cooking, running errands, and watching even more TV. Sometimes I read. Usually I don't read, though. I try not to put more thoughts into my head.

I think I have officially started to abandon any sustained efforts at self-improvement. There is simply no payoff.

To be clear: I'm not depressed. I realize it probably sounds like I am, but I'm not. Then again, I don't experience happiness, although I have put in a fair amount of attempts at choosing joy. I never found joy. Occasionally amusement, but certainly not joy. Not for lack of trying. Frankly, I'm tired of trying for any emotion. In 2012, I'd like my emotions to be more spontaneous and organic.

I'd also like to stop being so fucking invisible.