spending the morning recovering from hangover - the result of not quite enough sleeping-it-off - drinking coffee, listening to fiona apple. it's bringing back memories and feelings of crazy that never went away. crazy that keeps coming back. i don't know. i don't know how the brain works or why i feel my heart swelling and emptiness closing in on me. the first thing i wanted to do was call someone and tell them, but there is no one to call. i forget all the time that there's been no actual witness to my history as i know it, that i don't really share this perspective with anyone and that what i do share is but bits and pieces. it seems so weird to me though because these memories, these feelings, this crazy is all the undercurrent of my existence. this is what there is when there is nothing else at all - this frame of reference of the seventeen to nineteen-year-old self, forever frozen in time. it makes me wonder if everyone is like this. is every story really a coming-of-age story? is the great american novel always a dedication to the author's youth? is that what it all always comes down to? or am i confusing myself? maybe i don't know what i'm talking about.

heather and i had this conversation last night when we went out for her birthday - she said how happy she was to be getting older, to be inching her way to thirty. i was rather confused about this, but she explained that she always imagined her thirties and forties to be when her life would really happen - the meat of things, the outcome of everything she's been building up to. i completely related to that, though i'd never really connected it to getting older and each birthday passing. as much as i try all the time to accept and embrace that this is my life happening right now, i've barely ever achieved it and have truly always imagined that i will have this all worked out or perfected somehow by the time i'm in my thirties and that then i will know that my life is happening and i will no longer be waiting for it. i don't know if this is true. more than likely, we spend our whole lives waiting for something and wishing for it still as we lay dying. maybe that's a spiritual puzzle that exists everywhere on earth - the feeling of disconnect between us and god or us and the universe or whatever it is. maybe it's our culture that disconnects us. maybe if we lived in the woods and were theoretically closer to the earth we would sense our place in the universe and never question that or feel that longing. maybe our hunger would be more real, more mundane - the urge to merely sustain ourselves instead of conquering everything. maybe our comfort is what disenfranchises us from the universe. maybe we could be part of it. maybe that's what i sensed that day in the woods when we laid on the ground looking at the sky - the great emptiness of matter and how the energy within it makes us all the same. maybe i was enlightened for a minute. the only thing i remember is that it was so beautiful i wanted to weep. the truth is i have the life i wanted and still i do not feel accomplished. and of course i still have the struggle of everyday, which i knew and wanted with it. i just feel crazy and confused as ever and still so much a child, so in need of mothering. i need a being greater than me to tell me the answers and to point in the direction of what is good and what is right. i am still searching everyday, always for answers to all the questions and i have not yet been convinced that i myself hold the power of that, that i myself am capable of shaping my reality, of making choices despite my circumstance and despite my experience. i am not yet convinced nor do i know how to escape the confines of my history - that which determines that i will do the same things that i have always done, that i will be here years later feeling so unchanged, still so uncertain and driven mad by my quest for knowing. i was shaped when i was seventeen. i became who i will always be. i do not know how to change that. trucks falling from the sky have not taught me to love god or to understand who i am and what it is i am to do. though i think, if anything, the divine is here in our daily lives, not simply reserved for the extraordinary moments. and of course, i am an atheist, so what difference does it make? except being atheist does not mean i am entirely divorced from the divine or from the wonderment of existence. i want, though, to be in awe instead of in despair. i would rather witness the infinite array of possibilities and feel hope rather than always noticing all the asinine shit we do with that infinite array of possibility and choice. i wish for that very much. but by nature, i seem to be a skeptic and a pessimist. i know that even with all that i know and as much as i strive to do good in my choices and benefit not only myself and be mindful in all that i do, i fail and i make greedy, arrogant choices that i don't have to make, but that i have come to live with and perform repeatedly as the result of my circumstance, as a result of the conditioning of my culture, of this era in which i live. i make terrible choices and i am limited despite that endless array of opportunity. i limit myself. i chose day in and day out to be the same as i have always been, to be shaped as i was when i was seventeen, to be now who i was then. i decide that in all that i do, over and over and over again. so how could not everyone make terrible choices over and over? only through great change, through sudden mutations of cultural consciousness do we effect change in individual perceptions and perhaps self-conceptions that might in fact change those choices and decisions and open people's eyes to the possibility of something else. but surely then we will argue about how that something else might be conducted before advertently or inadvertently deciding upon a choice that we will make again and again and again ad infinitum. when viewed in this way, the world becomes so sad and pathetic in its inevitability. even though anything is possible, only some things will actually come to pass, and that, though perhaps not exactly predetermined, is entirely probably and likely to be repeated. the grooves we dig in our brain, those neural pathways we clear by repeated use, are so depressing and so difficult to supersede and paradigm shifts seem completely improbable. what if i just shift my paradigm? what will that look like? and how the fuck do i do it?

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