10:17 AM - Friday 4.15.22
I don't know if I had this fear before, if it developed after 9/11, or if I had it before and it became more "concrete" after 9/11...but when I'm inside and I hear a plane flying very close overhead, I think for a second that it's going to crash into the building I'm in.
(A little more insight into the anxious thoughts in my head...)
It usually takes hours to write one of these entries, because I do the bulk of my "editing" on the fly. But I'm going to try and NOT do that because I have a big afternoon of TV at Jane R's place planned, so I'm on something of a schedule.
(Jane now has Disney+, HBO Max, and Apple TV at her LA digs, while I'm only equipped with Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. And while I could illicitly watch all the things on those services at home, I feel slightly better about myself morally if I'm watching them "legally". Not to mention that to do that requires I walk from my place to hers, so I get in some exercise that - let's be honest here - probably wouldn't happen otherwise. So, win-win.)
I'm spending a lot of time these days - perhaps since the pandemic - taking "my emotional temperature", thinking about how I'm feeling and wondering if my "current life" is better or worse than "the before time".
(Just remembered - I need to initiate a money transfer from Cameo, so I can get paid for the two recent Cameos I did. Anyway...)
I don't know why I keep on doing this emotional temperature-taking, because I don't think there's a definitive answer to be had on "How I Am These Days" or "Is My Life Now Better Or Worse Than Before COVID?".
But the fact that I keep doing it kind of reminds me how I keep trying to figure out "The Meaning of Life" when I decided, a long time ago, that there is no "meaning" to life.
That belief has special resonance for me these days, as I struggle with the fact that I'm now in my 60s - I turn 61 next month - and have realized that nothing I wanted (Or expected) to happen in my life is actually going to happen, that mortality is closing in, and I'm not going to "win at life" the way I'd imagined (If there was any vague "meaning" to my life up till now, it was the hope that I'd somehow, despite my unfortunate start, find my way to love and happiness and success and meaning and all that, which...well, let's just say "swing-and-a-miss" to all that).
I'm not all that special.
I'm going to leave nothing behind when I die.
And forget about any "Life well-lived" feeling - I'm going to be lucky if I get to close this time on Earth out with a little dignity
I did not "triumph" over my initial bad circumstances - This is perhaps the biggest sense of disappointment I'm feeling these days when I think about my life to date.
And it's pretty profound.
I don't think there's been any bigger "driver" in my life than "I'm going to get over this...", and have the love, connection, success, happiness, and so on that I imagined "normal people" had.
But that didn't happen (And I'm "skimming the surface" here - there's a discussion to be had on what "normal" means, exactly, or what it takes to be "happy", since there are unhappy people all around me who have every element of life I feel I've missed out on, and it hasn't translated to them being "happy", or even "content" - but I do think the thing I've wanted all my life, to feel I "triumphed over adversity" by having a rich and satisfying existence, has not come to pass).
So I've been thinking a lot lately along the lines of, "Okay, so you didn't 'win at life'...but, for now, your life is going on. So now what?".
I strongly suspect that one source of my unhappiness - taking "bad chemicals" out of the equation - is that I have never done very well at "living in the moment".
It's pretty understandable that I've had a problem with that. Why would I have wanted to be "in the moment" as a child when the "moment" was often pretty terrible?
For that matter, why would I want to be "me" when I seemed to be bad, unacceptable somehow, unworthy of love?
And my "coping" with those "pretty terrible moments", coping with feeling like something was "wrong with me", came to be how I defined myself - As a voracious reader, what was I trying to do except not be who I was, where I was?
And I've fashioned my entire person around being an "actor" - Which I used to think meant "being another person" (But now think means more "being you in other circumstances").
For me, acting accomplished a lot - It took me out of "the moment" (And into a better, imagininary "moment"), took me out of being "unacceptable", "unlovable" me, and gave me the ability to get the positive attention and good feelings that otherwise eluded me.
So it's pretty understandable, in a time where I'm sadly post-literate, and "acting" is a thing that happens rarely-if-ever, that I'm now constantly "taking my emotional temperature" and assessing whether my current set-of-circumstances is better than my previous set-of-circumstances.
Maybe this is me trying to figure out what "being in the moment" is like.
And on that pseudo-profound note, I think I'm going to have lunch, then clean myself up (For nobody - I don't expect to be having much in the way of human contact today - but just because I'm "worth taking care of") and head off to my little "home away from home" where I will watch TV to my heart's content.
Till next time...