I've been reading a lot of Carlos Casteneda recently.
Ok, not a lot of it, just his fourth book. It's strange, I find the books totally impenetrable until something happens and I feel it's time for me to read them. Then I just breeze through them, and they either tell me a lot of what I already know and then a bit more, or they put what I already know into a slightly different framework. Either way it's useful.
Anyway, one of the big themes of this one (and of the third one from what I remember, although I didn't get it then) was about indulging oneself, and about how basically it's not a great plan. Finally it's occured to me what was meant by "indulging", as in wallowing in self-pity or just letting yourself be swept away by something to the detrement of all else. And I'm realising that people, including myself, like to indulge in things like fear, self-pity... or just diving into feelings while not quite keeping a line back to earth. Just letting some tide sweep them, or becoming obsessed with something. One of the examples used in the book was indulging in a sense of wonderment. Not that you shouldn't say "wow" but that you shouldn't stop your day just to gawp open-mouthed.
It's hitting me that I do these things, and it's striking me that I did a lot of it in the last semester. Hell, I even refer to it as "mindless self-indulgence", and I didn't realise how right I was. Of course, becoming aware of it is only one issue, but like any addiction, realising your problem is one of the first steps to recovery. I think that course at the end of April helped. One of the main things about that workshop was remaining centred, if not grounded. Although I'm not consistantly centred, I'm certainly more able to centre these days, and as a result I thinnk I at least recognise when I do it now. My next trick is to figure out how to avoid overly-indulging.
Anyway, what really put that story in my head was that I was cleaning out my room today. Well, not cleaning it out, but making space for a chest of drawers that my mum has wanted to put in my room for ages. I.e. getting some proper furniture in my room. There was once a bitter story about how I ended up living in the room I do now, and how I've lived out of a plastic chest of drawers and an argos canvas wardrobe. These days, not so bitter. Or at all. Basic core element to that story was that after I came back from living with Aisling (Feb '03) I was living in the room I'm in now, and never really unpacked. I just have a canvas wardrobe, which has more clothes just thrown on top of it than are hanging inside of it, and I have a plastic chest of drawers that I've had since I moved out of the house to live with Aisling (Sept '02).
So today I had the not-so-subtle hint from my mum that she wanted to get rid of her chest of drawers and put it in my room (it's a nice set). As a result, I set about a space for it to go, and then rearranged stuff from my old
life chest of drawers into my new one.
There were some things in there that were there because, previously, I couldn't bear to let go of them. Like cards from when I was 13, with "Get Well Soon" written on them. Sure, they were from a major time in my life - I'd had meningal coccal sceptoscemia, I was very sick. I was lucky I survived. And four years ago I still had those cards and couldn't bear to throw them away, or part with them, so I stuck them in my chest of drawers when I was moving to live with Aisling. Today, I looked at them, and I realised I didn't need them any more. Strangely, some of them were from people who I'll never see again - my grandparents, my grand-aunt, some people I went to a gaelteacht with - but I could just let them go. Same as with some cards from certain friends of mine.
That said, I realised how I grew apart from certain friends. Still threw the cards out. This was something I couldn't bear to do not long ago, and now... it's not essential. I was going to say "It's weird" but it's not - it's just not me any more. I just realised it's non-essential to me now. Now, if only I could cull the rest of my pack-ratting tendancies. I might have a room that isn't overcrowded with kipple.
Before my LJ, I had a little rants page. Originally it was just so I would have a space for me to rant about stuff. Actually originally it was about some mood swings I was having. I was trying to articulate how I was confused about having a lot going for me and I felt crap. It then turned into a pessimistic little journal cataloguing the one and only attempt at polyamoury (for a limerant like myself, I read polyamoury as "Many Loves", rather than "many fuq-buddies") I've taken part in. After I came home it documented some other aspects of my life... Also in a minorly pessimistic way.
I was told I was actually quite good when I was writing it, although these days, I'm not so sure. Anyway, when I got to living with Aisling, I couldn't really write much because she was one of my few remaining readers, and so I couldn't bitch about a lot of the things that were close to home because she'd be the one reading it. So, one time I wrote on a page.
My articulation was at an all-time low, and my sense of self-importance was sky-high. I read a bit of that journal and it's scary, the words written by a 20-year old me were stylistically almost exactly the same as what one would consider to be an emo kid's diary - and if DiaryX still existed, I could point you to some blogs that insanityreviews reviewed. Basically I refused to accept responsibility that I played a part in what was happening at the flat. General structure of rant was the following:
What the fuck? fuckidy fucky-fuck-fuck. What the fuck?
Communication's breaking down.
I guess I play a part. But I don't play a part. Really I don't.
I made a mistake. Oh, I have a problem with Aisling's authority.
It's not my fault. The whole world is just a giant wankjob.
By the way, none of this is my fault.
In other words, I was a douchebag, and worthy of emo-like rantings. By the way, I think that outline was actually more articulate than what I actually did write. That was me indulging.
Ugh. I'm glad I threw that out. It's not that I'm denying its existence, but it's a tie to something that isn't me any more... and it was written proof that I was once an emo-kid, although I didn't wear near as much makeup, nor did I dress quite like one, but I indulged just like most of the others.
So why am I writing this? I dunno, just thought it'd be interesting.