Shangri-La

Has anyone ever felt dammed up? Like there is something that needs to come out, no, rush out, and there’s no way to just let it?

Apparently, this seems to be happening to me more and more often. It may not even be anything detremental, at least to most, but then again, perception, particularly self-perception, basically outweighs perception from others.

My outlets have always been a revolving door of creative and self-experimental traits, such as music, or writing, or art. Lately, it’s been somewhat crippled, and I continue to make inebriated attempts at chanelling my ever mutating frustration with the world around me, but all it seems to accomplish is severing my ability to craft ever so much more. I write a progression of music, maybe a bar or two, and then fester on that bar for days at a time, trying to come up with some companion for the established piece, but coming to the conclusion that what I manage to come up with doesn’t meet the standards of the work already done. Basically, I decide it sucks. The same problem has manifested itself in my art, my writing, and, in many instances, my life in it’s general realism.

I have been known to put insatiably high standards on myself for things that probably don’t warrant it. For example, I had a job working for Barnes and Noble. I held it down and was going on my second anniversary as an employee. I loved that job, regardless of how bullshit it may have been or may not have been at times. I met very interesting people, held profound conversations with co-workers and customers on a spectrum of topics, from the philosophical to the mundane. That job, in a lot of ways, changed my life, at least the way I had perceived it. Yet, because things on the personal side of my life, which I sometimes refer to as “mental purgatory”, became overly stressful and damaging, I just abandoned it to actively pursue the coping mechanism I do best… run away. To this day, I regret that decision, and it very possibly put me in part of the position I’m in now.

Everyone wishes they could go back and change something about their lives, but since I am aware with the concept of predestination, I guess if the possibility did present itself, then I may not even take it. However, sometimes it’s fun to just wonder.

I am a firm believer that the things that happen to us in our lives directly manifest who we are today, as individuals. For example, I think with the amount of struggle I’ve been through in the last several years, I have become more self-aware, but at the same time, I have become more brooding, persecuting, and beligerent to the possibility of skies opening and the sun beaming down on thousands of dancing dafodils in a perfectly emerald field. I have a hard time believing that such things exist, and I think, as such, I have lost my beliefs in happiness and have turned my back on God.

I recall something my mother said not too long ago. I don’t remember exactly when, where, or why she said this, but sometimes the things people who are closest to you say stick around, regardless of how fuzzy the details are.

“Even if the world was falling apart around you when you were younger, you would always have something to brighten your day, no matter how miniscule it may have been. I don’t know what happened to you that made you lose that optimism.”

We spend time as children and adolescents trying to convince outselves that the things our elders say are irrelevent and that they are “stupid” for thinking something like that, and if I was in this position ten years ago, I probably would have that ideology behind what my mother said to me. As an adult, however, I see the truth in her words. I’m looking swift and sudden change right in the face, and to couple that with my already synthetic view of life, I am, in a sense, setting myself up for complete and total collapse. You know there are hurricanes coming when you only survive knowing you’re poisoning yourself with the contents of a cigarette. That’s close to about as erroneous as someone can get without having to be institutionalized.

Yet, no matter how dissatisfactory things can get within the self, change always appears. The problem with it coming regardless is that it puts you in a position of helplessness. When you were young, enough ranting and raving about something gave you two outcomes: either you got what you wanted, or you were punished for being a horses ass. In life, helplessness doesn’t give you two options. It gives you the determined outcomes, not chosen by you, but by the circumstances themselves. In the former analogy, there was closure, regardless of whether you got your way or you were punished. In life, I’ve discovered, there is no closure. Such a concept doesn’t exist. This is also a reason why I’ve been struggling lately.

Everyone wants some kind of Shangri-La, whether it be the literal state of being (nirvana, if you will) or the idea that everything you do is part of some elaborate and orchestrated plan. Unfortunately, for this writer, both ideologies are a little too out-there for acknowledgement and embrace. Perhaps time can alter this, my increasingly abominable perspective on life. Of course, time seems to be the only element of the world that, more often than not, won’t let you down.

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About Robert L. Franklin

Ah, the About Me section - social networking's excuse for you sounding like an elitist prick. Hmm... what to say? What to say?
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