Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Things I don't know

As an irresponsible adult, I think it meet that I pass along some secrets instead of guarding them as seems to be expected of me. The biggest secret is that I have no idea. About what? Most everything. Maybe I'm doing it wrong and every other adult has an idea but I'm completely lost.

An example. Do I like a firm mattress or a soft one? I don't know. When I use one, I'm often asleep and not paying attention. And when I can't fall asleep (it is currently 2:05AM where I am, which is, not coincidentally, not in bed) I have no idea if it is because of the mattress or because I have forgotten how to fall asleep. Maybe it is because half of me has to be stretched until it clicks, pops or cracks and the other half is achy. There is no owners manual on this machine that is my body, so I don't know.

What style of furniture do I like? What kind of car would I prefer? Do I like Italian or French food more? I don't know -- do people really care about this stuff? Am I supposed to feel, deep in my heart, that some things are preferable to other things? Either I don't or I do but I don't know what that is. Either way I feel like I'm doing this all wrong.

Shouldn't I feel relaxed and comfortable sometimes, knowing that I have done what needs to be done and chosen what will make me happy? Instead, I just float through life not because I'm too scared to choose but because things don't seem to matter on that level. I'm happy when I'm happy and it isn't tied to the kinds of things that seem to determine life happiness. It isn't that I'm not happy, just that I get the sense that I'm supposed to have a clearer cut happiness as driven by particular things. My sports teams? They win, they lose...either way, my stomach is tied in knots. My job? I feel like I'm faking it there also. I have no fire burning in me to be on the cutting edge of anything; I don't want to sit at work and stare at a computer screen. I want to do what I do and go home and stare at the screen there.

I don't even know if I prefer chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Both are good and at different times, each is preferable. I think it is simplistic to have clear preferences in things because there are too many variables in any given case so a decision that went one way might go in the other direction 2 minutes later. My brain is just whirring away, clicking through situations and possibilities and not settling anywhere. Is it supposed to? I care that I don't care, but I still don't care.

There are clearly things I like. Make no mistake -- there are foods, movies, even people that I prefer or maybe can't really do without, but there is so much more that I feel outside of (for lack of a better or more expressive phrase) and more that I just don't get. Is this what getting older is all about? Gaining such a wide perspective that I can no longer reduce my world into simple ideals to latch on to? Is there something wrong with that? Or is the fault on the side of youthful exuberance which I am fortunate to have abandoned? I don't know.

Anyway, it is now 2:51 and I think I'm supposed to pretend to be sleepy now.

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