Inviolable proclivities...?  

revelinthedance 35M
44 posts
3/30/2006 2:06 pm

Last Read:
3/31/2006 10:58 am

Inviolable proclivities...?

Is there an essential essence of a person? I have always been of the opinion that who a persons characteristics, be they emotional, mental, and occasionally physical, are a product of the adaptive process. (Make no mistake, I am not taking sides in the rediculous nature vs. nurture debate.) Adaptation is essential to survival in any number of ways. So, I turn introspective with these opinions, and I find that, if this is truly what I think, then the nature of my function is somewhat confusing.
Attribute it up to the "the grass is always greener" point of view and it might explain part of it, but not nearly all.

In a nutshell:
-I'm 24
-I graduated from both highschool and college with numerous honors, without even fully applying myself.
-I've been able to overcome numerous obstacles, both in private and in more public, goal-oriented life.
-I own my own home and a reasonably nice car.
-I have a fairly well-paying job (after I get my tax returns back, anyway)
-I've been to the Bahamas, Italy, and all over the U.S., and have trips to Australia and Ireland in the works at present.
I've had a considerable amount of fun adventures considering my age, sexual and otherwise.

Looking over that, it seems like I'm bragging a little. Still, it seems that I cannot find a balance of things that will bring me happiness. In view of all that, what is it that puts me in such a state of being? I really don't know. I've been thinking about it for about a year and a half, trying to figure it out. Is it possible that I have a natural proclivity towards discontent? Suppose I do. That's fucking miserable! In which case, I must assume that Arthur Schopenhauer was right. That's just depressing!

So many things seem to have lost meaning for me and I seem to be perpetually looking for the next step up to mean something, which it does for a while, but then I'm faced with the same problem that I had in the step before. It kind of ties into my posting that discusses the nature of fantasy and, in turn, relates to the whole "the grass is always greener" philosophy. When I achieve something, I just want more. It's as if the life I've designed for myself is the fantasy, and I can't help but alter it every time I get dangerously close to achieving it.

There is also danger in being as goal-oriented as I am. I find that, on occasion, it deadens me to the world around me. I cease to feel and simply turn everything into a math problem. "To get what I want, I must add this, subtract that, multiply by this, and eliminate those." But, is happiness achieved in such a way worth having, and can one ever be TRULY happy when they do get it? This is not to say that I'm miserable, but simply that happiness is far more fleeting for me than I think it should be, or than it is for many of those around me. If I am going to keep raising the bar for happiness just a little bit higher every time I get close to where it was at before, it is even worth striving? This twisted reality of mine is what gives rise to my hedonistic tendencies. Living in the moment is what makes me happy, for that moment anyway. Without nuance, where am I? More importantly, without something continually unattainable to strive for, WHO am I?

I've always been the guy who could do whatever he set his mind and will to. That was the basis of my identity for so long, that I don't really know how to just exist in an every day moment anymore. I'm always looking towards what else I can set might sights on. That elusive spectre of contentment that taunts me. In the mean time, I flirt with disaster, keeping my life precariously balanced on the tip of a needle, juggling fire just to see if it will burn me and, until it does, I'll keep adding torches. It's as though I just want to see at what point I will fail, but, at the same time, I have an almost petrifying fear of failure. Being that kind of internal paradox is one of the most stressful states I could possibly be in, but I carry that very state with me at all times and, every so often, it seems that I must hurt myself to see if I still feel at all. Unable to sustain happiness in anything, it seems that the negative feelings have taken on more meaning and significance to me. How fucked up is that!?

This, in and of itself, says nothing of my quality as a human being, but the attitude that it spurs in me is of an entirely different nature. In the process of being my self-destructive self, I find that my interactions with others are damaged. It is not only myself I seem to strive to destroy, but I seem to seek the destruction of those around me as well. I am, therefore, a bad man.

I find that this is most aptly demonstrated in my relationship with my brother, whom I love more than any other person. I have never sought his failure at anything, but revel in his successes, so long as they are not more successful than mine. (I caution you to not dismiss this as sibling rivalry. This state of things is pervasive throughout all of my relationships, but I found this to be the most profound, given our closeness.)

Should a friend or relative achieve something before I do, I will be happy for them, but will also resent them for doing so. If my brother, who is two years my senior, or any of my close friends had purchased his first home, I would have been exceedingly happy for them, but would have also been resentful. Experiences that they have had that I have not are weighted against them in some way. Again, it's the math problem. I still envy a close friend of mine for the time he spent in England, just bumming around for months. I don't envy him in the way of wishing I could have done so with him. I have no doubts that I will someday, but I envy that he did it first. What does this say about me? I can analyze everything and everyone around me to my heart's content (which I realize is a funny addition to a posting that talks about my lack of contentment), but I cannot do so with myself. I cannot make myself part of the equation in which I have placed everyone and everything else. I see too many levels of myself for me to be a variable, but I can remove myself far enough from everyone else to make them so. Is it then something fundamental about me that impersonalizes the rest of the world and prevents me from simply being, without a "goal line" in view?

I put this question a "gathering" of strangers for what I think should be very obvious reasons. I do apologize for being such a downer on this occasion, but there it is. I felt the need to vent. I'm not even sure if this whole thought process will be continuous to a reader, but oh well.

RedheadedMedStd 35F

3/30/2006 9:40 pm

There is something to be said for lofty goals and pushing yourself to attain those goals. With that said, I believe most people would consider you vastly accomplished. Perhaps it is failure though, that would be your greatest challenge yet. Since you seem to state that most everything has come to you with relative ease, perhaps you are looking in the wrong areas to achieve new goals.

You could try doing something without regard to money. Picking up training for a triathalon which is extremely laborious and time-consuming. It could be you need to challenge yourself in learning a new language. You said you were hoping to go to Australia and Ireland. Maybe you should redirect your travels to Japan, and learn Japanese before going. It could be that your brain is used to being stimulated and therefore you should take a class in I dunno, basket-weaving, to keep your brain from "going to mush."

It seems like you base lots of your goals on things that are considered milestones in life. Car, college degree, house, overseas traveling, etc. Pick something from left field to spice up your life. Go skydiving. Learn to rock climb. Pick up a hobby you've always wanted but never really thought was "your thing."

You may surprise yourself.

revelinthedance 35M

3/31/2006 10:58 am

I'm actually working on the skydiving thing. Ireland, Australia, and Spain are things I've been wanting to do for years, so I'll get around to Spain, but I think Japan is a bit far down on the priority list. Thailand, perhaps. I also want to go to New Zealand to Bunjee Jump. They have the highest bunjee jump in the world, off of a bridge suspended over a canyon. It just seems that I should be a tad bit more content with life than I am. I dunno. I get in those kind of moods once in a while, but this gives me a place to vent.

I think the next challenge that I set my mind to will be to actually finish my novel by this time next year. It's been far too long in the works at this point, but my insane schedule prohibits spending enough time on it. That can be done wherever, so I think the next physical adventure will be skydiving.

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