I think I was very close to stripping-out all excitement from my experience. No stress, no deadlines, no anxiety, no drama, no social-stuff, no health-stuff, no existential angst – nothing. But what remained, was a general dissatisfaction.
Then all of a sudden a strange and uncomfortable feeling developed one afternoon – and it kinda freaked me out. And with it, came a new existential angst – a fear of existence itself. I knew beyond all doubt that this world wasn’t “real” – but what was it? Something bad? Am I in hell? Am I perpetually trapped in Wonderland?
In one sense, it was kind of exciting to feel fear again. But I definitely don’t like the sensation of being stuck in the fever-dream of an eternal consciousness. Is it better to stay asleep within the dream or wake-up to the intense suffering and loneliness that sparked the dream?
It took awhile, but I finally saw the pattern. My mind simply found a new way to attack me. I was able to dismantle EVERYTHING my mind had previously thrown at me. Boredom was the only thing left, but I can coast through that pretty easily. This new existential angst was just my mind’s latest attempt to incite excitement. Oh, he had me for a bit, he really did.
I’m not completely deaf to his dilemma. I get it, the mind needs SOMETHING to occupy his attention. I was starving him, I admit it. In one sense, I felt abused by my mind and I took away all his toys. Therefore, I’m now attempting to find a compromise.
I obviously don’t want him thinking about all the stuff I don’t like. I want him involved in wholesome stuff. But he isn’t captivated by just anything. I can’t simply sit him in front of a desk full of tools and expect him to make things – I tried that and he often wanders into unpleasant topics. As long as I have an interesting project, he’s manageable, but it’s not easy coming up with an endless supply of absorbing projects.
For an experiment, I spent this entire month of January doing menial tasks around the house – and guess what? Those activities were sufficient enough to distract him. It’s just a couple hours per day but he’s been vacuuming, dusting, bread-making, and assisting housemates with simple stuff.
Oftentimes I can think of something to shop for and he’ll busily browse Amazon just adding stuff to a wishlist. Other times I can sit him in front of an adrenaline-based video-game and he’ll remain amused for awhile. And if I find an exciting movie or video, he’ll sit there quietly. I’ve yet to find that one big thing, like a career or hobby, that can completely captivate him.
So dear diary, that’s where I’m at right now. I’m a thought-herder, tending to my flock while dreaming of doing something else. Tired of looking after all these dumb thoughts that wander to and fro – getting into trouble wherever they go. But do I dare wish for more? Or is it best to accept and appreciate the task I do? Sometimes I imagine all this toil will improve the world – transforming it into a lighthearted place full of love and creativity, where everyone feels like a winner and part of something grand.