The Summer of My Discontent? A Series of Questions Asked

Has my “job” become worry, or Worry?

By being “beside myself” am I somehow acting “responsibly” given my uncertain circumstances? Or am I “beside myself” as in “not myself” but someone else? Do I have to be stressed in order to feel alive, to send a message to myself that says, “I know what you’re doing, and I don’t like it. Therefore, I am going to make sure you are unhappy, even miserable”? Who’s running the show here? Is this not neurotic behavior?

What’s to keep me from enjoying myself regardless of circumstances? Or am I so tied to “results,” “security” and the illusion of certainty that until I get “back on track” the only option is no option at all, but to feel lousy?

If I believe in myself, trust myself, can I not also enjoy myself, regardless of whether or not I’ve got another steady “day job,” a girlfriend, a social life, a robust and creative life? (And if not, does that mean I don’t trust myself, believe in myself?) And is that not a list of wants/needs/desires that are both general to most everyone and specific to my life? Yes, I have bits and pieces of all of them now, but not in any satisfying mix. Can I live with that? Or do I need to maintain a “fever” until there’s enough, until there’s more? Can I be satisfied with what is? Or is that settling, lowering some kind of personal standards just in order to relieve the pressure? Or are the feelings I have these days a warning? Even more to the point, am I going crazy?

The answer to all these questions resides in me, and comes from a place of stillness, which involves paying attention to circumstances, not letting my fears dictate my choices, but instead love myself as I remain curious, even if the world has become less interesting. Trusting myself, I continue to live, somehow grow, not in spite of myself but because of it.

The Summer of My Discontent? I take the stuff of my life, as I experience it, and make something from it. I become a poet. My life lived with no firm destination, free of abstractions, lived concretely for its own sake.

“Negative Capability … is when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.” John Keats, 12/22/1918

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