In my introductory post I described one fundamental way I characterize my life struggle. I struggle between striving to be a somebody and fearing ending up a nobody. I don’t experience the possible third alternative which doesn’t exist when living in the exclusive somebody-nobody world. The third alternative is simply to be myself.
The other main way of comprehending my life that I’m subject to is what I call magical thinking. The idea takes many forms, one is that if I just do what I like everything will fall into place. This is the “do what you love and the money will follow” mentality. I guess it could work for some, but in my psychic economy it leaves me reading things I like with no money following. It acts as an illusory or magical way things will change.
Another manifestation of magical thinking is the belief that somehow something will happen that changes my life so that I can be at ease. Like believing that I might suddenly become enlightened. Being at ease can be a great life goal, but it depends on one’s vision of ease. There is also the ease of not doing anything, having no people impinging upon one, and the final ease of resting in peace, R.I.P., or death.
I counter magical thinking with the idea of having to take practical steps to make something different happen in my life. Right now I’m trying to do that by taking practical steps to make a career switch. I work as a social worker now and don’t want to do that anymore and am trying to find a line of work in which I can use more of my skills. But my pervasive despair about life makes me think this kind of change is impossible. So I’m struggling to just take the practical steps despite the negative view I have of the whole project. The despair needs to be understood as a part of the old mindset or old regime which appears to be the truth of the world.
I am trying to counter a conditioned way of seeing and understanding the world with a new regime or way of life. What’s difficult is that aspects of the new way are continually interpreted in terms of the old way. For example, I try to be myself, be my unique self, as opposed to being a somebody. But to the old interpretive scheme being myself looks like being resigned to being a nobody, giving up the struggle. Being like the dumb masses who can live with anonymity. What is that quality of life of being myself that is not just being a nobody, a nothing, a failure?
It’s even hard to write this. What’s the point? I know this stuff already. Why tell it to someone else? And in all probability no one will read it anyway. But if someone does then it must be so well done that it has a chance of impressing someone, maybe the right someone. So here is an example of both the “become-a-somebody” mentality and the magical thinking. No thought (except this one) of just writing about myself to share it or learn from it.