It all seems so simple. It’s important to pursue one’s passion. To pursue happiness, essentially. Anything else will make you – to say the least – unhappy at the end of the day. That’s in theory.
I hate theory land. Whenever I stop by for a visit, I end up feeling like a big, big (we’re talking giant-size) fool. Because in theory land, things are always so clear: you shouldn’t like a person that doesn’t seem to care because you will only get hurt; you shouldn’t jump off a swing at that moment when you’re so high you feel like you could touch the sky because the fall gets you down to earth faster than you could ever imagine; you shouldn’t have that second (third, fourth…) candy bar because you will be very, very sick after. Theory land should be wiped off the map – I think, I will personally draw it on a map (roughly somewhere north, north, north of Alaska possibly) just so I can wipe it off again. At least, I will leave theory land for now.
Let’s take a look at reality land instead. In reality land, things look a bit different. They are more complicated. In reality land, thing’s aren’t either black or white; they come in all different (often very odd) shades of gray: you like a person that doesn’t seem to care because maybe things might eventually change; you jump off a swing at that moment when you’re so high because maybe you’ll be able to just fly away; you have that – insert respective number here – candy bar because there’s too much deliciousness happening to simply stop. Also, in reality land, there are little things hiding in the the thicket; things besides just this one passion – like paying rent and buying groceries, for example. And they make a point of being equally important and responsible for your/my/everyone’s happiness. They’re the little reasons that keep a lot of people from pursuing their passion.
In a nutshell: a regular income has its appeal too. I’m certainly a fan. I applaud it. If there was any, I would even buy the official merchandise for it – because my lovely little income allows me to do so.
That’s why right now, I feel uncomfortably torn apart. In front of me, there are “Two roads diverg[ing] into a yellow wood” as Mr. Frost would say, and yes, I’m really sorry that it seems I cannot travel both.
I have to make a decision – one I already should have made some time ago, probably; one I have avoided, always trying to find some middle ground, always trying to keep the balance; always being neither here nor there. This is not a state anyone should or is even able to be in for too long. It’s exhausting, and, it’s, of course, just a matter of time until you fall, or at least, stumble. Stumble I did. I certainly don’t want to fall. I know what I’m passionate about. I just wonder if this is the place and time to let my passion lead the way. Maybe I’m too impatient. Maybe I should be sensible (but what does that even mean?) — all of these maybes, pros and cons, again the search for a middle ground, balance.
Mr. Frost, Robert, Rob – am I allowed to say that? Yeah, sure, why not. Rob it is – what made you decide? Your inner voice? A dream? A friend’s advice perhaps? Oh, I see. Well, that works, I suppose. So, you flipped a coin. Maybe that’s what I’ll do then.
I’ve been sick for the last couple of days. I hate being sick. I don’t get around to do half the things I want to do on a regular basis – so lying in bed all day doesn’t really improve things. Thankfully, I’m slowly starting to feel better. I’m not lying in bed anymore, I sit on an actual chair as I’m typing this which feels pretty grand. I feel relatively grand in general – compared to my general state of being over the last week.
Essentially, I spent the last days angry. I’m not an angry person. I try to think my glass is half-full unless there’s some gross substance in it – then, of course, I prefer to think it’s half-empty. Somehow, though, I just couldn’t help it. I felt frustrated and angry. Half-angry at the world because it made me turn sick in the first place (and that really wasn’t necessary now, was it?) and half-angry at myself because my reluctance to go see a doctor made me stay sick – way longer than necessary. On top of that, I was also angry with the world because I didn’t feel taken care of very well. In fact, I didn’t feel taken care of at all.
Here’s why: I usually spend a fair amount of time listening to friends’ problems and I do so quite happily. Yet. Sometimes, of course, I’d like them to listen to me in return. We all carry around our own little package that we need to unload every once in a while. Now, often, my friends don’t realize when I need to unload some weight. Not because they’re tiny evil creatures (I don’t befriend Gremlins or the like – to my knowledge). It’s really not their fault.
The real problem: I simply don’t know how to switch from listening-mode to talking-mode. So I just sit there – nodding, smiling, mhm-ing, understanding – while feeling mildly (or awfully) miserable. And then in the end, I end up feeling angry with myself and that doesn’t really help to boost my spirits either.
Bottom line: I wasn’t at the top of my game. Not even near the middle of it; I was located more at the bottom of things (needless to say, my grumpy mood didn’t make my sickness go away any quicker either).
Now, I have a tendency to wallow in memories and I have no objections to wallow in mud occasionally (hey, it’s supposed to be good for the skin) but I really don’t like to wallow in self-pity. So I did two things: One, I went to the doctor after all and – magically – he found out what was wrong with me and also told me what to do about it. Two, I went to visit a friend. A very good friend that I don’t get to see nearly as often as I’d like to. I had planned to visit her anyways because, as I said, I hardly get to see her (she studies almost on the opposite side of the country) and I had been feeling like I needed to see her for a while. But now, I really needed to see her. And I also really needed to get away from all the things that were bothering me at home.
Once the decision was made, somehow, things fell into place quite nicely. I spent a couple of days with my friend – I did some listening, but I also talked. A lot. She told me she’s often noticed how I’m very good when it comes to letting others talk, yet not so much when it comes to speaking up myself. I like to be a good listener, still. I want my friends to feel like they can come to me. However, it’s important to keep some sort of balance. It’s no use trying to shoulder other people’s weight when you don’t even know how to carry your own. It’s no use listening to a friend when you’re being frustrated and angry yourself. Because you don’t really listen. You can’t.
So she made me talk. She let me unload. All of a sudden, I wasn’t all that angry anymore. I felt like I should kiss and make up with the world. My glass is half-full again. And I like to think it’s not just because I’m on antibiotics right now.
As Olin & the Moon say, I’m a friend of feeling good right now…