Archive for September, 2009

Disconnect

So, I’m writing this blog on a word processing program. See, in parts of Maine this far North, there is no cell phone coverage. If there is no signal for my BlackBerry, there is no texting, there is no IM, no tethering for internet access. Basically, I am disconnected from any associated social media via the internet. I think I have needed this for some time. Sometimes I think too much. Henry Rollins has this song that sums it up called “Disconnect” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3w5eZRoOY4 but be prepared for some pretty harsh music. Otherwise, you can continue reading here for a similar sentiment.

All summer I deal with so much personal interaction from clients that I feel burnt out at the end of the day. I might watch a movie or listen to the radio, but seldom, if ever, got out to interact with still more people. Come September, I hate most everyone and it shows. I stop calling friends and family sometime in August. I am either working or sleeping. I rarely socialize in the off-season, so I live like a recluse until sometime around October. Sure it has not been a healthy lifestyle, but if I did socialize in the state I am in at that time of the year, I would be rude, abrasive, and downright ornery. I just want to be left alone. I hate talking about “how things are”, because it is such bullshit. If I were to tell it like it is, I would sound like Holden in “Catcher in the Rye”, and I really do not want that to be the case.

The older I grow, the more patient I become. I tend to blurt out less provocative comments that would be viewed as offensive and I also have learned to be more tolerant of others. Still, I have also felt less of a need to capitulate to those people that feel I owe them explanations for the way I am. I also trust less. I care less of what others think of me on a personal level. I am who I am, take it or leave it. This angers some people, but I cannot imagine why. I recall in college when a professor asked for own opinions on a chapter in “Anna Karenina” and promptly proceeded to tell each student their voiced opinion was “wrong”. When we all protested her castigation, she was adamant that she was teaching us our opinions, and we would do well to listen to her. No thank you.

I have constantly fought against being categorized and labeled. I feel like people want everything to be neat and organized when it comes to others’ opinions and responses, as long as it suits their purpose and allows them to feel good about themselves. Well, I don’t want to pretend that it’s all okay when it’s not. “How are you?” is just a greeting like “hi”, so don’t feel so smug when I respond “fine”. It is not really fine and you don’t really care that it is not, so just drop it.

Now I understand that I just needed some time away from all of that crap. I needed to just be filled with “nothing” for a while; a steady stream of white noise from all that I know. No contact with people that want to hear my thoughts so that they came manipulate them into their own views and opinions. Sometimes I feel like I am trying to look up into the sky during a downpour, rain droplets pelting my eyes, and still I try to gaze toward the heavens, only to be met with an unending torrent that obstructs my view.

In order to think thoughts that are indeed my own, I need to clear my mind from all that is there. I need to disconnect myself and reformat the hard drive that is my mind. So there it is; my sanity in a nutshell. Shutting down; disconnected.

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“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.”

Things have changed. No, not just the economy or the climate, it’s smaller and more intimate than that. It’s the changes in my head. Now, let me just say that some of the changes are good, some not so much. I suppose it is all in the way we grow older, the way we age. Some may say it is maturity, others say that it is senility. All I know is that I have a persistent sense of diminished capacity when it comes to processing information and making decisions. But really, why does it feel as if it is happening all of the sudden, so drastically?

I could say that much of my current situation has its origins from the overwhelming level of stress that I have been dealing with ever since the house fire, nearly four years ago. The debt incurred when the reconstruction costs shot past 30% over budget. The lines of credit that I counted on being diminished or closed because of the recession. The drop of income from my withering business that had been my sole source of income for the past eleven years. All of these factors came together in a perfect storm of debilitating stress that left me feeling so devoid of options to make things right, where I had been so comfortable for so long. My happiest year was the one before the fire, when I left my island home a mere twelve calender days. I had my house, my business, and my dog. All three were either taken from me or left a shell of their former existences.

Now I search for ways to rebuild my business, find other work to pay for what I have, as well as make it through this rough patch and hope for something to improve down the road. With each passing day, the road seems to be much longer than I had anticipated, with more twist and turns that bring me precariously close to a rather scary place. The lagging business means that my income has drastically diminished, yet I must persevere because I know it will turn around and flourish, the question is when. So I try to create new inroads to build new clientele; twitter, facebook, and e-mail  specials. I try finding new work that might expose me to new people that will strengthen a word of mouth promotion while earning additional income. In the end, it all helps a little, but I hope it is not too little too late.

All of this hand-wringing with regards to my solvency may not be unique to me, but it is the deepest I have had to dig out of in my life. I have always had some sort of plan that I could resort to in order to make things work with minor adjustments. This time, I have had all of my usual avenues of relief blocked, as have most of the credit poor people in our nation. So I have been more than a little stressed. That brings me to my faltering mind.

I have a unique talent in that I have a mind that is constantly solving problems and figuring out how to increase the efficiency of whatever I am doing. I can recall minute details from events that happened many years ago and apply them to current tasks in a way that helps me maintain a certain sense of order in all that I do. Yet, in the past few years, I have found myself going over the same problems again and again, with little resolution to those problems. Perhaps it is the lack of the usual down-time in the off-season that I have grown so accustomed to, or maybe it is the ever dwindling options I have to help solve those problems. Whatever it is, I am unable to process thoughts with the usual clarity. I can only hope that as my situation improves, both in the way of reduced stress and reduced financial burden, my mental capacity will increase to its former level, because, quite frankly, this diminished capacity is driving me crazy.

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