Ennui

WNG has posted a bit about her ennui. I feel her pain. I feel it enough to take a personal inventory...

- I have a decent job; not the thing I want to do for the rest of my life, but decent, nonetheless, and I just got a raise.
- I have great friends, and an active social life.
- I am playing handball, volleyball, badminton, and now dodgeball every week.
-The Black Vatican web comic is coming along nicely. We have introduced most of the main characters (their are two to go) and the first major story arc is already written.
- I've been a bit lonely in the past year, living alone in my little house, but I'm moving into a communal living arrangement with 4 of my closest female friends (I know what you're thinking, but it's not like that - although I was a "pro playa" at one time, I doubt that even I could wrangle 4 at once, especially under the same roof...). The new house will cut my living expenses by about half - so I will actually have some money again after the move is complete.
- Although I have graduated from college (twice), I am still taking classes. These classes are in Sociology, and will lead to a third bachelor's degree, unless I get into grad school before that.

That all doesn't sound too bad, does it?

I suppose it doesn't, and yet I am still fairly miserable at times. I don't want to be riding a cubicle down the highway of life. I know that many of my readers are students, and thus can't wait to be done with their schooling, but I would like to be a student forever - I hate the 8-5 grind. I want to be in grad school right now, and I want to know that the end of this phase of my life is coming. I want to know for certain that I'm leaving Laramie at some point, and I want to know that it is because I have another opportunity elsewhere. I want to get on with the life I think I am supposed to have. I want the waiting to be over.

So why am I sharing all of this? Because WNG and I can't be the only ones who feel this way.

We all go to school until we graduate, waiting for your lives to start. Then, we go on to whatever we decide to do - more school, or job, or the military, or marriage - and that feeling of waiting for your life to begin doesn't really go away. It just changes. We start waiting for other things, like our tax returns, or Spring, or the holidays, or for something better to happen than what is happening now. Before we know it we have invested 10 years in a job or a relationship or a degree, and yet - we are still waiting.

The sad reality that most of us don't want to face is that this is it. This is the life you are going to have.
You are not going to pitch in the majors.
You are not going to be a rock star.
You are not going to be President.
You are not going to have a perfect body.
You are not going to be an astronaut.
You are not going to win an Oscar.
In fact, you might never win anything, or be anything, or do anything of note.

Let that sink in.

No really - let it hit you squarely.

Now, realize that none of those things means you can't have an amazing life.

I'm not trying to crush any dreams here. I'm just saying that most of us spend way too long waiting for something to happen, for some time in the future when we will be who we always thought we were going to be. The truth is, no amount of waiting will make you the person you thought you'd be. All that ennui you are feeling is our minds' way of letting us know that. Be who you want to be. Start today.

14 comments:

Karmalennon said...

Very awesome post. I've been going through the same thing lately, for at least 6 months now. I finally finished my first novel, I've written two books now. My acting career was going pretty well before other things started happening and I let it drop to the side. Now I'm considering going back to school to get my Master's but am totally unsure. How do you start living the life you want today if you don't know anymore what you want or who you are?

Colaptes auratus said...

Yes, yes. Hell yes.

I feel the quagmire; you & your compatriot are not alone.

Dr. Smith said...

But if that feeling goes away, what else is there left to live for?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=NNSwFv-xpw4

mist1 said...

I get your point about living without hesitation and I agree. I don't want to be occupied with wishing and waiting for my life to happen. Once, I caught myself wishing that Friday would hurry up and get here. All at once, it seemed sad to me. I wondered how much of my life I had unconsciously wished away waiting for Friday or Summer Vacation or for a meeting to be over. Hours? Days? Years?

The list of things that I'm never going to do, is strange to me. I don't think that I define things in the same way that you do because it seems that I am missing something.

My brain thinks more like this:

*I had another life once. This one is better. I think I'll keep it.
*I am more of a catcher than a pitcher.
*I rock out in the car. I have tons of untapped, latent talent.
*I like to think about running for First Lady.
*No matter what my body looks like to me, I can be assured that in the eyes of another, it looks quite unlike what I see. Sometimes, my eyes and mirror cannot be trusted.
*I don't want to be an astronaut. I do, however, keep a list of people that I would like to have shot into space.
*I am holding out for an Oscar for Best Supporting Extra. I will never stop rehearsing my speech.

*I think I have to respectfully, yet strongly disagree with the notion that a person may never do anything of note.

I have victories and losses. I am learning to handle them with dignity and grace.

What do you mean be something (or perhaps someone)? What or who else am I supposed to be? I'm here. I have been (a) being my whole life. I think I have just always believed that I am something. I even believe that about other people.

On being noteworthy: This may be the part that I disagree with the most because it smells like apathy. I think that every day is the opportunity to do something of note. Sometimes, I take a day off. Is there a formula that makes something "of note?" I don't think that I have to save an endangered species from the brink of extinction or save a family of 12 from a burning building to be doing something of note. I have my own ways.

Admittedly, I've had some things of note over the past two years. I bet this comment would have been different back then. That's noteworthy.


Thanks. Great post.

WNG said...

I'm with karmalennon hit it square on the nose.
"How do you start living the life you want today if you don't know anymore what you want or who you are?"
I don't know - but I'm going to try to figure it out and I'll let you all know if I do.

Modig_Bjorn said...

Wonderful! I now have an excuse to share my favorite quote. I feel it's appropriate in light of the topic of this post. It's what helps me get through life each and every day.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared with what lies within us."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mayren said...

LOVERLY POST!

I have come to hold you in very High esteem my lil' Buddhist buddy from Laramie. It's profound thoughts like this (not to mention that sweet disposition of yours) that make me super happy to have found you and the flock.
I know I know... I'm still the #1 Fangirl but honestly my respect for you (and even Flynn) actually goes deeper than just a blog.

I actually have to thank Mist1 for helping me find the Ministry of Linus because it's just a few links down from Mayren Abased on her blog list.
When a gal as The Ministry: HSBP, Mist, and Killer Rants to fall back on what else do you need?

Mark Travis said...

I've been having a pretty exciting life in the last year. Gold exploration in Nevada, lots of new experiences. new job here in riverton, lots of trips to all sorts of places. I am literally traveling at least a week out of every month. lots of road time, seeing new things, trips to san francisco, reno. hanging out in laramie with my peeps.

My life is going really well. This is what I planned for. job in my field making good money.

yet the ennui of my life is no different than when i was a starving college student. the restlessness, the anxiety, depression, boredom. They all come with the terrain of life.

Buddhism exemplifies suffering as the base of existence. yet we long for that which is not the norm. yet another form of suffering. yet this type is self-inflicted. as if to say, no thank you I will hurt my self, fuck you reality.

If only we could accept the pain and move on.

Flynn said...

I would post a long, agreeable comment. But I'm tired, and have many things to do, which I'm fine with. I like the feeling of getting things done, even if it's mundane daily duties. Makes me feel like I haven't wasted my time, which I think is the same thing you're posting about. It's important to be proactive, to enjoy what you have, and appreciate the now. I, like the Pope, have no urge to move away from the college. It's lovely, and the people are wonderful. As far as Laramie goes, I like it, the air is clean, the town is smaller (which works for me, I can get rare items and information online) and most importantly, as I post this, it's snowing. Snow is good.

His Sinfulness said...

Snow in January - fine.
Snow in June - bullshit.

I hate this place. I've got to get into grad school somewhere warm...

WNG said...

Tomorrow it will be 94 here. We're all going out on the water for HarborFest. You're invited!

His Sinfulness said...

WNG,

You're in Va, right? I grew up in NC. Mmmm, 94 degrees... I'm slightly homesick.

WNG said...

I am indeed in VA, with occasional jaunts through your home state to SC. The rest of the weekend should be mid eighties and sunny...sorry :-)

Levi said...

Thanks for killing my baseball dream jerkface.

Personally, I'm all about the Laguna linguistic tradition of no past or future tense--there is only the present. The same thing applies in AA--take it one day at a time, otherwise you will be overwhelmed. And by you I mean me.

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