I drove home last night from Vital Climbing feeling pretty down. I’m not completely sure why I felt the way I did. I started thinking about how much energy we invest in thinking about the wars we fight everywhere else and how much we ignore the wars within our own hearts and minds. We may pretend like we’re “at-home”, but many of us a certainly not at-peace. Our own personal psychic wars continue within us; unabated, unabashed, and unwarranted. We worry about our appearance to others, we constantly concern ourselves with the minutia of life, and we’re never happy with ourselves (and consequentially, never truly happy with anything else). I feel as if I should count myself amongst the throng, the people that are truly unhappy with themselves and with the rest of the world.
Attempts at pinning-down the reasons why have been the focus of much of my mental efforts for many years now, and I’m sadly not much closer to figuring it out. Attributing it to one particular problem or facet of my personality or personal makeup has proven ineffective or piece-meal in the greater scheme of things, sometimes leaving me with more problems than solutions. For example, I am acutely aware that I exhibit both manic-depressive/bipolar symptoms as well as self-esteem problems; thus the odd oscillation between ecstatic productivity and morose inactivity both at work and at home. It’s maddening to be riding the oscillation between the two extremes and to simply want to be somewhere in the middle… or at the very least to be able to mitigate the down-swing.
I suppose one of the larger reasons I can theoretically cite as part of the problem with my current psychological state ties-back (at least partially) to the lack of attention, encouragement, and involvement from my parents. Looking back a bit more closely, it’s probably the closest thing I can find to one of the main reasons why I feel the need to involve other people in almost everything I do. I’m sure my roommate has become utterly exasperated with my constant requests to climb with me, given all that he is trying to accomplish outside of that particular activity. I also never feel as if I have any kind of mastery of anything that I do, thus why I have deferred to others with more experience in almost every single activity or engagement I have been involved with. I have always felt unsure of myself, unsure of how I will be received if I ever managed to develop my own ideas… if those ideas would be original or if I would be derided and belittled. I’m deathly afraid of being an outcast in any situation… point-of-fact, one might go as far as to say that complete seclusion from other living beings would be the complete death of me, both physically and psychologically.
My parents never really pushed me to do much of anything in terms of physical activities or mental pursuits. Video games were purchased, chores were done, nothing exceptional was asked of me. It was as if they didn’t know what to do with me, what could possibly be done. I don’t think they knew because they themselves were treated much the same way, treated with a kind of indifference that prevents a person from reaching a deeper understanding of themselves or the world around them… or at the very least a better understanding of their capabilities as far as activities were concerned. I attended Asian-American ken-po classes for a couple years with my father, but we ended-up stopping because of financial troubles. I never really got into much else outside of that. I guess it was my parents’ hope that I would be able to find some kind of “calling” in the chaotic miasma that constituted my life during that period of time… foolish sentiment, really. “Sentiment” being the operative word in this case.
More on this later. I need to let these thoughts stew for the moment.