#FreeWriteFriday 10/16/20

inspired by Garrett Richie’s 2013–2014 freewrites… this is a 10 minute stream-of-consciousness ramble, written from 11:50pm to Saturday. It has been very lightly edited for typos, but not content.

My favorite song is about escaping, about running away. It’s about hitting rock bottom and getting out alive. That’s a weird theme to gravitate toward, but it hasn’t stopped me from trying.

Why do I continuously put myself into uncomfortable situations, and what am I looking to get out of it? Perhaps I’m ascribing a feeling retroactively. It’s like a Google search for symptoms. You can always find what you’re looking for, but that doesn’t mean it’s the answer.How many times have you searched for a cough and thought you had COVID?

There needs to be a sense of backbone, a sense of purpose, a steadiness.That used to be the truth, whatever that means. I’m not sure if the widespread access to everyone’s idea at all times has bastardized the sense of the truth, or just made it more apparent that we all see the world differently. If anything we’re now getting a better understanding that things are complex, but we’re not smart enough to process anything beyond the most binary functions of reality.

I never felt comfortable in the grey area, or at least that’s what bosses who overworked me and continuously asked more and more and more despite ethical concerns would tell me. Honestly, I feel like I thrive in the grey area, as long as I’m controlling the chaos. As long as I’m the boss.

But, I’m never really the boss. And nobody is. That’s the great irony… is that any manipulation, any bullying is easy to see as one specific person acting evilly. What’s more likely, and more tragic, is that someone in their life is bullying and manipulating them, whether that’s now or in the past. Time is a flat circle, a phrase that never really made sense to me but pseudo-intellectuals loved to repeat. It felt fitting here.

Hurt people hurt people, as Hannah always says. You know, I’m nervous about the election, but I know that no matter what happens, it will take more than a popularity contest to change the trajectory of this country and the world. Our governing systems reward longevity, and that’s manifested through dinosaur governance. The two candidates vying to rule the world are older than 75. The people powering the halls of congress are older than 75 too. Not all of them, but the most powerful.

That doesn’t mean to suggest I know better, or anyone younger knows better. But when they’re grappling with problems created and amplified by the internet, by social media, they are just totally unequipped to understand or comprehend them. That’s not a fault. If anything, it’s a success! We’ve created new technologies as a culture that have pushed us forward. They came with growing pains, and it’s hard to expect our grandparents to solve them. But they need to let go! And they won’t. And we’re all suffering.

It’s easy to look at Trump and say he’s awful, but he’s just an old man who’s been abused immensely and lashing out at the biggest extreme. Unfortunately, he’s showing no signs of stopping, and it’s becoming dangerous. I’m not totally sure that Biden is the most noble character either, but the way he talks about his son and his son’s addiction makes me feel comfortable. He understands in a way that Trump never could, which is ironic because Trump allegedly doesn’t drink or do drugs. He should be stable, but he’s off the rails! Of course, I understand that sentiment. I’ve only been sober for 500 days, but society just isn’t structured for people like me! I really don’t feel community, and I feel left out constantly, even though I decided to stop participating.

I’m not really sure where to go from here, but I know I want an escape. It seems like a lot of people do. Sadly, that escape is alcohol or marijuana or opioids. Maybe not sadly. Most other people can use responsibly! Or at least they can pretend to. I was pretending, but it was unmanageable. So… where’s the escape? Maybe I need to reconfigure how I’m thinking about things. You can’t run away forever.