Figuring Things Out

In the first half of the 90’s I went through a lot of the same shit that many people go through after college. I was trying to establish myself in the career I’d fallen into (little about my life was deliberate in those days) while trying to figure out who the hell I was. And on top of all of it, I was trying to have a love life. Luckily (for me, at least) I kept a journal through much of the decade… (continues)

Luckily (for me, at least) I kept a journal through much of the decade. It’s a single giant Nisus Writer file which grew and grew. I have no clue how many pages it would be if printed or even how many words are in it and I’m too lazy to go look right now. What I notice when I read it is how tortured I seemed to be. So many entries dealt with my worries about falling in love too quickly, needing too much in a relationship, having anxiety over one thing or another. If I didn’t have happy memories from those years I’d’ve thought I was miserable. But I do remember the angstful hand-wringing and I remember how unhappy I was at times.

Not too long ago I realized that I was happy. It actually came as a bit of a shock. I guess I was so used to way I used to feel. And I guess it really did creep up on me. What bothered me about this epiphany is that I had no idea when or how it had happened. Usually, you have an Event. Something that happens that changes your outlook on life and changes you in some fundamental way. I had no such events. Somewhere in the late 90’s or early aughts, I achieved inner peace. Or something.

So, I went back to my journal to see if I could figure out what happened. When did it start? What was the cause? And I couldn’t find a damn thing. See, somewhere around 1996 or so, I just stopped writing much. There was the occasional “Hi, I’m still out here” message, but otherwise there was nothing. There were no deep introspective entries in which I tried to figure out why X was Y and so forth. No agonized prose in which I hashed out some meaningless event from the day and tried to figure out what it meant. Nothing.

And I realized that that was the answer. Somewhere around 1996 (1997, 1998, somewhere in there) I just stopped being introspective. I stopped worrying about things and just started living and taking things day by day. I just stopped writing about stuff that didn’t matter. In many ways, I think it was the actual dropping of the journal itself that was the fix.

So, here’s to enjoying life and not worrying so much about the details. Here’s to taking things as they come and dealing with them individually. Here’s to realizing that the secret to a healthy relationship is to not over analyze every little thing but to just ride the roller coaster and enjoy as much as you can.