Friday, October 21, 2011

La Dolce Con Niente

Yes this is an obvious reference to the movie "Eat, Pray, Love."

However, this phrase has grown to be more of a mantra to my current state of mind.

So I selfishly seek your indulgence as I perform this public reverse psychoanalysis.

I have always considered myself to be a very observant person: in my early years I had little in role models to derive what and who I should become. Therefore my only recourse was to be a mimic of sorts. Due to the then-unknown challenges of being a sole child from a broken home (while I do have three sisters, it seemed as if we were rarely together, and when we were, we all had our personal crosses to bear: effectively leaving me alone as a man-child to face the world) I did not enjoy the privileges of having a steady home, school, nor friends.

For a point of reference, this occurred mostly during the mid to late 1970s.

Since my parents were divorced and involved within an unfortunate and ugly legal battle, it had always been stressed upon me that I must now be the man of the house and be responsible, mature, and most of all forgiving.

For this responsibility to be thrust upon a child who had barely had a chance to enjoy the frivolity of youth, it was a heavy burden, indeed.

Luckily I did have a welcome refuge of sorts, and it was television. Before anyone even knew what the term had meant, I had effectively led a "virtual childhood"

So with the usual mix of good times, welcome back kotter, all in the family, etc I had discovered Star Trek.

This show would become my eventual savior of sorts.

Thanks to the cold logic and lack of emotion shown by Mr Spock, I had finally found a role model worthy of my attention. For it was the lack of logic and reason within my own life that led me to identify more with Spock than any other characters, real or imagined, that I had ever met.

And indeed the show, as well as the character, served as a needed buffer in my life for the erratic chaos I had to endure from day to day life.

While this led me to technology and an inherent understanding of same, indeed this path led me eventually to a career that has been very interesting and rewarding, I had failed to consider one important and inescapable fact: I never learned how to be human and how to interact with my fellow homo-sapiens.

I found them on average to be an emotional and irrational lot that "had no clue" as to who I was and the world I lived in. I did not live in the present, as it was too full of distraction and grey noise.

Fast forward some twenty years later. I found myself most patient, analytical, and the proverbial voice of reason. Since I did not know how to emote with and relate to those I valued or sought to have known, I put it upon myself to always ask others what their issues were, and applied cold logic and reason to help solve whatever problems stood in their way.

This worked and gave me a false sense of value for many years. Yet I still ignored and neglected one person: myself.

After awhile the burdens of stress, lack of genuine fun, and sense that I must live for others before myself began to take their tolls.

As I reached my late 30s and approached my 40s, my id had had enough.

I had discovered a coworker who I had felt had an idyllic life, and we had a common interest in high performance sportscars and technology, etc.

I found myself living vicariously through him. And without realizing it, this had awoken the long dormant beast inside of me that needed to be uncaged.

As you can imagine, the unreconciled "fun" part of me and the logical cold part of me had butted heads for quite some time.

While left unchecked, this internal war of the hemispheres of my brain led to collateral damage, for myself, my friends, and my family.

I was no longer able to be the same person, and I had to walk away from a job I had coveted. And, I effectively sabotaged a friendship that was positive and rewarding, but ultimately left me frustrated.

I deconstructed my life as I knew it. It was both scary and sobering. However, somehow, deep inside of me I knew this was necessary, regardless of the aftermath.

So, after hours and a post that is way too verbose and rambling, we finally have come to the point of this post, long since minutiae.

I have taken a long sabbatical, and am only now finding my way to the path that will lead to an eventual conclusion to the aforementioned battle for my very soul.

While I do not have all the answers, and I have no idea where I am going from here, I do know that the "joy of doing nothing" has been the most important and healing decision I have made thus far.

This leads me to a favorite phrase of mine: "when in doubt, punt!"

The ball is in the air. Who knows who will catch it, or how far they may return it.

The point, I guess, is: I will be watching from the sidelines with a calm curiosity I have not had in many years.