smd

Time marches inexorably on, and soon I will die.

What are the most satisfying things you do in a given day? That first stretch when you wake up? Eating? Taking a shit? Going back to sleep again? I’m here to tell you that none of those things are worth a damn, that they’re all merely hormonal responses which you don’t control, designed to perpetuate the morally ambiguous cycle of your existence. What’s more: as soon as some dopamine rolls your way you’re likely to glut yourself, overdosing on that tantalizing thing that brought it around in the first place until it’s dead to you. No satisfaction sticks around… nothing lasts. You make no real progress in the things which are purportedly “important” to you; to match the initial satisfaction you must go higher, further, deeper, faster, with greater expertise and intensity. The things which satiate us begin to consume. They demand our focus and will not be denied.

So what are we to do? Will careful observation and knowledge of our personalities and desires help? Meditation and asceticism seem to promise that the way to reach satisfaction is to deny it. Perhaps, if nothing satisfies, then we may achieve satisfaction by pursuing nothing-ness on its own. Eschewing major sources means we can see beauty in the ugly and mundane. If we form a tight enough seal against overstimulation, will smaller things do the trick? If you board up all the windows in a room, the dim fingers of light reaching through the slats may seem brighter. But will your vision fully adjust? Can you ever expect to see in the dark?

Who knows. It’s a quandary for sure. Let’s look to the other side of the road. We could gobble up every new smartphone with increasing zeal, cultivate an absurdly popular facebook page, buy an expensive house. Get money, fuck bitches. I’ve seen people go off the deep end in either direction. The addicts seem tragic, victims of uncontrollable inner demons that forcibly control the course of their action. The other party just seems like a bunch of tools.

Any other options? Perhaps if you keep it real, stay true to honest expression every second of every day. Maybe travel the world. Maybe you’ll find what you seek overlooking a mountainous landscape, in the crevasses of the Great Barrier Reef. Maybe it’s a giant squid. Maybe it’s more elusive. Maybe you can find it in the eyes of the most interesting girl you’ve ever met, in Germany. (This is Germany—Germany—Germany—Germany—Germany.) If all goes well, you will give off the impression of having found it to everybody you know, then die an early and mysterious death, leaving them all wondering where the hell you went. Maybe if you do enough of the right drugs you will find it. Maybe if you lose your mind.

I am never satisfied. I don’t know if I will ever change. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve felt it, and more often than not it goes and fucks things up afterwards by the sheer dint of how much better it was than everything else. My school project of original poetry in ninth grade. Hugging my mother, letting all that resistance go. Realizing she “liked me back” at the tender age of twelve (whatever that entailed, anyways). The best win I’ve ever had in a videogame (which, for that matter, was the best win I’ve ever had period.)

But all those things passed away, all those rare sterling moments of bliss, leaving me where I was at before, or worse off. Despite having had those experiences, despite holding onto it like a snowflake for shimmering seconds at a time, I can’t even really say I’m any better for it. Just more experienced. Just a little older. Every time I’ve gone out looking (and I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the search, too), I don’t find it. In the best case scenario I’ll uncover a little proof, just like bones at an archaeological site. Yes, this existed. Yes, I was happy once. So why bother looking at all, when searching doesn’t seem correlated to finding?

Yet I can’t stand idly by. I feel like there’s SOME thing I can be doing, at the very least some form of active waiting to make myself more receptive. I refuse to believe it’s a lost cause. So where do I stand? Nearly two years later now, and on the last page of my journal, who am I? For all my efforts, am I changed? They say that the atoms in your body go through a full replacement every seven years. The neurons which comprise your memories are physically altered and destroyed, leaving the only objective truth of past events as some agreed-upon retelling of the proceedings between you and whoever else was there when it happened. Perhaps if I dedicate {Seven Years}, I may change and be born anew, as a radiant Zen-like individual.

Soon I will go to sleep, and some form of these thoughts will churn around in my head; probably unarticulated, in vague feelings of trepidation and loss in my dreams. The sleep won’t be very satisfying—ZOMG best I’ve ever had!!—but it will pass the time. And in the morning I will wake up one day older, one day closer to death.

peppy

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