A few days ago, I found the below written on a scrap of paper. It's not dated, but I suspect it was written sometime between June of 2020 and June of 2021. So, it's been 1-2 years and not much has changed.
It was never my intention to live this long. Or, maybe I just couldn't imagine myself living this long. Whatever the case, here I am, coming up on 40. Growing nearsighted, body slowing and sagging. Brain forgetting more every day. Ageing, I have to remind myself, is normal. It's just not something I ever thought I'd experience.
Maybe the problem was that I didn't live fast enough, despite having crammed several metamorphoses into 40 years. Maybe I was never actually young: "an old soul," folks always said about me; indicative of developmental trauma. Maybe I was simply incapable of leaving a good looking corpse. Whatever the flaw, I'm still here.
The dreams I've had for myself, I've given up. All of them. My therapist is trying to get me to learn the difference between contentment and happiness. What if I learn and then realize nothing makes me happy? That wouldn't be a shock. For so long, I've fought to live; maybe I've forgotten how to be alive.
That's a terrible possibility, one that I'm afraid is true. So while I'm supposed to be differentiating between contentment and happiness, I'm embracing every moment of contentment I can access.
I wonder if happiness is accessible to all of us? Pleasure activism might argue it is, but pleasure can be a part of contentment; it need not be happiness. In a world ravaged by inequity, how can those of us with so much precariousness ever feel happy? And if we feel content, does that mean we've ceased to be enraged, at least momentarily accepting our circumstances?
"Make do." It's a mentality ingrained in our culture. But it's a form of acceptance, of not demanding better. Making do is an act of complacency disguised by the desire for contentment. Designed to keep us in place, as outdated bootstraps.
I ran out of room on the paper and thus left this thoroughly unfinished. In the interest of giving myself permission to stop engaging with something if I've lost interest, I'm ending it here ->here<-.