If you’ve been following my last month, you’ll have read what was intended to be my last “real” post, with the declaration that everything from that point would be in the form of a podcast that I’d embed in future posts, due to podcasting being less time-consuming than blogging.
That wasn’t true. The real reason I left wasn’t for creative reasons at all. For the record, I am still going-ahead with the podcast; I’ve been enjoying it – a lot. I’ve just finished preparing one, actually, for mid-July.
But I need to tell you the reason I actually left. The past few months have been melting my sanity, and the solution I’ve decided upon is for you to know what’s really going on.
I left because… I’m not well. I don’t know how long I’ve been this way, but 2016 has been the year when I realised I can’t deny that I’m not like other people. Generally, I’ve noticed that are two distinct sides to my mind. They exist together, but it’s like they take turns to be me. There’s no rotor, nothing about this is sequential. It’s just something that happens. Which isn’t to say that I’m in-touch with my emotions, because I am – I’d say just as much as anyone else. But it’s the emotions themselves. They’re.. Broken. There’s no happy medium. I find that I’m either extremely high or extremely low. There’s rarely a time when I’m just feeling “fine” or “content” (that does happen, but not very consistently). And the divide’s becoming wider, I can feel it.
University is the best place I’ve ever been, because of how it makes me feel. I’m surrounded by people who want to study a common interest, there’s no uniform, I can watch films and talk about them, and I’ve never felt more psychologically liberated. And this is to the point that I become unrealistically happy. It’s like my mind’s fizzing over, and most of the time, I dance rather than walking. Seriously. I literally dance through the corridors because nobody really cares. There’s always music in my head (it tends to be Go all the Way by Raspberries), and once I’ve entered campus, the first thing I’ll do is buy a Coke, which goes straight to my head, obviously. I’m sat there in the auditorium and my self-awareness is heightened. All of a sudden, the material world around becomes more vivid, as if anything before then were just a dream. Often, I’ll scribble down every idea as it comes to me, into my notepad (I don’t care about legibility so long as I can read it). This one time, my lecturer noticed how much I’d written in such short a timespan and was visibly impressed by it. Then the film begins, and it will often be something arty, which I’ll get straight away. Like 8 1/2. Man, that film gave me an existential crisis. I specifically remember in the seminar that day, I decided to contribute something about the opening scene (with the traffic jam and the flying sequence), which turned-into a minutes-long rapid-fire stream-of-consciousness about the way that we’re all just physical vessels for a consciousness that are trying to escape but will never be able to truly know each other, and that realising this will elevate us to a higher plane of perception, before the unenlightened try to bring us down. Needless to say that university is like being on Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds or something. I am the Walrus, and all that. Even on the train home, I’ll be wide awake, noticing the tiny details around me and finding everything just so damn hysterical (if you thought I was cursing when I said “damn”, get over yourself). So that’s the one thing. My mood during these periods can be described with the song Pump it Up by Elvis Costello and the Attractions.
But then there’s the lows. Generally, either the above is occurring, or the following (there is rarely an in-between). When I’m feeling this way (like now, for instance – why else do you think I’m writing this?), I don’t sleep. I can’t. I’ll want to, but inevitably I’ll normally be getting-off by sunrise, when I’ll then sleep all into late afternoon. Luckily, I’m between semesters right now, so this isn’t a problem. Most of what I do during the day will be a prolonged existential crisis, questioning the nature of reality, my place in the universe, the possibility of an Afterlife and whether life has any purpose. This is something that’s been on my mind ever since I became aware of my ability to ask these questions, even though life is an illusion – what is the brain if not a randomly-occurring natural machine? Philosophy is an accident, we are limited by our inability to think beyond our genetic conditioning, even though the very concept of thought is a shadow of that which we call physics, and one doomed to trap us all in the inevitable realisation that we can never understand why we exist, and therefore cursed to forever question this. Suicide wasn’t discovered, it’s a side-effect of atoms combining themselves in the correct way so as to understand that they can destroy themselves should they choose, rather than needlessly coming to exist and dissipating for no reason. Humans have reached the top of evolution’s hierarchy, and therefore have no need to exist anymore. We have nowhere else to go, the game is finished, but we’re still here. We spend too much time destroying ourselves even though we’ll die eventually anyway, and we’re perfectly okay to allow the gangs that have taken-over and called themselves governments to make our short existence less blissful than it has the capacity to be, and during this, great artists are departing this mortal coil when they have the opportunity to be making the brief periods of sensation more enjoyable for those that admire them. Too many artists are dying. Musicians that changed our approach to culture. Actors that demonstrated the capacity for the Human psyche to reach Beyond. And, sure, we won’t care about any of this when our brain cells have deteriorated and the illusion fades, but if we must exist, if seems fair for it to be a pleasant one. Not so, judging by the world outside. People are being killed because they’re not the right combination of random that others think they should be. Whether free will exists is irrelevant to that argument – if it does exist, it should continue to be free because none of us are getting out of this alive anyway. And then we debate whether those people deserved the same standards as everyone else, before indulging in an act that makes our brief period of self-awareness less pleasurable. But I’m a hypocrite, of course. I do only the same. I dream of success, but I question its value. I want to be happy, yet I’m so often not. Essentially, I’m dragging myself into a vicious singularity which ultimately skips inevitable destruction for self-destruction. But when I see so many artists that I respect ceasing to be perceptive beings, it does make me question everything. It isn’t fair that they’re cut-short in the prime of their self-actualisation, while others continue to feel existence while contributing nothing to it. I’ve spent my life pursuing good art, and the appreciation of good art. So when I realise that making art doesn’t save anyone, and that we’re all so horribly equal in nature, that’s when I think: “wait a minute… this all meaningless, totally meaningless”. Art isn’t special, and artists aren’t special. But they should be. Life should be lengthened based on artistic merit. And that’s yet more hypocrisy – because I don’t make nearly as much as I desire, because I know that, whether it should be, it’s all a way to fill time before we become reduced to scattered atoms. Life is a sand castle that’s just like every other – washed-away regardless. The tide of time does not discriminate.
And that’s how I feel. I hope I find it within me to make myself happy to distract from the knowledge that everything is a distraction. That’s all I can do. And yet, I’m perfectly aware that these thoughts are themselves pre-determined by whatever the hell the “universe” is supposed to be. As is however I react to finally calculating this.