Sunday, July 8, 2012

Achieving life is not the same as avoiding death.

The title above is quoted from Ayn Rand.

Something about the way that woman thinks and writes just speaks to me on an entirely different level. I get upset every time I find something regarding philosophy that lists any number of philosophers from Aristotle to Kant and they don't even leave a mention of Ayn Rand.  It's a crime.  I feel about her writing how some Christians must feel about the bible - I've read this, there is no need to go further.  Truth has a certain flavor and I find it so much to my liking that the taste of anything else is bitter and forgettable.

I am in the midst of a dry spell.  It's been approximately four months in the making and I'm suffering for it, and this weekend was the most obvious sign of that.  I went out with a group of friends to a "classy" party in downtown Seoul.  A strictly black tie event at a swanky resort.  It was great going into it, I was enjoying my group and having fun.  But when they herded us all into a nightclubish area, I found my social vibe just disappeared.  All around me there were beautiful women who I would have enjoyed talking to (one adorable Korean creature in particular) and I could not muster the state to approach anybody.

The night even seemed to tip me small favors and I still couldn't commit to even a weak interaction (I had been walking around, going to the bathroom again and again, doing whatever I could think of to try and break my mood short of actually talking to somebody).  I went outside at one point and the exact girl I'd been eyeing all night was sitting alone having a cigarette with her shoes off, alone and bored looking.  She clearly wasn't having the best night either (probably because her high heels were making enjoying dancing a serious challenge).  And all I could must was to sit next to her, pretend to check my phone, then ask if she minded if I left my jacket next to her (only implying that it was her job to keep it safe).  Then walked off to have a three minute fake conversation on my cell phone, hoping the time away would give me the state needed to actually speak to her, and also have a more natural approach after I sat next to her in silence for the first couple minutes.  Of course it didn't.  I walked back, picked up my jacket, thanked her, and went back inside.  Later there were more opportunities, perfect approach openings, and I just left it.

I'd realized I had hit rock bottom when the unnattractive female in my group was talking to me about how she felt about how this had turned into a "typical club experience" and how she wasn't into that.  Clearly rationalizing her discomfort with the situation.  Knowing I felt the same, and knowing how I felt about her value, I saw little reason to stick around.  So I said my goodbyes and got out of there.

Today I felt low-self-esteemy almost all day, but managed to quit Skyrim long enough to go for a bike ride and find some food.  It ended up being a good idea, I enjoy biking through the city and I had a good meal.  Then, a girl who is decent looking and I wouldn't have minded banging called me up.  She does that now and then.  I've texted her like once per week, and she never responds, then she'll call me out of the blue and invite me out.  Anyway she asked me to meet her, so I did and she was with another dude.  He ended up being really cool so we all had a good vibe going, but he had to leave around 11.  She gave him a hug and kept saying how he should stay because he could stay with her (clearly wanted to bang him, but I was thinking "yeah but why did she call me then") and it wouldn't be a problem.  But he left.  So I figured, "We've all been talking about sex all night, she knows what I'm about and she's having drinks with me alone on."  So I decided not to waste any time.  About 5 minutes after he left I tried a late game version of the apocolypse opener and asked her what she was doing later.  Then followed with, "want to come home with me instead?"  And she made me clarify that I was talking about hooking up and not just hanging out.  Long story short, she said no.  I felt bummed.  Walked her to the train station then headed home.

I was feeling bad about myself, then something just snapped.  I picked up a pen and a stack of sticky notes and wrote in giant letters, one on each note, "BECOME WORTHY OF A SELF.  EARN IT." And posted it above my door in my apartment.  I debated on my use of the article "a" instead of saying "your".  But I think I made the right choice.  The idea of saying "your" presupposes that I have a self, and that it is worthy and I'm not living up to it.  But the fact of the matter is, the way I've been feeling and behaving is more in line with a person who is lacking in a self.  A firm one, at least.  And so I made my grammar choice.

I remembered a blogger/musician/artist I had discovered some time ago and was inspired enough to look her up.  Sarah Saturday.  On her archive of short posts I ran across one from Ayn Rand, "Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises.  You will find that one of them is wrong."  It wasn't so much that quote that brought me around to feeling good, but the fact that somewhere out there is a mind that appreciates something I appreciate.  Somebody who sees the value in something I value.  And knowing that that person exists, and that that person also believes in taking care of herself and in EARNING IT HERSELF, gives me the strength I need to stop being such a bitch.

I bitch and moan that I haven't been with a woman for awhile, and I realize that it's becoming a self esteem issue - I need somebody, not just to fuck, but to appreciate me (and this is easiest to find after sex).  But what have I done in the last four months that's worthy of appreciation, apart from being?  Pussies and shit philosophers say that's enough, but Ayn rand tells it true.  Achieving life is NOT the equivalent of avoiding death, and all I've been doing is avoiding death.  Living day to day, decently but not well and certainly not doing anything worthy of being called achieving life.

I dearly hope that this feeling will stay with me.  I know it won't. I'll have to go after it, grab it by the hair and drag it back to my man cave.  But the most insidious thing about this challenge, this enemy, is that it isn't an enemy.  Fighting an enemy who wants to destroy me is the easiest thing in the world.  Even in losing, I feel pleasure and pride in having fought.  But fighting one, that wants nothing of me, that desires nothing bigger of me than that I make it to work on time.  That is a hard enemy to take issue with, to summon the courage to destroy this day and every day.

I promise I shall do what I must.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like all of the other life periods the twenties have unique properties and obstacles. One of the major challenges is to prepare now or prepare later. We may drive forward and for a time not see any results, however the time will come. Oh, and the Tarot cards told you it wouldn't be easy :P