Tuesday, June 16, 2014
Since the inception of this blog, I have mentioned several times that I can easily become agitated with the choices that people make in their lives. The agitation is heightened by the fact that I do not have the ability to make any substantial choices in my own life. Acknowledging this is important, yet I constantly struggle when it comes to reining in my frustrations. In general, I find myself carefully controlling what I say in response to things that people do with their lives. It’s surprisingly challenging.
Recently an acquaintance of mine has been making poor choices. He mirrors so many of the things that I have done that I cannot help but to worry. Intrinsically we are entirely different people and even though our needs, wants and desires vary… the footings are very similar. Both of us crave acceptance but for me, I have been able to manage this particular demon. This acquaintance has not however and I get the distinct impression that his desire for acceptance is considerably stronger than mine ever was.
I do not have the type of relationship with him, at least not one that is established enough for me to be able to dole out constructive criticism. I am beginning to realize that closeness almost doesn’t matter either though. That in mind, I feel I am better off remaining silent.
Somehow, I have become a person who is disappointed in so many things that people are and – are not – doing in their lives. I cannot help but to wonder if this is how my mom felt as she was watching me slide down to the bottom of existence. I listen intently to what people close to me are going through and then I compartmentalize it. I remind myself that I should remain focused on my own life rather than living vicariously through theirs. Then I realize that I don’t actually have a life. Instead, I live through their experiences – good and bad – because it is a distraction from my own personal hell. Sometimes the line of their lives and what I call ‘my life’ can get a bit blurry.
A dear friend has helped me tremendously to be able to separate those lines. I have learned to control my emotional response however, I have not been as successful in controlling the emotions inside me. I am growing forever anxious because I feel that time is moving too quickly outside of this place.
Simultaneously, my life within these walls is falling more and more behind.
By nature, I am a ‘go getter’: a man full of drive and ambition. If something needs to be done then I set forth and do it. I have never been a procrastinator or someone others would deem as lazy. If you know someone who is like this, then you understand that it is practically impossible for me to ever be “content”. It is unfortunate, but very true.
I doubt that anything will ever be “enough” for me, but I need to know when to accept things: the things that I already have, the things that I have accomplished and believe that it is good enough. When I think about the people in my life, I want to tell them to get up off their asses and do something with their lives. I want them to take advantage of the life that they do have. Obviously this comes from a perspective of not having much of a life but there are people who are struggling with their own complacency issues and dreaming instead of doing. They need to wake up, move on in life and try to find a sense of purpose and some version of happiness in their lives.
Saying all these things to these people, even the acquaintance I first mentioned is pointless. I cannot live their lives for them or force their hands to take advantage of the opportunities that they are seemingly content in ignoring. Life continues on and I suppose that for some of them, they have their own interpretation of “enough”. If they didn’t, well then they would surely do something to change their situations. Perhaps that type of response only pertains to the people like me? Perhaps they really are okay and are making the best choices for themselves? Perhaps it’s I who will never have enough?
I know that at the end of the day, I will never find my happiness through others and that I can’t even chase it.
But I have to ask myself….
“How much is enough?”