Saturday, October 30, 2010

I’m Down

GL, Self-Portrait
  

My life isn’t what I had hoped, or expected. 
  
There’s very little joy in my life. Uncomplicated happiness has so eluded me. When it came my way—when I was younger, not so much anymore—I wasn’t wise enough to realize how rare it was, or how little of it there would be later. 
  
Now is later. Now I know better. 
  
It seems that all I do is mark time. It’s what life seems to have become—a wait. Waiting for something, but unable to articulate what it is that I’m waiting for. It’s . . . something. Something wonderful. It will fill my heart, and give my soul an aim. I’ll know it the second I see it. I’m just waiting for it to arrive. 
  
But what if it doesn’t come. What if there’s just the waiting, the gray days cluttered with the routines of a long slog. What then. 
  
When I realize that there’s just the waiting, will I be disappointed? Or relieved. Or indifferent. Or done. 
  

63 comments:

  1. Leonard Cohen wrote a song about this, "Waiting for the Miracle"

    Baby, I've been waiting,
    I've been waiting night and day.
    I didn't see the time,
    I waited half my life away.
    There were lots of invitations
    and I know you sent me some,
    but I was waiting
    for the miracle, for the miracle to come.

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  2. There's no such thing as a normal life; there's just life . . .

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  3. Buddy, I can relate.

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  4. I'm sitting in Las Vegas, way past midnight reading your post, and it has brought tears to my eyes. Maybe you have not opened enough doors to let happiness in ...

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  5. At 56 I had the same feelings until a Beagle pup named Ellie came into my life. She taught me what love was all about...she changed how I interacted with people...she saved my mental life.

    Might want to look there GL.

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  6. Gonzalo, read Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." It'll fix you right up.

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  7. Whoever and wherever you are, remember that you are living the dream of someone less fortunate. Be grateful.

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  8. Gonzalo, go to Mass!

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  9. Another reading suggestion for your mood (and it's a bit shorter): read Henry James's The Beast in the Jungle. It's all about a man who felt as you do.

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  10. just remember - even though personally you seem to have missed what others claim is the prize - they're idiots. you merely are paying the price for using your brain and giving a damn about things larger than individuals.

    there's nothing new here - we pay the price - there is no free lunch even in intellectual matters.

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  11. Che, deja de fumar o te vas a joder la vida y entonces si que tendras causa para llorar.

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  12. The Wolves Inside You

    An elder Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He
    said to them, "A fight is going on inside me.. it is a terrible fight and it is
    between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret,
    greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false
    pride, superiority, and ego.

    The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity,
    humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth,
    compassion, and faith."

    "This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other
    person, too", he added.

    The Grandchildren thought about it for a minute and then one child
    asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

    The old Cherokee simply replied... "The one you feed."

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  13. Don't feel bad. That's just the way it is. I suppose I'm lucky. At least I have one friend, even if it's just a cat.

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  14. GL
    If you truely are a conservative Catholic, embrace the Church and the teachings Jesus gave us. What a Blessing we have in the Church Sacraments! You will find a real family in the Church.

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  15. Gonzal,

    I don't want to suggest that you are deficient, only to have you feel even lower, but I especially related to one of the Anonymous comments above, "Maybe you have not opened enough doors to let happiness in ...".

    If you're considering the cloth, give it a try (even if that will deprive us of your posts, at least for a while).

    If you're looking unsuccessfully for a human companion, try therapy.

    Even a couple of years of love are better than none at all. And one can get better at loving with practice.

    If you already have love, but not enough, you'll have to decide which you want: fidelity or a new search for love with someone else.

    If you already have enough love, but still feel down, you'll probably have to resign yourself to keep on struggling through the highs and lows of life.

    I realise that this is simplistic and reads like an algorithm, but it's the best I can come up with.

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  16. Vitamin D. Go roll around outside in the sunlight. You'll feel better in no time.

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  17. Ahh.. come on man.
    You have one mission at least: Educate us others. Checking your blog daily for updates.

    But I know the feeling "Waiting for something, but unable to articulate what it is that I’m waiting for."
    You know, someone would call that a mid-life crisis :-)

    Have a laugh at it. Feels better. I know.

    Take Care GL.
    /From Sweden (of all places)

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  18. 3 Cheers for you GL. You are man enough to say what many feel but do not say. You are expressing yourself honestly. Eventually all of us will come to realize that all expectations lead to disappointment. This realization is an important step in the unfolding journey. I am joyful for you for I know that you are moving swiftly toward the next level of unfoldment. Soon you will understand that the process of unfoldment is an eternal process. Sit back relax and behold what your journey has in store for you. Soon it will come into view and you will forget about the space that you currently occupy. You will move on. This is the natural ebb and flow of our existence. Many thanks for sharing your deepest thoughts. You are much more advanced than I and certainly much more brave!

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  19. Low? I empathize brother, I truly and honestly do. My life, to make a comparison, has been little but one long trail of misery, pain, loneliness and despair (much of it self-inflicted, no doubt), and that's when things are good (the bad days can be a shade darker). I don't know who I am, where I've been or where I'm going, since I am a different person each day from the one I was before. I am born, I exist, I die, I resurrect...day in and day out, with no connection to who I was, who I am or to who I will be (and if I cannot connect with myself, what chance do I have of connecting with others, who may be even more lost than myself?). Even now I wonder if I am making any sense. Marking time? I hear you, loud and clear. Chin up, Gonzalo. I for one like your inane/insane ramblings. Be well.

    MLT

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  20. http://gospel2live.wordpress.com/2007/03/27/a-matter-of-life-and-death/ is a link to a post I wrote 3+ years ago. A lot of my blog is oriented towards helping church people see the dangers of trusting in religion rather than trusting in God. For a post that has a better explanation of this, see http://gospel2live.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/democrats-must-learn-some-respect-lessons-for-the-church/.

    Thanks for your writings. They have been helpful. I am currently challenging people in our church to think strategically about how we can prepare for tough times in the near future -- not just for survival, but with the purpose of caring for the people in our neighborhoods and city. As much as I like to avoid unnecessary pain, I also know that God uses the tough times to call us out of our self-absorbed seeking of temporary pleasure to find greater meaning and purpose in relationship to Him.

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  21. Gonzalo,

    Take up golf. Right friggin' now. Get up every morning at dawn and watch the sun rise, then go play your golf. Get yourself addicted to it, and start to experience the pain and the joy, and something will still in your soul. And then I'd recommend some OG-18 after the round!!

    JR

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  22. Your words in this post resonate so much with me!! I feel exactly the same.

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  23. You are brave to post this, GL.

    But nobody out there feels any differently. Unless they are a permanent child.

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  24. Wherever You Go ~ There You Are

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  25. I feel it too - you put into words exactly the way I feel.

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  26. You are unique and honest and genuine ...and your writing resonates because of these qualities. The world will not discard you, but it will lose it's flavor as you get older. Be patient.

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  27. Anyone who observe the reality of the world we currently live in may feel down.

    By observing, I mean watching as a scientist would watch, not being influenced by optimism or pessimism.

    And you are such an observer...

    Yet, in one's private life there are many pleasures to enjoy, many of them offered by mother nature.

    I have learned to watch sunsets, night skies, naked trees against a background of deep blue sky and I really enjoy it.

    While aging, I have reduced my expectations to almost nothing. Expectations are more often than not of a material kind and end up in disappointment.

    Life is just a passage we have to go through, for reasons still unknown. There is no need for objectives to reach, and certainly not the kind of objectives our society is encouraging us to aim at.

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  28. Let him be lads. Let him be...

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  29. Somehow I suspect (self-portrait) you do not give sufficient weight to the role of nutrition and exercise in mood. I know I didn't. For years I worked on the fulfillment dilemma through psychology/growth modalities or diet/exercise in more or less separate fashion. It wasn't until they became synchronized that fulfillment and purpose became more active in my life.

    It may be helpful also to think of depression as having a voice and a purpose, it leads us to our dysfunction telling us where approach is inadequate. Certain conditions resolve over time without effort, others do not. Those that do not are (at best) difficult to resolve without specifics. Depression usually occurs when a repetition is occurring, and the innate function of it's message is to provide those specifics. For obvious reasons it's better not to "mute" this message unless really necessary. It is your ally not enemy when approached from this perspective.

    Last not least, something I discovered along my path (it may sound silly to you but I recommend you investigate), the benefits of raw plant food as optimum fuel. Energy levels affect mood, fuel affects energy levels, and that's the bottom line.

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  30. ¿Qué huevá estái fumando allí, Gonza?

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  31. Hi GL, you are not down it is just your superficial mind telling you, you are down. The bad wolf in you feeds with your negative emotions, with your suffering. If you continue to feed it, it will break you down. You have to start feeding your profound mind, the good wolf in you. You took the red pill and now you see the world as it is FAKE, fake financial system, fake education, fake entertainment. You are on the right path, do not worry, milions of people all over the world are waking up. This is the SHIFT. Start studying the toltecs teachings, Jesus's teachings, read Erckhart Tolle, Anthony De Mello, Wayne Dyer, Neale Donald Walsch, and many others, feed your profound mind and magic things will happen to you.
    I was a succesfull financial consultant for a big canadian bank and this crisis blew me off when I saw how many lies our «economists» are feeding us just to keep a dying system going. So I stopped putting people in crappy mutual funds, stopped getting them in more debt and advised them the crisis is in front of us not behind. I quitted my job and now I'm soo happy. IT'S TIME TO TAKE CARE OF OUR SOULS. GOD BLESS YOU, NAMASTE!!!

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  32. What is life, except for eating, shitting, screwing and sleeping?

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  33. GL, you must know you help people with your blog. The freedom from your feelings of hopelessness is unconditional love. What you give is what you receive. I learned this as I got older. Love is not demanded it is given and when it is given unconditionally, it is returned the same. The universe is indifferent to humans but we don't have to be that way to each other. No matter how bad it gets for you, my friend, always know that you are loved and appreciated.

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  34. Try music...if all else fails, pick up a guitar or a harmonica and play da blues.

    And look for someone less fortunate than yourself and then do something to make their life better, happier...it will take you out of yourself and you will at least then feel as if you are spending your time in a better way than sitting around waiting.

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  35. Meh. That was only of the most self-indulgent posts that I have read in a while ... from anyone!

    A sure cure for what ails you, get busy! Also, get away from watching the train-wreck that is the global economy. Write another book, do anything but mope around.

    I hope that suffices for a swift kick up the ass because you need one, damnit!

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  36. I just found this blog a couple days ago and it's instantly in my top three. I'm surprised by this post, but here's my 2 cents.

    There's a quote by Thomas J. Watson that I like,

    >There is work that is work and there is play that is play; there is play that is work and work that is play. And in only one of these lies happiness.

    I agreed with that last line when I first read this, but I've come to realize that happiness can also be found in play that is work. Or at least profound contentment. I took up kite boarding a few years ago, and I can tell you it's an enormous physical struggle while learning (I'm still learning). But there is a certain gratification at the end of the day. You know you earned those beers, and it feels good especially if you have a (or some) friend that is into the same thing.

    Other than that I'd consider taking an SSRI (anti-depressant). I take one for anxiety problems and it makes a huge difference. I've heard people say that they work really well for depression also.

    I think some ssirs work better depending on a persons individual body chemistry, so it can take time to get that refined to the best result. Zoloft works well for me. A few others didn't.

    Here's a little background that some may not know, especially if you don't have the problem. Depression, anxiety disorders and OCD are all very closely related and are all treated with SSRIs. OCD seems to be the one that is the hardest to root out.

    I've seen enough empirical evidence to convince me that these occur more frequently in highly creative people, and you're in that category.

    http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/famous-ocd.shtml

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  37. the rescurers come out of the woodpile...its a man admitting something to himself,a written narative..about a transitory emotion,dosent need fixing..
    nature deplores a vacume ,and life will fill it...(i cant spell but i can resonate with an idea)we all will end up in the same place and let go that last breath...but in the time left ..thank you for sharing the music

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  38. GL,
    God is preparing you for what is coming next in your life. In the words of Tom Petty, "The waiting is the hardest part."

    While you are waiting, if you want to experience joy, I have a suggestion.

    Are there children in your life? Your own? Favorite nieces or nephews? The children of a neighbor or friend?

    Spend time with a child. Do it regularly.
    Spend an afternoon playing their favorite games. Play Monopoly. Play checkers. Play Go Fish. Play Kirby AirRide. Play MarioCart. If the children are very young, let them win. Cheat to loose. Every time.

    Go to a movie. Go to the zoo. Go to the park and push them on the swings. Throw a baseball. Have a tea party with stuffed animals.

    Go to an Italian restaurant and order spaghetti and see who can find the longest noodle. See how many noodles you can slurp up in one slurp.

    Ask what is the worst thing that happened to them that day. Ask what is the best thing that happened to them that day.

    Experiencing life thru the eyes of children will give you hope for the future. It will help sustain you while you wait for what is coming next.

    K Smith

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  39. The only true joy comes through Jesus the Christ.

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  40. I'm afraid the the truth might be in the truth. I to have felt like this my entire life and the only thing that has brought me any joy has been my daughter. But I still suffer from loneliness and depression. I've finally turned to Christ but I'm not convinced but I'm still trying and hoping that he might be the answer I've been looking for. God Bless and please hang in there.

    MAR

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  41. Caballero, no se deje vencer por la palida. Cuide las apariencias, peinese las cejas con gomina y los dos pelos locos que le van quedando.

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  42. I have found that what your heart craves will come to you, but you have to care -- really care -- and persist in that emotion. If you're waiting without caring, it may never happen. The work is done in the heart -- and don't lose faith that you will eventually find something that is a true extension of your heart.

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  43. I downloaded the photo and did a spectrographic analysis on the smoke in it. I've gotta tell you, it looks suspiciously like something that is NOT tobacco. Please turn yourself in to the nearest re-education facility IMMEDIATELY.

    Or, if in fact it IS tobacco, consider changing products...

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  44. Thanks for the post. I think your feelings are common. Most people cover them up because they're so painful.

    "The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train - everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live.

    "I cannot live with myself any longer." This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. `Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the `I' and the `self' that `I' cannot live with." "Maybe," I thought, "only one of them is real."
    I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped...

    Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle, page 8
    http://theyogapathtransforms.com/Documents/The%20power%20of%20Now-%20Tolle.pdf

    Thanks for the post.

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  45. No waiting, there is only this moment, it is perfect and holy and complete and it's beautiful. I believe that your worries, anxieties, depressions, and cares are mere biological contrivances to keep you from getting too complacent, and that in death you will be released from them and know only truth and only joy.

    It took years of contemplation and one splendid morning when I ate 7 grams of psilocybin mushrooms to come up with that but it's a point of view which hasn't let me down yet.

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  46. Oye que te pasa?

    Ya pues, mira, aqui estan algunas soluciones para que te mejores.

    1) No comas trigo ni azucar
    2) Sal durante el dia y toma sol. Has ejercicio.
    3) Levanta pesas

    This should help!

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  47. Hi Gonzalo,
    couldn't agree more to what Anonymous November 1, 2010 12:25 PM wrote:
    Take a closer look at Eckhart Tolle's 'Power of Now'.

    In a deeper sense there is no time, no past and no future, thus no waiting - only the one moment, NOW! - which is life and ultimately your true being.
    Do not think! Live! ;-)
    Best regards from Munich, Germany

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  48. May I humbly recommend planting a garden?

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  49. If you're waiting for happiness, don't, it's here now.... Happiness is not in the future after you've taken care of all the contingencies. You just create unhappiness for yourself when in your head you say to yourself, "I wont be happy unless, until...." You're going through a "midlife crisis", no big deal, challenge your assumptions and get to the truth.

    "The path to serenity is to wholeheartedly cooperate with the inevitable..."

    No seas un comemierda.... Quit trying to run the insane asylum...

    Best regards,

    Econolicious

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  50. GL,

    Today I woke up feeling as you do.
    Take notes of everything that's already said further up, amke a plan, life cannot just go around you, take the helm and sail man !

    Greetings from Santaigo.

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  51. GL - I really enjoy your blog. I look forward to it because you have a gift. You add humor and highlight the insanity so we can see truth clearly. It is to be expected that the shit get to you now and then. Kick back and watch a comedy here & there - the mind does grows on what it is fed. Steady diet of current events will give you depression.
    Smile - you are loved by your fans!
    Kat

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  52. "Why is everyone trying to fix Gonzalo? He may be simply experiencing a direct acknowledgement of the winter of our discontent. He accepts, as we should, the passing of an era in which property and law reigned supreme (for some anyway). Now both have been dissolved in a sea of electronic numbers and oligarchic anarchy.

    We are not yet in the emerging world. We are suspended in some odd eye of the story, having nothing, knowing very little about what will become of us, having very little power and knowledge about how act in accordance with a wave of history yet to appear. Waiting, waiting, but wait... there is something other than waiting or spasmodic, desperate activism.

    Intuition.

    Let the melancholy and fatigue wear away the shell that contained a once-coherent goal. Let other senses be exposed, once befogged by ambition and achievement. This new world will be a networked, self-organized, social creation requiring every one of us to be more "us" than we ever have been.

    Hard to imagine what this looks like when we have lost so much of our roots and are further away from our natures than, perhaps, at any time in history. But the alchemy turns in this acid bath of despair, because of its hyperreactive power, and produces something unprecedented. The only question is, will we be able to engage it and catapult forward in its revelation, or will we seek to hide.

    Bared to a new truth, will we seek the dead past, unwisely romanticize a bold future based on our fancies, or will we make friends with the present and a universe whose intelligence far outstrips our own even as it extends its power to us in gentle, bare life.

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  53. Big hugs. Much love. Keep up the great work!

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  54. I thought this was beautifully written. I have these feelings all the time. So you're not alone, if that counts for anything. - Todd

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  55. If you skinny dip you will be happy.

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  56. Jesus, you're thinking too much. Stop drinking and go sink your teeth into the ass of life and have a good time.

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  57. Then I tried the bible and everything was all right.

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  58. I know it is from Shakespeare but exactly which play eludes me at this moment. It goes something like this..'some men are born but they are born not to lead the life of ordinary men'.
    We long for a life dreamt of but life presents itself with a different reality until we attempt to change it.

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  59. GL - read your C.S. Lewis.

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  60. Gonzalo! Times are always hard for those who speak the TRUTH. Your insights into finance have helped to open my eyes. Please do not underestimate your contribution to progress. QE is taxation without representation. Americans must fight this. Your writings give me inspiration to keep going. Thank you.

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  61. It's in the air. It's palpable. Lots and lots of people feel this way. Proof we are all interconnected energy?

    I agree it is a seismic shift and we must go forward boldly, eyes wide open, embracing the new world...but I'm scared. I'm "what if" ing every decision to death.

    My husband is wanting to break free and move us on to the next "adventure" and my negativity of analyzing everything is putting a real dampener to any plans. But after you've lost so much you've worked for and we aren't spring chickens anymore...

    I enjoyed reading everyone's comments too. Helps to know we're not alone.

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  62. Chin up... You are a very, very talented writer.

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If you have a question or a private comment, do feel free to e-mail me at my address expat229@gmail.com.

GL