I doubt if we can salvage anything of this year. And what a surreal year it has been. This is probably the closest humanity has ever come to a shared condition across all the continents. And, oddly, it is also something that shows how differently we experience the same thing.
The anxiety that I used to experience in a period of months is now experienced in a single day. I am surprised how resilient we are, to live with that every day and still plod on. But, I also fear that it is not an endless rope and some of us are just hanging on by a thread.
But, do we have any other choice?
The anxiety aside, I don’t have a lot to complain about. There are a few material things that I desire, but not as a burning desire. I will get some or most of them if I can continue like this for a while longer. But, I don’t feel the lack of those things as a big hole in my life.
On the non-material end, the story is the same. I can desire a few things, but they don’t represent a burning desire. Contrary to the material, I don’t feel I’ll get some or any of them; mostly because I can’t bring myself to invest time or effort into getting them. I have gone as far as I want to go on that front.
It is mostly a feeling of being done, having enough, done enough, and seen enough. If life were to end today, I would not have many complaints at all. I would go without much trouble.
That leaves things mostly transactional on the table. Which, for a person like me, has been a revelation as to how much I am okay with it. It boils down quantifiable steps, outcomes, and expectations. All of them are habits and you can fly on autopilot there once you measure them out.
Life has an infinite capacity to surprise. And I am surprised by how I have taken to this life. It is definitely not a place that I had expected to find myself in. If we have to go back to a world that has a lot of interaction with people, I am not sure how well I’ll take to it.
One of my earliest memories after having accomplished something in my adult life while living on my own, that I had cherished for a long time, was an absolute lack of triumph. That feeling, though totally unexpected, has stayed with me for the rest of my life.
At the end of nearly 43-years of life, and having seen and done all that I have, that feeling is the most persistent one. This partly drives the lack of the burning desire. I know what is waiting for me when I get someplace.
Guilt has been my constant life companion, mostly of not being good enough on so many different fronts. Somewhere in the last couple of years, I have let that go too. I still feel that as a huge void as it has been the driving force of a lot of my life.
Not having it around makes me feel a lot less alive, but it is a decent trade-off. I make mistakes as much as I used to do earlier, maybe even more than I used to. When the realisation strikes, I apologize genuinely, try to make amends and move on.
Where does that leave life? The feeling of being alive? I find that ocassionally while being alone. There is not a set framework for it. Sometimes, it is music, sitting at night by the warm light. The chores done for the day, the accomplishment of having made it another day and my people are all OK.
The gratefulness of having that is about when I have consistently felt alive. That there is some point to so much of this rubbish.
For now, it will have to be just that. As what used to make my heart sing, the mountains, are far far away right now. If I ever make it back to them again.