Serenity Now!

Mon Jan 13 2003 07:29PM -0600

Why this pops into my head now, I dunno. If you don't recognize it, it's a catch phrase from a Seinfeld episode. Jerry Stiller's character yells it whenever he starts getting upset, and other characters start following his example. It intruded into my real life when some of our patients last month started reminding us of Seinfeld characters (Hey buddy), and whenever it would get hectic (which became more and more often, given our patients' propensities for pulling out feeding tubes from their noses), my fellow student would yell it out. "Serenity Now! Serenity Now!"

But I suppose it is because I am getting frustrated. I have been finding it hard to concentrate on what I need to do lately. Easy distractibility, they say. And I am getting bitter. But not bitter enough, I guess. Seriously though. (OK, yeah, vague, I know. What the hell am I talking about?) Lately, I've been waking up hating the world. But unfortunately, I don't get pissed off enough to the point where I want to do something about it. Instead, I am resigned. Or at least, trying to be resigned. I don't know I'm angry about having to be resigned, or angry that I'm not resigned. (My God, I am so on the verge of insanity, if I'm not already actually over the edge.)

Yes, as usual, none of this makes sense. These are only fleeting fragments of my ephemeral thoughts, unfortunately.

The sad and ironic thing is that, for the most part, I like what I'm doing now. I have pretty much come to accept my fate. I feel like I've come into my own, so to speak. I found something that I am good at. Not the best at, to be sure, but something I have some sort of confidence in. These things are very rare for me.

No, what sometimes gets my blood boiling is this sensation that something sometime in the past had been stolen from me, metaphorically and metaphysically speaking. (OK, wait. Let me start over.) Given the ridiculous amount of free time I have these days, I have found myself contemplating the past a lot. Way back into the past. So far back that I can't even remember what I was like back then. I only remember the aftereffects, and the suffering.

And what I remember, despite the fact that Time is supposed to heal all wounds, despite the fact that there's not even any reason to be upset by it anymore, despite the fact that it would be ludicrous to be angry at the person who did it to me given the incredible amount of time that has passed, is this: I was betrayed. And really, it is not the betrayal that upsets me, since I understand a little more about how the world works now, since the sequence of events makes a morbid kind of sense to me now. It's the aftermath. The way that I dealt with it. The irrevocable consequences of it all.

I know that people often wax poetically about their childhood. Everything seemed much purer then, didn't it? And to a certain extent, it's true. For example, I know that at this point in time, I am not capable of the kind of love that I was able to give back then. I simply do not trust people, the Universe, or God enough. And, sad to say, I've gotten pretty far without trust.

I know it is grasping at burnt and charred straws, but I keep romanticizing that back then, I actually believed in happily-ever-after. That things would work out for me in the end. I might not always get what I want, and I might suffer a little here and there, but ultimately, everything that happened would be for the best.

Now I have come to the trite realization that, whatever else happens, the Universe is bound to kill you. The best you can do is go out in a blaze of fire, maybe. Or at least live as well as you know how, whether virtuously, or hedonistically, or any other way there is to live. Anyway you slice it, you'll be a corpse in a handful of decades.

But yeah, to sum up, what I have come to realize is this: except for some very, very few exceptional individuals, I do not trust anyone. In a world that eats its young, sometimes literally, this is certainly a fatal flaw. And I also realize this: any success I might attain, any fleeting happiness that I might actually achieve will turn to dust unless I can learn to trust. There in lies the balance.

Oh yes, like I said, there are a small handful of people out there who I do trust, but unfortunately, it would be unfair for me to have them completely bear the weight of my misery upon their shoulders. And more importantly, they are not near. I suppose, though, that subconsciously, I chose my own exile.

As my oldest friend is wont to admonish me: maybe I just like being miserable. Well, maybe. But I do not revel in these deadly, fatal things. The extent of my pathology is such that it will kill me, and it's not just a matter of getting over it. Seriously, if there was some magic way that I could just shrug this insanity off at a moment's notice and continue on with my life as if nothing were wrong, I would probably sell my soul in return. But alas, I suppose it isn't a buyer's market down there in hell right now.

Again, to sum up: I need to learn how to trust people. "Good times for a change/See the luck I've had would make a good man turn bad/So for once in my life, let me get what I want." (from "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths)

Well. Now that's out of my system. Maybe it'll do me some good. ::shrug:: Hopefully I can stop staring at my navel now.

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