I'm sick. Can't remember the last time I went down and couldn't get back up. The last time I almost came down with something, I pulled myself together and played a show later that night. After I left the stage, the cold that was threatening only hours before now seemed content to leave me alone. I'm glad I pushed myself out the door to play the show that night; I ended up making a friend.
But pushing through doesn't always reap rewards. Sometimes you have to listen to that other voice, you know, the one that says "Marcus, you need to rest..."
Im taking this as an opportunity to reevaluate my status, my plans, my health, my choices. I'm lying here in bed, writing you. For some reason, both of my knees really hurt and my lower back is sore. To make matters slightly less pleasant, all that remains of my 32oz bag of Trader Joe's white corn tortilla chips are paltry crumbs. Too small to dip in salsa. Why am I even eating chips and salsa in bed? I'll add this question to my holistic life evaluation that's currently taking place between melancholy episodes of Transparent. I'm threatening to switch to something more cheerful.
There was a man named Norman Cousins who, apparently, healed himself of some crippling illness by checking into a hotel and watching Candid Camera mixed with Marx Brothers moves. That's the power of laughter, they say.
I read yesterday that children laugh around 300 times a day. Adults average a more austere 5 chuckles.
Why don't we laugh more? Each one of us, undeniably, has experience pulling ourselves out of a funk. We know that on some level we have a say in our mood. Maybe not entirely, and I'm not saying one should become delusional and block out their feelings, but we have a say. We know this.
Yet, often, we don't. We forget. Over and over. We seem somewhat incapable of injecting more levity and ease into our lives.
Instead, we're oddly comfortable with what we've created for ourselves. Our life's routine. The daily whatever that somehow only slightly ever changes, save for the big "oh shit" shit that happens every so often.
I really admire people who can shake things up within their lives, experiment and commit to changes. Without any sort of scientific studies to back this up, I'd say that a vast majority of us human folk live each day with an eerie similarity to the one that came before.
Even our escapes are somewhat unadventurous. Go to a bar, maybe see a show, talk to people, don't get too too close. Or stay in, watch a movie with comforting food and drink, holding someone hopefully. No problem, I don't blame you. I do the same. The comfort of the beaten path. Oh, I can't tell you how many times I go to the same places, walk the same routes, eat the same breakfast, have the same doubts, utilize the same escapes, feel the same guilt.
Lately, I try not to feel guilty about it. I don't beat myself up like I have in the past. I know that I want more out of my life. And I know that an unwillingness to face the unknown keeps me from the very life I want to live. It's so strange, that I want what makes me scared.
I want to leave old excuses and patterns behind, and that makes me scared. I want a loving and committed romantic relationship, and that makes me scared. I want to play music in front of thousands of people, and that makes me very scared. Like, shakey...
The disconnect in regards to my dreams and my reality, I've realized, has been in the process of bringing about their convergence. I've always viewed this future version of myself as being in a place where I could finally be happy, be at ease, if only I could get there. This creates some intermittent action here and there that stems out of desperation, but has never been sustainable. To connect the dots between where I am and where I'd like to be, I have to start by accepting myself as who I am and guiding myself into who I'd like to become. No shaming, not through desperation.
Where I have to make a shift, psychologically, is in understanding that I am that line that connects the dots. But really, fuck those dots, cuz I'm the line. And and who says this line needs to have a consistent slope or that it needs to be predictable or rational.
Life is an odd cocktail, mixing self acceptance with a desire to squeeze out more. If you squeeze too hard, you'll get too much citrus, and that shit'll taste sour...
I'm gonna go make some tea, because I'm sick.