My Old Self

I was holding onto a lot of anger so I could feel like my experiences matter. Our lives, our selves, only have the value we give them. People mostly use nihilism as a crutch in bad times, to shrug everything off and say it didn’t matter anyway. I’ve always been the opposite. I use the nothingness of being to rationalize being happy or at least trying to be. It’s when everything is gone that I wish it had meant something, I try to make it mean something.

Because if I admit long afterwards that something doesn’t matter anymore then I’m admitting it never really did.

I still have boxes and boxes of old journals going back 16 years or so. I’ve always written in them and stored them with a feeling that someday a person might look at them, wanting context for my life. It’s much the same feeling I have when I write here, talking to no specific person or specific time but using a imaginary reader to guide the writing. I feel accountable for the truth of what I write, a responsibility to explain the deeper meaning of my behavior rather than just a record of it.

Lately though I’ve been scribbling in my paper-and-pen journal to maintain positive reinforcement and hold myself accountable just to myself. I thought about burning the journal when I’m done to solidify it’s meaninglessness. So I thought about burning all my old journals and that felt like a betrayal of my old self.

Which is crazy because there is no ‘old self’, I barely feel like I have a present self but at least I tangibly exist.

I’ve hated my parents for the life they gave me and if I stop, if I admit that hate is meaningless now then I’m admitting it was then too, I’m siding with the enemy by claiming neutrality. I’m still defending someone who no longer exists. That kid felt like the whole world was against him and he was powerless but I have the power of an autonomous adult and I feel like I’m betraying him as well if I don’t fight his battles.

A lot of people laughingly mock their young self and mock the hopes, fears, and angers, of young people who remind them of themselves. I swore I’d never be that person. I always wanted to stay in touch with my youthful ideals so I’d never dismiss someone the way I felt dismissed.

I don’t feel sorry for my current self, I’m not not hopeless or powerless, I’m a content ghost. I feel sorry the kid no one felt sorry for, I want to help the kid no one tried to help, so I listen to the kid no one was listening to. But I can never do enough for him and he can never tell me it’s okay, he’s locked in time. He can never understand change.

Everyone gave up on him and now I am too.

And what makes it hurt so much is that it doesn’t mean anything. I fought to rescue myself and there’s no noble failure, no valuable lesson, nothing gained. It’s not that the credits roll for 60 more years now it’s that they’ve already been rolling this whole time.


Singer/songwriter, jerk.

Posted in Pragmatism
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