There is a particular quietness which comes on the crest of some wave called giving a shit. Its notableness comes at the cost of some degree of my dignity, when upon crashing I realize that my narrative of current triumph over a previous lesser self is not, in actuality, more fact than fiction. Today's wave crashes onto Californian shores, the sun beaming brightly on the cusp of a holiday in which I find myself so engrossed by grief that the mention of snow would transport me directly to a state of wistful nostalgia, and so palm trees serve as effective escapism -- unsolicited but appreciated all the same.
This quiet wave: the concept of continuums, admittedly, drives me to think in binary terms more than it should or than I'd ever like. Conditioned for all of adolescence to think in terms of this or that, I hear the word "continuum" and visualize the ends. More than half of the word's definition refers to the idea of ultra-gradual change and shades of grey, yet I dwell on the distinction of extremes part; the black and white.
What is the point of grey? Where is the thrill of an existence without contrast? Today I find myself reflecting on recent days of self-regulating in an effort to achieve balance: no further ahead or further behind. No longer obsessively accomplishing or exploring endless new endeavors yet engaged; no longer isolated in distrusting hyper-independence yet cautious in my encounters; no longer succumbing resignedly to suppressive systems yet reluctant to total anarchy and so instead living in this dull in-between state, which is supposedly "where healing lives."
But is this health? Is balance all it's cracked up to be, or am I just not doing it right? Reminiscent of a low-grade antidepressant, this type of self regulation comes with a dulling effect: a pale, subdued non-hue which coats a lackluster life. Not dismal enough to evoke sadness -- which is welcome -- just deficient of something un-pinpointable (a word which I have unofficially coined due to the fact that the English language has no word for this particular tone of elusivity).
Moving to California, I idealized the journey west as a quest toward both fluid freedom and constancy. In ways, more often than not, that's what it has been; but in moments wherein various veils of distraction are lifted, I'm confronted by the reality that this ongoing tension between apathy and intensity follows and haunts me regardless of where I go or what I do or who I do it with.
Like waves crashing on the shores of this new non-home, I drown myself in either the overwhelm or the underwhelm. Always completely engulfed in sentimentality or floating just above, detached in indifference. Is this experience nothing more than the human existence? Is this melodrama merely the product of some personal tinge of narcissism? A culture devoured by its own addiction to amusement? Too many rom coms?
As is customary for someone who often assumes her ways of doing things as the "wrong" way of doing things (something I'm working on, since I've done many things many ways and none seem to produce that varied of results), I've seen this tendency toward all-or-nothing as unsustainable. But what if balance is just as unsustainable? And what is more worthwhile, anyway? Perhaps I'm not alone in my propensity to pursue things which burn out quickly and to be disinterested in that which monotonously endures. Nothing lasts anyway. And if it does it will shapeshift, inevitably cycling through its waves of continuum -- whether slowly through an unrecognizable sequence of change, or by crashing back to its opposite shore. Riding the tide, I prefer the latter. Buoyed adrift, I continue, still.