Money Changes Everything (or does it?)

The world really fucks me off sometimes.

All year I have been searching and applying for jobs, in an attempt to fund my particularly pricey habit of travelling overseas for live music. This has been an infuriating cycle of CV sending, piercing removal, tattoo coverage, hair colour neutralisation, and then waiting, for the inevitable (yet completely unjustified) rejection, or (my personal favourite) silence. It’s all bullshit. On the upside I am quite excellent and handling rejection. If someone does now ever employ me, my head may explode. But despite the fact that I haven’t been properly employed since December 2012, I have since managed to see:

Morrissey in Wellington
Morrissey in Auckland
AFI in LA
AFI in Portland
AFI in Seattle
AFI in Vancouver
Peter Murphy in Wellington
Soundwave in Sydney
Placebo in Sydney
AFI in Sydney
Governors Ball in New York
The Pizza Underground (lol) in New York
Albert Hammond, Jr. in New York
Queen with Adam Lambert in Auckland

and upcoming:
Nick Cave in Wellington
Soundwave in Melbourne

Revolving in debt is totally worth the pure unadulterated bliss I get from experiencing my favourite artists live, but this concept seems to be something that very few people truly comprehend. The way I see it, money is something that’s always there; you may not have as much as you’d like, and it may be a real struggle actually attaining it, but there are ways (privileged white middle class perspective? Probably). By contrast, certain opportunities arise to be seized at the time, because you might never see them again. Early on in life I resolved that I would live my life without regret; I won’t sit back and mourn what could have been – where there’s a will, there’s a way and you can be damn sure I will find that way. Some people are very skilled at fighting their impulses, but I succumb to mine frequently and without reservation.

I realise the very prominent theme running through my blog, maybe I should rename it ‘Clichéd life lessons for the apathetic’. This post was definitely an excuse for me to write, because I miss my blog terribly, but also an attempt to explain to the haters (ahem, certain family members who will probably never read this) why I insist on living the way I do. I know far too many people that are dissatisfied, unfulfilled, bored, and just generally unhappy with their lives, and you can get fucked if you think I’m going to accept that as a path to take. As usual, there’s a definite ‘fuck society and its ridiculous and stifling expectations’ vibe to this piece because let’s face it, I was a teenage anarchist (and it lingers).

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Rainbows and Butterflies

God damn it I am so fucking bored.

For the last couple of months I have been working on a piece of fiction, which for the most part has been thoroughly enjoyable, and greatly satisfying. As I can’t help but do, however, I have settled into a very specific pattern, where basically all I do is write. What began as an explorative escape is transforming into a never-ending task, as I realise I am doing very little else with my time. A while ago, before I spent a primarily solo month travelling around the west coast of North America, I was immersed in a particularly social period of my life. For the first time in maybe eight years (or, perhaps 23…), I was comfortable and content in the company of others. It was a welcome change to my typically reclusive approach to living and one which afforded me the inspiration and drive I have been seeking for who knows how long.

When I first began working on my fictional piece, I had purpose. I was excited. I felt like I was finally doing something that was worthwhile to my wellbeing. But then I went off to America, had a fucking incredible time, and came back to find within a couple of days of returning that I could no longer pump out 2000+ words a day. I’ve got to the point now where I’m lucky if I fill a page over three days. It’s not that taking a month off caused me to lose my momentum; I initially picked up where I left off immediately. And it’s not as though being back in Christchurch has drained me of motivation; I’ve discovered a newfound appreciation for this empty town. It’s that I have collided with the question that has plagued me since my early adolescence: what the fuck is the point.

Why bother doing anything, ever? Before you know it, it’s over. Sure, you might enjoy it while it lasts, but oh how fleeting that time is. Then all you can do is dwell over it for years to come, perhaps for all the years to come, until the inevitable end of your life arrives. The ultimate release. I’m aware this is starting to sound mopey and pathetic (what a surprise), so I want to emphasise that I’m not in an entirely black place at the moment (I mean, generally I do dwell in the more shadowy areas, but I’m not totally asphyxiating in darkness right now). Of course this is all entirely self-imposed; if I were actually making the effort to do something worthwhile with my life I’d be feeling a lot more content, I am painfully aware of that fact. But seriously, how does one find purpose? There is absolutely no point in doing anything for yourself, really, because soon enough you’ll be gone and then what? Then nothing. Then you put in this time and effort and sacrifice and whatever else to die and leave it behind. I guess it makes sense to live your life for others in that case, right?  So let’s say everyone takes that approach, and as such no one is truly content with their own life. But it’s impossible to be fully content if you’re only doing things for yourself. A balance, you say, yes, that’s the key. No, balance seems far too methodical; who wants to bother with planning that shit out? Can’t things just be easy? Can’t you just do whatever, whenever the fuck you want, without having to think about anything, ever?

I am a complete waste of space, oxygen, resources. My attitude is contributing nothing to this planet. My life is a joke. A boring one.

Time for an abrupt conclusion, this is going on too long. The way I see it there is one solution, and it’s a simple one. Get drunk. Stay drunk. Life will be over before you know it and you won’t have a real chance to dwell on the fact that it’s all a pointless load of bullshit. We’re already destroying the planet at an accelerated rate, let’s just destroy ourselves faster.

End rant. Fucking kill me now.

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Igniting the Fire Inside

Living is tiring when you care too much. Over the last couple of weeks – following, and I suspect largely as a result of, my last series of blog posts – I have grown considerably more blasé about life in general. It has really taken the hassle out of my existence; I’m feeling more content, and less stressed/strung-out than I have been in years. I’m very much enjoying this current approach, which I feel bodes well for my upcoming trip. My nonchalant attitude is not of an apathetic nature, however, rather closer to a satisfied acceptance.  With each passing day I find myself investing my energy more in the moment, less concerned with the details. I have always had a tendency to over-think even the most seemingly mundane of things, which certainly does not make for a relaxed or comfortable life.

At the risk of sounding like a whacked-out horoscope, balance is vital to life satisfaction. Such happiness is very difficult to achieve when you set your sights on something, become very one-track minded and begin to over-analyse every minute detail of a situation. This has been the story – and the bane – of my life. Whether in fact I have, in the last twelve days, experienced some form of epiphanic revelation I cannot be sure. I do know however that since I publicly professed my desire for increased social interaction, changes have occurred in the make-up of my days. Not only have I actually been spending time in  valuable company, but I have enjoyed doing so. The last two weeks have seen a shift from me spending the majority of each day alone doing absolutely nothing of any worth, to enjoying a comfortably busy (for me, at least) social week, during which I’ve been spending time with at least one person six out of seven days. My verbal communication skills need a lot of work, but I’m hoping that’s largely to do with the fact that I’m sorely out of practice and that they will develop organically with time (and perhaps a little effort). As inconsequential as human interaction may seem to a normally active social being, for me this is significant. Consequently, I have discovered far more motivation to really make the most of the time I have to myself, devoting much of my attention to extended periods of writing (away from my blog).

Too much time to reflect can be particularly damaging for the spirit. This is why I think it is especially important for me that I have people in my life to distract me from my own destructive thoughts. It’s so easy to get caught up in a negative pattern and incredibly difficult to break free. I’m certainly still very much on the verge of an interminable chasm of despair, but I figure that if I manage to simply accept this position rather than dwelling on my proximity to the edge, I should be able to maintain my footing. (I’ll probably re-read this post in a few months’ time and cringe at my foolish optimism, but it’s the positive intent that counts. Or something.)

I thought I had a more clear direction of where I was headed with this when I began writing, but apparently lost my way pretty early on. All I really wanted to acknowledge was the fact that at this point in my life, not caring about things is making it far more tolerable. Probably not the most progressive or enduring approach, but it’s working right now. The title of this post is probably slightly misleading.

 

Useless, absolutely useless. Why am I posting this…

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If we’re friends, you might not want to read this.

After writing my last post, I began to ponder other areas of my life in which I might be overly possessive. What I brought to my consciousness, I found somewhat disturbing. How I have failed to acknowledge it prior to this I am unsure, but nevertheless that has been the case. Predictably, I  am now going to address the fact that I am very possessive when it comes to people, and the relationships I have with them. That’s not so disturbing, you might think. But it goes deeper than that; it’s not simply that I’m possessive (and perhaps, worringly, sometimes with an mild air of obsession…) but generally speaking, I have to be in complete control of any relationship in which I am involved.

My proclivity to only have one or two close friends at a time I always thought was me being selective, however after some reflection I’ve now come to suspect that perhaps it is in fact my desire to have complete control over every aspect of my life. With only one or two ‘best’ friends, I can be sure that I am the centre of their attention; am able to rest assured that I am their preferred friend. I will be the one they come to when they seek company, when they want to talk, when they need advice. My friendship is valuable to them – no, more than that – they need me.

In previous posts I have discussed the fact that I have a tendency to cut off or ostracise those who were once very good friends. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I have recognised that this is related to the above. My desire for not only control but also to always be the best leads me down paths ravaged by jealousy, should one of such friends finds desirable company with another individual.

The good news is that I’m really working on this. Having my sister as my best friend and the single most important person in my life has forced me to alter my behaviour. She knows me and refuses to take my shit, unlike most people, who are apparently too scared (there’s this idea that I’m intimidating, but I’m yet to recognise it in myself) to confront or oppose me. Even as recently as three years ago it wasn’t unheard of for me to throw a bit of a tantrum if she were choosing to spend time with her other friends, over me. I do not admit this proudly, but it happened and it’s a pretty shocking illustration of what a crazed control freak I am. By now you might be wondering just what it was that drew (or drove?) her to Wellington…

When it comes to any relationship, I never like to initiate contact. To make the first move makes me feel as though I’m in a position of inferiority; actually I’ll go so far as to say it makes me feel whiney and needy. This is a problem, right? Or does everyone feel like this? Maybe it’s that I have a tendency to think about things too much, but I so often feel that the person with whom I am making contact will be irritated by my communication and find it an imposition on whatever they are doing. The exception to this is if I feel that the relationship is completely mutual, or – more likely – that the other person is more invested than I am. Oddly enough I only now realise how badly this reeks of insecurity. I’ve always considered myself an incredibly secure and self-assured person but now… well the threads are unravelling.

That said, I have certainly experienced my fair share of people, in whom I have no interest, contacting me incessantly, despite an unmistakably clear lack of reciprocation on my part. Why I attract such people – of whom I can’t help but think as desperate weirdos – I am unsure, but my overwhelming need to avoid becoming one of them certainly helps drive my hesitancy to make first contact. Becoming a desperate weirdo absolutely does not feature in my life plan.

A serious fear of rejection definitely factors into my potentially inhibiting mindset. A couple of somewhat traumatising experiences in my earlier years did nothing to prevent the development of my maladaptive social behaviour. Consequently, when a friendship is not going as I believe it should be – i.e. I am instigating the majority of the communication, or am making what I believe to be an unreciprocated effort – I can very suddenly jump to ending all contact entirely. I have done this at least five times in the last 9 years which, when considering the number of close friends I’ve had over this period (about six), is shockingly frequent. I even tried to do this to little sister earlier this year, which was of course utterly absurd.  Perhaps I figure that if the person really does care, they’ll put up a fight – which she did – but otherwise they’re not worth the effort. If I end the relationship before I’m no longer the centre of attention, I can feel as though I maintain the upper hand and remain in control. Am I not ridiculous? Yes, yes I am.

I wrote this with absolutely no intention of publishing. I simply needed to explore what the fuck is going on in my head, alongside my crippling impulse for absolute power. Did I really want to advertise what a mess of a friend I am? No, of course not. But now that it’s formulated into a (somewhat) coherent and justified train of thought, I figure why not. The worst that can happen is that I might scare a few people off but hey, they probably weren’t worth it anyway.

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I can buy my own happiness

Early this morning, today was already shaping up to be another less than satisfactory waste of time. By 7:30am I was wide awake (if you know me at all, you know that this is an absolutely unprecedented occurrence) but as I had absolutely nothing about my day to look forward to, I simply couldn’t move. I promptly rolled over and went back to sleep. I woke again at 8; same deal. By my third waking at 9am, I was growing frustrated at life’s insistent interruption of my slumbers and resolved that it was probably time to rise. After twenty five minutes of toying with the idea of going for a run, I decided I was too hungry and instead just got out of bed. However the feeling of laziness was plaguing me, so rather than heading straight for the kitchen, I stopped off at the stereo and put on my short-run playlist. This marvellous decision prompted twenty minutes of intense cardio (my dancing skills are something to behold) and completely eliminated the possibility of any guilt I might have developed by not going for a run. Because exercise always nauseates me for at least half an hour afterward, I had a bit of time up my sleeve before I would be even close to ready for breakfast so figured I may as well make pancakes. By the time they were ready, forty five minutes later – if I’m going to do something, I’m sure as hell going to do it magnificently – I had become rather excited (it’s the little things…).

The best part about my therapeutic breakfast preparation was that it afforded me the opportunity to think, unhindered by the all-too-frequent feeling of overwhelming despondency, about what I could possibly to with my day to mix things up and keep my spirits elevated. Soon, I was struck with the most marvellous of ideas: I should go shopping. Suddenly there was a light, directly in front of me, in the mundane tunnel of my existence.

I am fully aware that the prospect of going to a store should not bring me so much joy, but sadly I am far more materialistic than I would like to be. I buy things because possessions make me feel complete. I have over 350 CDs for this reason. I have a ridiculous collection of music-related t-shirts for this reason. I have far too many pairs of jeans, of chucks, of sunglasses; more eye shadows than I know what to do with; boxes upon boxes of AFI vinyl, merchandise and memorabilia, because I can’t not buy things. I have to possess. Everything. I need all the colours, all the alternative versions, editions and releases. If there’s only one of something left, I have to get that too, even if I already have it, just so someone else can’t.

But I can acknowledge this, and that it’s not quite right; that I have a problem. You might think this would encourage me to make a change in my life, right? Wrong. There’s no stopping me. I try, I fail. I mean, perhaps I don’t try very hard, but… I ordered two more CDs on Sunday. Why would I do that, especially considering my CD player is broken, meaning I can only play music through my iPod? A digital copy would be cheaper, far more practical, and take up no physical space, but I have an aversion to purchasing something I can’t touch; I crave only the tangible.

Despite being hyperaware of the ridiculousness of my obsession with ‘things’, I still went out and bought myself a new pair of plugs today. But I can justify it as a necessary purchase, because all my others (and believe me, there are many, many others) are now too small for my ears. Of course I could stop stretching my ears, but… that might give me a reason to stop buying plugs, and then where would I be? Dilemmas abound.

I’m not sure what the intention of this post was when I began writing it, perhaps to address how satisfied shopping makes me. Rather, I have revealed a monster that I’ve never really cared to acknowledge. I wouldn’t necessarily say I have a shopping addiction – I can go for months without buying a thing (including food…) – but I certainly have a burning desire to possess. I know I’m not the only one with such an issue; with so much stuff in this increasingly ridiculous world, how could I be? And it goes deeper than the material too, but I now find myself somewhat disturbed. I must ruminate.

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