There has been so much to say that I haven’t been able to say anything.
It’s one of those things that seems inevitable for me. The more there is, the less I do. I have heard others speak of this phenomenon. I’m, apparently, not the only one who suffers this problem. And I have read a bit about how decision-making gets more difficult with each decision, so having too many things to decide leads to a sort of fatigue or paralysis for your will.
I think I currently have some fatigue or paralysis of productivity, because there is just too much I feel like I must produce—or do, in other terms.
I have this long list of things that I am working on completing … so I spend no time completing tasks and all the time bingeing on The Mysteries of Laura and The Killing on Netflix. The sheer volume of tasks makes me unable to choose a task. I am overwhelmed before I even start.
There is this thing that they call “uniform dressing”. It is basically taking the school uniform into adulthood, and removing wardrobe decisions from taking up your precious decision-making energy. Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Vera Wang all practice(d) this way of dressing. When you think about it, they wear the same thing all the time—not the actual same clothing, but the same basic type of outfit. Vera Wang wears a legging for her everyday, and Steve Jobs used to be in a black turtleneck at almost all times. Obama has a white button down and a grey pant for every occasion—dress it up or dress it down, he is always wearing the same thing.
I’ve been thinking about trying the uniform dressing out with my own closet. I don’t know about everyone else, but I stand in front of that damned closet for way too long. And it doesn’t matter where I am headed or what I need to do that day. I spend twelve minutes in front of the closet even when I am choosing joggers and a tee for a reclusive day in my apartment. And that time staring at my clothes or trying on and taking off items increases in direct relation to the amount of “fancy” associated with the event.
The concept of uniform dressing seems like a good one, in terms of reducing time spent considering clothes. What I wish for is a similar concept for the rest of the tasks in my life. How does one “uniform clean” or “uniform pay bills” or “uniform consider the state of the union and freak the fuck out”? How do all those decisions and determinations and actions become rote and leave my brain less fatigued and less paralyzed?
I’m not sure there is an answer to those questions. They are mostly rhetorical—unless someone reading this has a solution, in which case, please share your wisdom!
So, yes, there has just been so much to write and so much to think about and so much to plan for and so much to accomplish that I have been stuck not writing and not thinking and not planning and not accomplishing. I’ve been in this sort of non-being—walking around and appearing to be handling life, but being completely stymied by all the things inside my head.
And being overwhelmed is not new to me, sadly. But this is different, because every aspect of life seems overwhelming, not just one or two.
I have worries about all the parts of my existence, because the world has changed in significant ways over the past few months, and my view of the world has changed in significant ways over the past few months. I’ve had all sorts of experiences where what I thought was true, turned out to be false. I thought that people were reasonable. I thought that Spring brought security. I thought that my worst fears were never to be realized. I thought that life had a certain level of sense attached to it, and that nonsense couldn’t become normative.
I was wrong.
And the world that I have been cast into, by my realizations, isn’t the whimsical Wonderland that Alice gets to explore, but the opposite. There is no whimsy here. There isn’t joy here. There isn’t hope here. The only thing that my world shares with Alice’s world is the irrationality—the senseless replacing the reasonable.
And the chaos is too much.
I have degrees in philosophy, religion, and social justice. I understand well the ways that thought and belief and social problems shift and form and reform throughout history. But I have never experienced a time when that shift happened with such force and velocity that I could see the change happening—feel the pendulum swing.
That force and velocity made the pendulum swing right into my gut, and throw me flailing across the room, proverbially speaking.
The worst of that flailing was in response to the emotional connection I made with the change in thought that I was experiencing. The knowledge that people whom I have connected with, stood with, and related with believed in and supported this swing of the pendulum was painful. It still is. Those who would claim to love me, on one hand, promote ideals that would kill me, on the other. And the cognitive dissonance isn’t the thing that bothers me most. The thing that bothers me most is the knowledge that I am the Other. When it comes down to the nitty-gritty truths of the matter, I am not the person who “deserves” care and kindness and assistance and love and life. I am the expendable “drain” on society. I am the margin. I am the fringe. I am the problem, and the solution to fixing me is denying me basic rights and basic needs—effectively exterminating me. Let’s all hope and pray that the literal extermination of people doesn’t become normative. But we also need to be honest about the fact that denying anyone basic rights and basic needs casts a death sentence upon them. And I feel like many in my nation are not being honest about that.
Paint the world with your fascism, if you must. But don’t pretend that you have painted it with hope and love. Admit that you have painted fascism. Admit that you are making my life a challenge. Admit that your actions are placing so much undue stress upon my brain that it cannot function normally—being paralyzed and fatigued by the hopelessness and fear that weights the synapses, slowing them to a crawl. Admit that you have painted a picture that doesn’t include me, or at least puts me in the dirty, decrepit corner where the others cast out the “problems” they don’t wish to acknowledge or deal with.
And now all the Trump voters are freaking the fuck out because they believe this is a political post. It is only partly such, because making the presidency a reality show cannot be ignored as a part of the dilemma. But, it is mostly just me looking at what is happening in the world right now, and acknowledging that I no longer have a place in it, in the view of many. I don’t deserve a space on the board when we are playing this game. I’m continually told to not pass go and not collect $200. I’m stuck in a world where nonsense is sense and reason is replaced with weird tweets and executive orders that can only serve a handful of people.
(Wait. Are we literally in a game of Monopoly right now? That would explain so much. I fucking hate that game.)
So, here it is: a post with no wise expressions and no neatly packaged solutions, but just the admission that I am overwhelmed and that I don’t know how to fix that. I don’t even know how to begin to fix that. This post ends in the same place it begins. It ends with me paralyzed and fatigued in ways that make me completely ineffective and incompetent. It ends with the pain of betrayal, and the questions about how and why my experience is invalidated and ignored. It ends with me having too much to say and too much to do and too much to fix and too much to think about. It ends with a plea to be heard falling on deaf ears.
Because that is exactly how it started.
And it is too much.