August 2008

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Long time no post. Big surprise.

My fourth installment on 21st Century Anarchism hasn’t been forgotten. It will come when it’s ready.

I just wanted to write briefly about something personal. As I’m getting older and creakier, I think I’m starting to finally make peace with my own internal cycles. These are cycles that have dogged me since my earliest memories of school (2nd and 3rd grades…) all the way to the present. They’re cycles that cast a shadow over every aspect of my life. And I bet they’re very similar to the cycles that most people feel. Although I wouldn’t know, since shame has kept me from ever talking much about them.

The cycles are simple: weeks and months where I feel confident, creative, life-loving, connected…followed by weeks and months where I feel lackluster, ashamed, useless, corrupt and like a general nobody. These cycles have almost nothing to do with the overall conditions of my life, since they happen no matter how bad or good things are going. But they do have real consequences as they affect my friendships, my work, my writing on this site, and more.

At the root of it all, I think, is insecurity and a bad ability to handle pressure. When I feel low and forgotten and like I don’t have much to lose, my inspiration and creativity shoot up. But when I see people wanting to appreciate me, be near me, hear what I have to say, I feel like I will inevitably fail them, so I retreat, I distract myself, I wallow…and pretty soon they are frustrated with me or forget me…at which point I feel the upper swing of the cycle again.

It’s absolutely fascinating, especially when I look at it in its pure continuity throughout my entire life. By looking at it and acknowledging it as less of a personal failure and more just like a rhythm of my social personality that I may or may not grow out of, I think I can make peace with it. I think I am making peace with it. And that, I hope, will allow me to be more intentional in my work, more open in my friendships, and more accountable all around.

To those of you who read this and who have been burned by these cycles of mine (as all of my friends have been, and some for years and years), I hope you read this and forgive me. I hope you read this and understand that sometimes my silence is a sign that I’m doing important grappling with myself…

…but also sometimes its a sign that I’m just wallowing in self-doubt and doing internet window-shopping for 6 hours with crumbs of tortilla chips and peach pits all over my bed. Both scenarios are common and real.

I hope you can love me regardless, as I love you in your cycles, too.

Currently Reading:

-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi