Ode to My Cycles of Foolishness and Failure…

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.

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Currently Reading:

-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi

ok, next post better be “Ode to My Cycles of Intelligence and Victory”!

hi there. i´m looking for your email contact here on your blog but i can´t find it. i´d like to ask you a few questions about your experience in guatemala, what i´ve read here from you was inspiring. could you please send me your email address? bamzin (at) gmail.com thanks a lot

Hi Jeremy,

I relate so much to so many things you’ve written here, especially this post and the one about atheism and your experience at night on the bridge, and also your feelings about Obama and activism and so much else. You express all of these things so beautifully, with such sensitivity and nuance and love. I’m finding this post now in one of my down periods (also of random clutter on the bed) and find comfort in how you describe your acceptance of the cycles.

Interestingly enough, it took me a long time to connect this blog (which I knew of before I went to Guatemala) with the almost fictional character I heard about there at EDLM. It’s so funny to think of it now–I was actually on Glendi’s family’s street and heard all about your wedding from the teachers there, but never really connected it with this until I really thought about it.

Anyway, I love reading and it makes me happy that you exist.

lara

Hola Lara!

Wow, what a nice way to wake up and read these comments from someone I don’t know! (of course now I’ll start getting all self-conscious of my blog and stop writing for another 3 months! Just kidding…)

When were you at the escuela? For how long? I’d also be curious to know how people talked about Glendi and I down there, but probably best not to know.

Really, thanks so much for your kind words. It means so much to hear compliments like this, especially since this blog is just really me talking about what I think, with very few filters. So thank you so much. You’ve made Monday!

Jeremy

P.S. Lara:

How did you find my blog in the first place. Just curious.

Hi Jeremy,

I can’t remember how I first found your blog–I follow a good number of blogs and often find them through other blogs I like, tangentially in a choose-your-own-adventure style, as so much of the net is. Or it may have been through searching for political information or something on Guatemala. I’m sorry I can’t remember enough to be more specific.

I was at the escuela in May for a couple weeks, though in Guatemala for longer than that. Do you ever go back there? Also, you should know that the teachers there speak of you and Glendi as a great love story, and my teacher especially got all starry eyed and swoony when she told the tale. This is in contrast to one or more of the other teacher-gringo(a) pairings that have occurred.

Don’t feel self-conscious! With all the reading I do I rarely find things I enjoy and click with as much as your writing. Yay!

Lara