“You don’t have to think very hard to realize that our dread of both relationships and loneliness … has to do with angst about death, the recognition that I’m going to die, and die very much alone, and the rest of the world is going to go merrily on without me.”
It’s from David Foster Wallace on writing, death, and redemption, and I sat there staring at it in disbelief. I vehemently disagree with this quote, as it is written. And now I will write an essay in reaction to how it is written without actually looking at the rest of the article. Without giving it context.
Dread of relationships and loneliness have very little to do with the understanding that we’re going to die. What we’re afraid of, though, is never fully living. We’re afraid of being the walking dead — dead before we die. Rotting from the inside out because we’re not getting the connection from others.
Skimming through Caroline Myss’s Sacred Contracts, I came across this underlined statement: “…choice is your greatest power. It is an even greater power than love, because you must first choose to be a loving person.” p. 17
The night before my recent birthday, I had planned on going out to an event. It had been in my calendar for weeks and I was very much looking forward to it. It was to be an early birthday present to myself. However, by the time I needed to really start getting ready to leave for this event, I had concluded that the series of unfortunate events and miscommunications of that day and the day before had robbed me of any ability to do anything other than lie down and cry myself to sleep. I was completely devastated at missing out on seeing friends and participating in something that I knew would have fed my starving soul. I napped for two hours and came up to have some dinner. I spoke with my partner and discussed what had transpired from my perspective. He gave me his perspective. While I was no longer faulting him, I was still deeply angry that it all happened the way it did, causing me to miss out on something so important to me.
When I awoke the next morning, my birthday, I was still in that state of anger. By this point, I was deliberately using my mood to cast a shadow over everyone who came near me, and I project my emotional state with sublime expertise. I have no poker face. After awhile, I started asking myself if I really wanted to stay angry on my birthday. That would be a lousy birthday present to myself, and that’s when things started to crumble. I thought to myself: Continue reading →