It’s shocking how much I can write about ME ME ME ME ME, without coming into contact with the actual ME – you know, the one who May Or May Not be identical to the ossified caricature I feel like I have become and/or helped create.
My daily life and my character (or lack thereof) are stale. I feel this vague meaninglessness which is not alleviated by habit charts, self-justification projects, or even cafe latte. Also my writing or whatever creative stuff I do, it just feels derivative. And not even derivative of some great artist, but of my own boring-and-not-very impressive Self. You only have the right to be derivative of yourself when you have produced so many tons of amazing work, but you’re so darned humble that you don’t realize you have said/done it all so well already.
Obviously, I am nowhere near that point, and I do hope I am successfully pulling wool (or maybe some nice linen for those in hot climates ) over the eyes of my “fans” and/or critics so they don’t notice this problem to it’s full extent.
It’s not like my whole life is a lie or anything. But I have felt alienated for quite some time (let’s be honest, for years) from other people, from my own thoughts and feelings, and even from my very personality. I think this is an unintended consequence of my 5-or-so-years’ practice in the ancient spiritual discipline of Shutting Up (especially online, but in all aspects of life to some extent). That doesn’t mean, of course, that I never say anything – I’m writing this, and I did have a zine subscription in 2016, wherein I waxed more or less eloquently for probably too many pages…but it only took 4 issues to realize I needed to shut up with that too.
I do hereby acknowledge that the world continues, and yes – even thrives – without hearing my input and/or opinion. That was a good and necessary lesson to learn. But I am afraid my “authentic voice”, the One I Am Supposed To Use For Good In The World, has also been silenced.
It sounds so cliche, and I never thought I’d ever under any circumstances say this, and it’s annoyingly paradoxical because of course I am “known” for my “opennness and transparency”. But I need to start from now and “figure out who I am”. How 70s positive psychology is that??? But I need to do it so I can live with more integrity in the present and have some solidity to offer the people in my life. And I need to do it before I can either abandon, adapt, or move forward with some of the “life plans” I have for my early pre-crone years.
“No one believes a thing you say, not even you”, Keith Green crooned to me in my early Christian years – in as romantic a way as possible when singing about eternal damnation. I recall this phrase now, since I find myself in a suburb of the place Jordan Peterson calls the underworld, mired in a chest-deep quicksand of past selves and tired personae and all the little half-truths I’ve told myself and other people over the years.
I don’t exactly recommend the underworld, but we all end up there at some point so it’s good to be ready. It’s confusing and sometimes terrifying, but also interesting because if you prevail and make it back to the surface, you will hopefully be changed in some kind of positive way, and you can then be a beacon of light to others, or at least post inspirational memes about how what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, or whatever.
Jordan Peterson is really into the importance of telling the truth. At times that may mean that we simply don’t lie (it’s often easier to recognize a lie than it is to discern the truth.) One reason he believes this is because he thinks it is a bulwark against serious malevolence on our part as humans. It’s kind of hard to fall into line in the totalitarian state if you have made a habit of not lying to yourself or to others.
He also has some weird mythological/psychological idea about the Logos of God being true articulated speech, and how practicing that will lead you to fulfill the hero archetype, and save Western Civilization and slay the dragon of chaos. I’ll give you my opinion on that another time.
Suffice it to say, that I got the idea for this series during the last 4 months I have spent addictively freebasing Dr. Peterson. I do think we are having our first spat, but he has given me a lot to think about in our honeymoon period. Including the Five-Factor model of personality. In the next installment in this series, I will, as complete novice to that system, likely fall on my uneducated face as I use it to interact with my current, real personality (instead of some fantasy one, of which I have had many).
Then we will know what kind of person will be telling the truth about things like:
- her fears and regrets
- her “Christian walk” and theology
- various “hot button issues” she has avoided commenting on for years
- her thoughts/experiences of marriage and motherhood on “this side” of the Godly Family debacle
- and whatever else comes to light
This will not be a tabloid-style airing of dirty laundry. There will be few if any scandals disclosed. Please leave a comment if there is anything you have ever wanted to ask me, as now would be the perfect time to do so 🙂
Also, I’d love to hear about your truthfulness factor (however you define that). I understand that some of us are more naturally reserved than others, but taking into consideration your temperament, do you think you are generally honest with yourself and others? Please comment below or email me.
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