July 15, 2004

Jul 15 2004

As expected, I’m in a fairly dark place right now.

This is expected because I’ve now lived long enough to have learned that – simply because of regression to the mean – emotional high times in my life are usually followed by relatively low times. The high time, in this case, was my week with Saalon, which was a joy and fulfilling on several levels. He was great, and I loved hanging out with his friends. It was one of the best weeks I’ve ever experienced.

My current low is related to this. I’ve realized recently that I have a paucity of real friends around me locally. The solid friendships I’ve made recently with people in this area have melted away as my friends have moved away for other jobs or opportunities. Those I have left are separated by emotional and ideological gulfs that prevent us from delving deeply enough to establish truly deep friendships. Sometimes, I haven’t made much of an effort, but this goes beyond that. There are some people that you just hit it off with, and those are the people I miss. I love my more casual friends – they’re great people – but I don’t have the same emotional connection with them as I’ve had with those who’ve left.

Meanwhile, I felt like I hit it off with the folks up at Saalon’s. I want to hang out with them as often as possible, to see movies and go drinking and sit around and shoot the breeze for hours and days and months and years. But they’re all hundreds of miles away. I miss them, deeply. I live in Washington, D.C, where nobody stays long, and I’m used to people coming and going. But this separation affects me deeply.

Moreover, this comes at a time when I’m at a tough spot at work. The real deadline is very soon – a week from Monday, probably (it might get pushed back a week or so). I have a lot of work to do by then. Not too much, but a lot.

The problem is that I have absolutely no drive to do any of that work. I look at my to-do list – with a full understanding of the impending deadline – and I’m about as interested in work as I am in tractor pulls.

This lack of emotional reaction worries me. I’d rather be scared and working like Paul Bunyan on crystal meth than uncaring as I am. This makes it all the harder for me to actually do the work, and at this point I’m afraid that I won’t have the gumption to actually do all the work that I need to do.

Which means that I may have to work quite a bit of overtime over the next few weeks. While I’m mildly depressed and need as much time off as possible to recover; otherwise I’ll slip further into depression, which will further feed my apathy at work, and here we go ’round the mulberry bush….

I’ve filled my spare time with activities that are both fun and important to me – reading, baking, cleaning my apartment a little (for the psychological boost of exercising control over my environment), exercising, watching anime. But they don’t help to banish the depression; they merely keep it from getting worse. I need to have the time to let the depression pass. And work is denying me that time, for several weeks at least (once the deadline hits, I’ll spend two weeks with the customer as they review the documentation).

I wish I had a satisfying, pithy end to this entry. I don’t. I just have me, and I’m feeling open-ended right now.

Most people seem to resent the controversial in music; they don’t want their listening habits disturbed. They use music as a couch; they want to be pillowed on it, relaxed and consoled [from] the stress of daily living. But serious music was never meant to be used as a soporific. Contemporary music, especially, is created to wake you up, not put you to sleep. It is meant to stir and excite you, to move you—it may even exhaust you. But isn’t that the kind of stimulation you go to the theater for or read a book for? Why make an exception for music?

— Aaron Copland, What to Listen for in Music

I intend to post a full entry today; I just wanted to put that up before I forgot.

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