Today was a much different experience for me than yesterday. I want to preface this by saying I got more than 10 hours of sleep and I drank two cups of coffee beforehand. I’m not sure if that impacted the 30 minutes differently or not but I figured it’s important information to present. Overall what happened was a less “psychedelic” experience and one that was more focused on certain emotions and experiences. I did have a couple of “wtf was that” moments but overall I honed in on a few things that at least touch on my personal insecurities, anxieties and general depression.
When I first closed my eyes there weren’t really any overt thoughts that came into play so instead there was a lot of focus on my body. I was fidgety and restless and getting a little frustrated that no thoughts came to mind. First of all, I do think a lot of those sensations were definitely caffeine related but after a moment I realized that the frustration with not producing thoughts was in itself a thought and that put me in more of a state of calm. Once this happened at first I started thinking of my horse walking around in Red Dead Redemption and that transitioned to the nature scenes of a video game and then that transitioned to the idea of Stephen King talking about when he gets writer’s block or gets stuck on a character he goes on a walk to help him clear his mind and that made me think about going on a walk. Now the idea of doing much in public at the moment still is filled with its complexities in the age of the pandemic but the type of walk I missed I probably couldn’t get either way. Some people like walks through nature or through a big city and while I certainly appreciate those I was really just missing the walks I used to take in high school through my small city of Bettendorf, Iowa. On those walks I used to think a lot about the world and while I was very far from actually doing things like meditation and self-discovery I did do a lot of that unknowingly. I struggled with depression at that age but I didn’t really know it or present it that way, but it was those walks that helped and what came was just a desire to go on that type of walk, in that setting again.
There was then a transition to basketball players of the 80s and 90s. Images of John Salley, Mark Aguirre, Danny Ainge, Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird and others came up. Now, I’ve been watching a lot of NBA documentaries and I’m sure this is what inspired this and while I’d like to say there was a sense of nostalgia to the images there really wasn’t as I either was too young to have watched these players play or too young to have appreciated it. What was really there was a sadness that I didn’t get to experience this era of basketball at an age where I could truly appreciate it.
That transitioned to an entire basketball essay that I wanted to write that I won’t share on this page solely because that’s not the focus of this blog and then it led to me thinking about a podcast on basketball I listened to last night. What that led to was another moment of sadness because I want to talk sports (or other things) and have people care and respect my opinions. I want to be involved in a heavy dialogue involving topics I’m passionate about and when I present my opinions on such topics on social media there either isn’t much implication that people care or it’s so combative that it’s not a pleasant experience.
I feel overall this early portion of my meditation was an attempt to work with my depression. I think I have a tendency to ignore elements of sadness in my life if they aren’t big or groundbreaking. If it’s not someone’s death or a major life change I have a tendency to shrug off smaller moments of sadness and treat them as irrelevant. Logically I think it’s okay to mourn over things that you won’t get to experience again or even for the first time and I can’t help but wonder if that’s where nostalgia comes from. I think there’s something deeper rooted in there too. I want that complex dialogue because I’m ultimately craving human connection. As someone who has severe social anxiety I have missed out on a lot of close relationships and I can’t help but wonder if having a conversation where my thoughts are respected is coming from that. It’s ultimately just an expression of wanting to be loved.
There were moments of confronting my social anxiety that came up as well. I thought of certain scenarios that make me anxious in everyday life and I really sat and thought about them doing whatever I could to actually make myself feel the anxiety. I attempted to dig deeper and really discover why such scenarios made me anxious but no vivid thoughts came to mind. I ultimately am left with the question of if the “Why” actually matters or if just facing and feeling the anxiety is enough. I suppose as I continue this exercise there may be a more clear answer to all of this.
My motivation seems to be reaching a high point because of all of this though. I ended up remembering an idea for a novel that I wanted to write a couple of years ago and my desire to start writing such a thing grew and then throughout my 30 minutes I couldn’t help but formulate this very piece but that created another frustrating conundrum for me as I couldn’t help but wonder if the idea of writing this was manipulating the whole “free thought” thing I was trying to do, however the idea of writing this stuff is its own free thought so I just let it happen and I ended up formulating this essay as I meditated. The debate within me on whether this is okay or not is making me consider lengthening the 30 minutes to something like 45 minutes or even an hour but that’s something I’ll make a decision on later.
Like I said, the weird acid trip stuff from the fluid creative brain was much more silent today though it did come up a couple of different times so I figured I’d share the weird as hell moments. This first was me shooting webs as Spider-Man into a setting sun and attempting to swing away. The more logical, structured portion of my brain would not let me/Spider-Man swing away because there was nothing to connect the webs too. I finally stepped in and told my logical brain that it’s doing it again so after it was stuck in some weird loop of trying to swing away it finally happened. Then the mask of Spider-Man was removed and it was discovered that Spider-Man was really Eddie Murphy and the reveal happened in front of a brick wall in an alley in the center of a spot light. There’s an old 70s Amazing Spider-Man cover it reminded me of as the police chased a Spider-Man the public saw as a criminal so if there’s any comic readers who remember that one then maybe it’ll be easier to picture.
The second was a little more odd. It was of a naked man or woman, gender wasn’t clear as all I saw was legs, booty and back and they were crawling on all fours and after a moment I realized that the butt of the figure moved in the similar way a horse walks and that’s when I realized I’m playing too much damn Red Dead Redemption.
So I’m ultimately trying to formulate a structure to all of this, because thoughts work in such an unstructured way most of the time this isn’t always easy. Because of that, I’m wondering if writing these stream of consciousness type essays are the way to go long term or I’m considering doing YouTube videos that will ultimately make me more raw and rambly. I’m not sure yet but the experience of doing the long periods of silence has been enjoyable so far.