I’m wallowing in a funk of self-definition these days, or rather, a funky lack of self-definition. The principal building block of the self, in my culture, is what you fill in the blank with in the sentence “I am a _____.” And i have little these days, and seemingly less day by day, with which i feel i can fill that blank. At times, the most suitable gloss seems to be: I am a blank. Which can leave me feeling rather empty and useless.
Oh, there’s plenty i want to full the blank with, or feel i ought to fill it with. “Writer” is a big one — t’would be great to pontificate to the masses as one’s job, one’s outre (but still respectable) social function, treading those delicious lines between fame and influence and privacy.
Then there’s “environmental activist,” “entrepreneur,” “Zen adept,” “teacher,” “drummer,” “performance poet,” and more. I have yearnings in all these directions, and ability and potential. What i don’t seem to have is the je ne sais quoi — discipline, maybe, or narrowness — to latch onto one of them and hang on long enough to, with luck, establish a blank-filling reputation, if only in my mind. (But then, my mind is every mind, in that i’m the perfect reflection of my surroundings.) So i pick up one of them for a while, when the spirit moves me; but then the spirit moves on and i’m floundering again.
Strangely, the main flounder factor is not so much aimlessness as being restless with the aimlessness — the feeling that life is zooming by and i’m not engaging with it, in the beer-commercial or adventure-race sense (where every moment is jam packed with whole-hearted FUN or riveting ACTION or even simple, bone-deep HAPPINESS).