It’s similar to writer’s block.
Allow me to explain: I’m currently plagued with a sort of writer’s block in both my writings and my music compositions. It’s not that I don’t have any ideas – on the contrary, I do, but I’m troubled by the thought that the choices I make when writing or composing are mostly arbitrary and might as well have led to something else.
For instance: if I’m composing, and I decide to modulate to another key, how can I be sure the key I chose is the best possible key to choose? There might be another key better than the key I chose.
In writing: there might be another word better than the word I chose, or a better expression than what I have expressed. I know my writing isn’t the best possible writing. If it was, I’d be published. But I’m not, so which decisions failed me?
Ultimately, this thinking forces me to stare at my manuscript or document afraid to commit to a certain passage or musical decision because it might not be the best possible decision. Hours go by, nothing gets written, and eventually I crack open the bourbon and call it a night.
It’s the same reason why, when I finish this post, I’ll be afraid to hit Publish. I know it could be better.
Life block is like writer’s block.
I don’t date. I have never been on a date with somebody I didn’t already know for years. It’s easy to make excuses: I’m lazy, I’m cheap, I’m picky, I don’t like feeling vulnerable… etc. These are only half truths. I suppose you could say I haven’t found the right person. I suppose it’d be more accurate to say I refuse to acknowledge that a right person might not actually exist.
I saw a cute woman on campus the other day, and I thought, “I could go up and talk to her.” But no, I can’t, because there’s no reason to, which immediately marks the situation as unusual and off-putting. This thought actually happens dozens of times per day, which just goes to show there are literally thousands of young ladies I could’ve conversed with and didn’t. There have to be very specific criteria met in order for any two people to hit it off for any reason, and that criteria involves a time, a place, and mutual receptiveness.
And when that tiny window of satisfied requirements floats by a certain someone, how can I claim that this person and I belong together any more than the thousands of people over whom that window of opportunity didn’t pass? I can’t. It’s absurd.
I’m afraid to accept a reality based on arbitrary chances that I’ll have to rationalize as some sort of divine fate in order to be pleased with their outcome. Who you end up with in life, as a partner and companion, defines so much of your identity and existence – it defines your children, your title, your social life, your home life, your aesthetics… It might even define the headstone on your grave. And yet, it’s an entire future based solely on the chance intersection of me finally growing the balls to ask someone out and them being desperate enough to agree under a very specific set of circumstances. Is companionship more about the time and place than it is about the person and person? Are we but mere circumstances in the eyes of others deluding ourselves into thinking we’re individuals?
I refuse to accept the idea that my grave will be shared with a product of chance circumstance – that my future and eternity is so trivial as to be decided by that one moment I finally strike up a conversation at a bar with that one woman out of millions who just happens to be at that place at that time and with that special state of mind to not be irritated by my shameless advances.
I guess you could say I still want to believe in soulmates, perhaps destiny. And that’s why I think the whole idea of confidence in one’s decisions is completely absurd.
Which is why I’m here… at a computer… not writing… not composing… just merely existing as my craft withers away in stagnation.