Lately, in the wee small hours, I’ve been fighting a cold, bloody battle with my whirring brain to get back to sleep. The upshot? I’m exhausted; my challenger, unperturbed.
Unable to annihilate him, whatever the a.m., I fall to the only two things I can muster the energy for to distract my juddering thought cycle.
One is playing Tetris (usually badly), and the other is reading the latest ’10 ways to be your best self’ self-improvement, mind/body/soul listicles in my Facebook newsfeed.
I click the posts knowing full well that, by-and-large, it’s a shmear of clickbait; a swift portal to the advertiser’s gratification chamber, that’s all. Yet still I’m drawn into these pieces – countless times -, aware there is little-to-no chance they are actually going to tell me something I don’t know (A la The Thrills. (Chuh, I wish, 17 year-old me)).
Why do I do it? Because the Monster Introspection is a hungry, hungry beast. And at those times when you’ve had too much time to question everything around you, fed by feeling atrocious, and having to stay stock still for longer than a half a day, it develops its bottomless-pit hunger. Craving still-more glimmers of hope that can suddenly satisfy, and make the heavy brain fog part to a clear blue sky.
I get why the Matcha tea amazement sect exists, I do. I have made a few healing, neutralising soups in my time (admittedly they are tasty). I have a mindfulness app on my phone. I’ve used it 1.5 times. Why so little? Because I can’t step outside of myself: I’m too tired. So I do the only things I know how: I go running; I seek out the bassy thrum of mega-amplified live music; or drink enough so that the stars feel hot, and the world feels big again, and I can boot the Monster out for a short while.
I run. I see the people I love settling down, making firm choices about what to do, building their feathery nests. I see my ideological soulmates thrive, but I feel chaotic; I can’t stop, I run.
The world unfolds around me; a frantic, unraveling spool of dynamism, love and colour; fear and anger. I want to bring the one to the other, but don’t know what else to do. So I sit stock still in my South West town, and do what my money will stretch to. Then when I feel unable to move or do, or I want to out-race my thoughts, I don’t want to stop; I run.
Until I can expand my world beyond these four, rented walls, I’ll continue craving the world, craving feeling alive: I’ll keep on running.