Wednesday, June 29, 2005

An open letter to DCB

V Note: One of my favorite blogs is DC Bachelor's. He is a sarcastic, combative, catty (yes, catty), introspective sort of guy. He also is called an asshole a lot, and not always without reason. But that's kind of his thing.

Anyway, today he is writing about what I lovingly call (and experience on a daily basis) the mid-mid life crisis. And rather than post a long comment on his blog, I thought I would write him an open letter as I am pretty familar with what (I think) he is posting about.

Open letter to DC Bachelor and those of the mid-mid life crisis:

Sometimes after you finish an entire bottle of vodka with you dearest friends that feeling will go away. Sometimes. But it creeps up again when you go to work and you are not into what you are doing, or you watch TV and the people seem happy and fulfilled. Sometimes you talk to a new person and they are in such a different place than you (happy, more ignorant) that you get really depressed.

But depression isn't even the word for it. It's worse than that. Because you are happy with lots of things in your life, and you aren't working in a fucking coal mine or anything. But, then you wonder "is this it?" And, you feel bad for feeling bad. Depression you can wallow in and feel like it's all over. You know it's not all over, in fact, you have a lot more to go. And isn't that a bitch?

To overcome this feeling, aside from wishing you were retired and on a beach with pants up to your armpits, I would try to isolate moments when you felt like it was okay. The reason being, I think the people most worth their salt are passionate people. People who are driven toward something. Generally, this is something more than the kids and a McMansion. I hate to say it, but I think having a job you really love might be one of the most important things in getting through life. Those people with the deepest regrets seem to either have estranged children or worked for 40 years at something they don't give a rat's ass about. So I would put "job you love" on the to do list.

Then comes the next thing, the people in our life. I would certainly argue that falling in love is important, but I don't trust people or myself enough to talk much about that. So I would rather talk about ensuring you have wonderful friends and a good relationship with your family. Being needed by others for their daily well-being is one of the greatest satisfactions I have found.

Also, I think the situation may also be hopeless. Great literature and art are rife with people who regret a lot of their decisions and then make peace with their own uneasiness. I often think of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Tender is the Night" or Ernest Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises," both of which embody people who should be happy but can never be (except Jake who has a right to not be happy as he can't get it up).

As far as other countries being the answer, I am not sure. I have a good friend traveling abroad right now, and I imagine it is helpful to see what else is out there. But he recently noted that even though you are "out there," you are still not a part of it. It is still someone else's country, not yours.

Sadly, the world is not a place for passionate people (which again, I would argue are those most happy or fulfilled). The world gives you an apathy and disinterest in living life fully because it's frankly, hard to do. The less we give into that the better. Perhaps this mid-mid feeling is our first real taste of the world and its emptiness?

So maybe "this is it." Maybe all we can do is just try to maintain good relationships, listen to music, watch HBO, drink, fuck, eat at nice places, travel and buy stuff. If we can help some people along the way, and even dedicate our professional life to something worth its salt then good for us. Otherwise, I guess the question remains, what do we want anyway?

I'm sure it will all work out, or at least "isn't it pretty to think so?"


Blogger roosh said...

Nice thoughts. I'll let it ferment in my brain for a bit.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Natty G said...

Good take, V. My thoughts on DCB's site were (somewhat) similar.

To tie this to your religion post, I think that one of the reasons religion is important (even though I myself am a non-believer) is because it gives people meaning to life. I myself don't need that external sense of meaning, but I respect what religion provides to people, and the stability it provides to society.

11:50 AM  
Blogger V said...

Well, DCB sometimes it helps if you know there are lots of others who feel similarly.

Natty g: Yeah, as blogger Dn once joked, "Religion: it's the best crutch I've got."
And who is anyone to say which crutch holds you up best?

12:01 PM  
Blogger cuff said...

"Life's a piece of shit, when you look at it, life's a laugh and death's a joke it's true..."

I'd say the mid-twenties are an age at which most people haven't solidified their careers -- they're still sampling different jobs, different places, different priorities -- but you also realize the early thirties are soon to come and you want to stop scraping by eating ramen or working at a job you hate. You want to take a real vacation instead of only visiting places where you can crash on a friend's couch.

You also see lots of noticeably younger people at the club.

Your literature references are great. Fitzgerald's novels are all about the emptiness of consumer life; still here we are. Maybe it's still true what Thoreau said: "Most men [and women I'll add] lead lives of quiet desperation."

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the "Lady Brett" allusion.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Elvis said...

V, right on sistah. Righteous letter. I have those moments. "Is this it?" Then it passes, "damn right this is it." I can't explain it, but the voids of teenage summer saturdays, when you knew nothing was going on, I always knew that'd be the way it'll always be. After a while, I figured, "is this it?" is not the question I should be asking. "What are you doing at this moment?" is more important. As in, at this moment, are you having the greatest time ever, or are you totally into it, or are you relaxed and not hassled? So now, even at work, I answer, "yah, I'm totally into this." That, my friend, is all there is.

1:37 PM  
Blogger V said...

Mass: Love the Thoreau, it's so painful--so true. It's during the shifts in life that we feel emptiness so acutely.

Thanks, Elvis. You are totally on point. I find getting the most out of the moment is so important. If you can look around and appreciate what is happening, you are at least half way there (to what, I am not sure).

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

introspective? his most recent post reminds me of ross on that friends episode -- "I'm going to work on my keyboard music and practice my KA-RA-TE!"

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

V, just sit on his soul patch for awhile and shut his whining up.

4:26 PM  

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