I’ve already dealt with a host of generally nerve-wracking chores this morning, which, admittedly, has lowered my sense of agitation somewhat, though I could not get started on cleaning up my thousand-participant data file this morning without first blogging out this insanely bittersweet rant about nothing in particular.

Well, thank God for blogs.

While it has only been so long since I started using this blog in earnest, I feel better once I’ve blogged out, no matter how little sense it would probably make to someone else. I suppose, in a way, blogs can take the place of people who are no longer around to share our daily nonsense rants. I sometimes try to convince myself it’s all for the better that things have worked out this way – dead man or no dead man, blog or no blog. I try to convince myself in earnest that I have been mistaken that I was ever a worthwhile friend and that right now, the best thing I can do is throw myself into my work and categorically stop wishing that I were an accepted part of the seemingly cohesive social circles that surround me. I can’t be who they are. I will never be who they are. I will always feel, and therefore be, different, have different views of the world, and different priorities, and I will never have the time to commit to them wholly, and therefore I will never become a part of those circles. Most of the time, I don’t even know what they get up to.

I realise none of this makes any sense. That’s why I say thank God for blogs.

Sometimes I wish I could afford to be less of a workaholic and more of the laid back social animals my colleagues seem to be. But I can’t. Sometimes – often, even – I wish I had a face easier to read so that people would know that I need a hug. A really big, really warm, really accepting hug. But I don’t. I never will, and mostly, it’s of my own making, because I’m that reserved and stubborn that I swerve away from the people I’d like to know more about simply because I’m afraid I’d bore them. It’s this ivory tower I’ve shut myself in that lets me get so much work done, and that’s what other people marvel at when they praise all I achieve. Yes, I achieve a lot, but so what. Hard work speaks for itself, and whatever work I do now is for myself. That’s not what’s important.

“What’s important in life?” asked one of my classmates in an Individual Differences seminar when I was an undergrad. The subject was the critical review of a paper concerning the overt expression of emotional experiences in individualist versus collectivist cultures. How we got onto values escapes me. But suddenly the question was asked, and it got me to thinking what really is important in life. However much science and technology can make our lives easier and get us closer to the hypothetical ‘truth’, those things only matter insofar as we base them on what we hold to be important. If we did not hold them to be important, we would be concerned with other things and society would have grown to evolve other institutions.

What’s important in life is friends and family and the sense of assurance you feel when you know they’re fine. When you don’t have that, work, play, and anything else you do feels as meaningless and mundane as…well. Whatever.

Then you hear the laughter coming from the offices down the corridor and the lively conversations they have that you can’t follow because you’re not part of their circles, and you see them buzzing up and down working on their projects, and then you look at yourself in your own unfrequented office and the hours you spend staring at your screen in silence, trying not to notice the excitement around you that you can never be part of, and you feel ridiculous because the only likely outlet you seem to have to rant about such ridiculousness is this blog.

For goodness’ sake.

Today is one of those days when I wish I could just disappear from this place and never have to come back, and I know that if that were possible, no one would really notice my absence.

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