Monday, February 27, 2012

Funky town

I've always been a russophile. Loved the Romanovs, especially Anastasia. Loved Russian literature (except "Fathers and Sons" - awful, awful book). Loved beef stroganoff.

I'd like to think this is all based on my love of the color red and names like Zarya (which I totally want people to start calling me, but it's never caught on) and palaces and Catherine the Great (who, let's face it, was a total stud).

I'm afraid, though, that it stems a lot more from my tendency toward melancholy. There's something about Russian nihilism and fatalism that speaks to me. Because life often feels like a slog. A tough, unpleasant, pointless slog. It is very, very easy for me to get caught up in feeling that there is just no rhyme or reason for anything and that we're just moving from day to day until we die. And it's frankly a little exhausting. No, a lot exhausting. (Number one reason why I can't believe in some post-earth eternal life? Because the idea of not ever being done stresses me out beyond belief.)

I've been struggling with this a lot lately, this question of what is the point? What's it all for? I wake up every day in my house that I own (though not really as it could be taken away from me if I lost my job and failed to make a payment or two). I go to work, at a job that is contributing to society, so there's that. I eat lunch and I work out and I watch television or read or knit. Often, I have dinner or drinks with friends. I raise money for charity. I go on the occasional trip.

But it all feels so small, so monotonous. And more than a little pointless. (Honestly, if I believed in past lives, I would believe this was serious hangover from being a Russian nihilist.)

When I was 22 and unhappy with my work, I quit and got myself a new job. When I was 23 and scared of getting satisfied with that job, I set my sights on law school. When I graduated from law school, I had a whole career opening in front of me. But now I've got the my dream job. I've got my house and the dog I've always wanted. I feel like I'm out of things to work toward, so I don't really know where to go from here. There has to be something, though. Because I don't think I can take another 20 or so years of this before retiring, when I would just be even more bored.

While I hate that stupid Jack Nicholson-Helen Hunt movie, there's one line that speaks to me. What if this really is as good as it gets? Ugh. If that's the case, someone just shoot me now. Which proves that I'm really not Russian, because a true Russian would just resignedly accept her fate. :)

So if you've ever been in a life funk like this, what did you do to bust out of it?


CLH said...

I know it's a bit bizarre to be randomly commenting from nowhere on an old post, but I'm catching up on all the good blawgs I've never gotten to read before. (TBH, first time I've heard of yours was today, which is a shame. >.<) But your question "Does life not get any better than this?" scares the crap out of me, and deserves a response, even a much belated one. I've read through quite a few of your blogs and posts, and although I would hardly claim to know you, I feel I've gotten to know a little bit about your personality. First, I should give you fair warning... you are a defense lawyer. Probably the single most demanding job I can think of. I'm a law student now, but previous incarnations of my professional career have included soldier, engineer, bodyguard, and secretary. I've been to a few dozen countries, been there done that in a lot of fields, and the one consistent thing I know for a fact- it can always get better, and it can always get worse. Life is not static. If you're feeling an apparent stagnation, it's an illusion. You learn something new every day, whether you want to or not. You gain experience, grow, or decline. There is no steady state of rest in life, and if you are indeed static, you're actually declining, because the rest of the world keeps on moving. Your job is stressful beyond belief- I've seen the defense counsel for my sister's case drink himself nearly to death- but you've seemingly been able to grab ahold of some sanity, which is a strong plus. Don't let it get to you too much- your role as a defender is the least rewarded, most critical role in the justice system- so have fun, relax, and remember- if it isn't getting better, and seemse monotonous, it's just life's little way of saying "Hi! You know those friends you have, the dog and house, and meaningful career? We're gonna slow things down a bit so you can enjoy it more!"

S said...

How sweet of you to comment on this! Thanks for reading.

In case you haven't caught on, I have a bit of a melancholy streak. Always have. (I have recently learned part of the reason, which is an upcoming post... Tease!) It kinda runs in the family to be intense and overly-emotional at times. Which means I can be awesome fun when you put me in a good mood at a piano bar.

But sometimes, it really does all just seem pointless. I think I'm out of my funk, though there's no identifiable end. Things could be changing, maybe even in a good way. Rest assured, I'll keep y'all posted.

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