I’m bouncing along the spectrum this week, sliding from hopeless negativity into enthusiastic, boundless optimism.
I know there’s a sweet spot there. Just can’t seem to find that balance.
That’s not overly surprising, and I don’t knowingly let myself fixate on it. ‘Knowingly’ is key, because my mind has created traps that I fall into without realizing, following worn paths that I should avoid, except they’re so damn easy to follow. Do you write fiction or pursue goals and dreams? If so, you might understand what I mean when I refer to these dark, weary paths.
I don’t know all the nuances that trigger my spectrum slides. I have ideas and insights into that process. When I win writing battles, my spirits soar toward the positive end. Good food, a good time, and a surprising compliment can take me there, too. Struggling with writing decisions, events that seem beyond my control, and simple frustration can drag me down into sour, doleful depths.
I know those things. Unseen health issues affect me with sneak attacks. Or, are they health issues? Maybe they’re not. I note, I feel off, and ask myself, what’s going on? Is it too little sleep, something I ate, part of the aging process, the first symptoms of a disease, or intellectual activities affecting my emotional activities affecting my physical activities affecting my spiritual activities affecting my intellectual activities?
Yes, that circle exists. It’s more complex than those few arcs described. That’s the spectrum. It’s not an orderly, linear line, but a circle, perhaps even a mobius. I think of it as a spectrum on a circle. Abstract visualization is one of my strengths, so I turn to it to help me think through things.
Being aware of the circle’s existence, like the monster in the dark, is helpful. Dreams can sometimes help, but last night’s dreams about aliens and seeking understanding seemed to highlight my morass rather than illuminating a way through it. Bummer. Fortunately, finding a satisfying resolution to whatever artistic-writing-intellectual problem is challenging me helps as well.
Today, after dwelling on the dreams during my morning coffee, I did find a satisfying approach to resolving the problem (which, yes, was of a writing nature), feeding my positive energy. It came while I dawdled, putting aside my normal routine to read some fiction and goof off, rather than to go out to walk and write. After just a few pages of distracting my brain with another’s fiction, my sub-conscious announced, aha, and an idea was floated. The solution isn’t fully formed, but has enough substance that I can grasp and shape it into something more and move myself forward.
Knowing this minutiae about myself is helpful to coping with its repercussions and trying to contain it. It’s easy to let these things eat me up, starting a more self-destructive circle. I encountered those when I was younger, when I didn’t know how to sort myself, when the territory that is me was darker and more unknown. I did a lot of destruction to myself and my life in those days. Fortunately, others helped me with patience, kindness, and insights. When I think back on some of the craziness, I gulp with amazement that I’m alive, intact, and not incarcerated.
Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.