When my wife asks me how I am and I tell her that I am depressed, she no longer asks why.
I know that all emotions and thoughts are inherently empty and impermanent so I try not to get too caught up in any of it. Sometimes, I just let myself be depressed.
I know that my entire identity is just a phantom passing in the day and night. I try not to identify with much of it.
But still I feel. Still I think. I am human.
My dream has always been to be able to make a living as a writer. A fiction writer. I did not expect this to happen until, and if, I made it to fifty.
Now at forty five I can’t really write. The American Dream has killed my writing career.
My younger self knew this would happen if I gave in. There is no one else to blame but myself.
Depression makes it hard to write. Depression is often the end result of the American Dream.
I have a house now. I must keep my house clean because I can not function adequately in a house that is a mess. Cleaning my house every day takes away from time that I can write. Being stressed out about a house that is a mess takes away from the energy I need to write.
I must work a real job in order to afford my lifestyle. A real job drains a person and does not leave them with much energy outside of work to do anything else.
I own a business, which requires much of my attention, which leaves less attention for my writing. A man can only spend so many hours working. Whether it is my real job or writing, it is all still work. I need a good amount of non-work-down-time in order to feel alright. Down time plus working a real job does not leave much space within which to write. I see now why Kafka continually decided against marriage and the domestic life.
I am married and a marriage often comes with a good amount of emotional drain. There are problems to attend to. Another person in your daily life mix. This takes up time and energy, which was once used to write.
I have a garden, a front yard and these organic entities need my daily watering attention. This takes away time to write.
I have four dogs which are continually needy. I can’t stand to see dog shit just hanging out in my yard, so I must pick this up each day since my wife refuses to. Having four, needy animals around all the time takes away from the tranquility which is often needed to write in. Dogs take up a lot of psychic space.
Then there is the daily meditation that I must do each day to deal with the anger, anxiety, stress and depression, which seems to be a daily part of American Dream life. Meditation makes me feel more at peace and when I am more at peace I have little use for writing stories. I would rather just sit in my garden and watch birds fly by.
As a business owner I have emails to check. People that want things from me. Appointments to make. People to stay in touch with. Bills to pay. Other people’s problems to think about. All of this will drain a person’s creative inner life away. All of this leaves me feeling too preoccupied with the real world to think about fictional other worlds. I am too caught up in this world and rather than write I just engage my iPhone.
Being overly connected is the death of a creative life. A creative person needs to spend a certain amount of time each day disconnected our else their creative energy will be sapped. Great artists and writers, I doubt, check their social media, text messages and emails fifty plus times a day. I do.
Then I need to do dishes, make food, buy food, be pissed about not eating the right food. This food thing takes up a lot of time that could be spent writing.
Then I need to buy things to feel better about not having the writing career I want. Does not seem to work.
Then there is everything else- bills, cleaning car, tending to cars, laundry, exercise and on and on.
This is the standard lifestyle, which is a result of achieving the American Dream. It generally leaves a person overwhelmed, addicted to zoning out on their iPhone and looking forward to that drink they can have when the day is done, so they can get some temporary relief.
This is a pathetic way to go through life. It is completely missing the point in being alive. It is a lifestyle based in comfort and security and it leaves a person feeling trapped, stuck and overly entertained. Nothing good grows out from this place. Especially not a writing career.
I know there is a lot more I could say here, but I do not have time. I must go to work now.