The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure; and, in my choice,
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.
–John Milton, Paradise Lost (Book I, lines 254-263)
I am trying to be compassionate with myself. I’m back in a place I’ve been many times before. And instead of saying, “Fuck, how did I end up here again? I’m so disappointed in myself,” I’m trying to say, “Okay, I’m back in this hallway again. And I get the chance to choose door number 2 instead of door number 1. What a wonderful opportunity.”
The other refrain I have is this: Ignore the information, and focus on the opportunity for growth. See, I feel like I got some misinformation that has negatively affected me. And I want to say that this isn’t fair, and I could have done better if this didn’t happen, and I got set up, it was a raw deal, bad hand dealt to me, and so forth. But that doesn’t matter. I can cut that shit off like a vestigial twin if I focus on the person I want to be and how this can be a springboard to get me there.
Sometimes I’m perfectly fine with everything that’s happening to me. Sometimes I’m great. In the flow, and moving forward, productive, everything’s clockwork, and I’m making the most of the stickytime. I’m happy, I’m excited, and I know I can do what’s set in front of me.
Other times I’m on edge. I’m teetering on the brink of a huge pile of not fair. I get anxious, tired, frustrated, angry, sad, worried, hurt, and I feel it in my body, too. My neck especially cramps up.
For a long time, I’ve been listening to Satan’s argument. That’s him speaking in the quote above if you’ve not read Paradise Lost. If you haven’t, you really ought to. It deserves ought instead of should, because Milton is an OG. He’s kicked out of Heaven for fighting with God, and thrown down into the sewer of Hell. So he’s all, “I hated living in your so-called wonderful place anyways! Good fucking riddance! I’m starting my own club, and you can’t ever join. It’s going to be great. All blow jobs and cocaine all the time. And we’re going to really monkeywrench your shit.” And everyone knows he’s snorting chopped up No-Doz and watching internet porn and the roof leaks and it smells like mildew, but they let him stick his chest out and pretend like Hell is really the Ye-Head Club.
Because I didn’t think I could live by other people’s rules, I just lived by my own, and was all, “Yeah, I like it like this. Whoopee!” I thought this was the best of my ability in certain areas. And I don’t think it really is. I think the best of my ability is better than this now. I know I can do better for short bursts of time, but I don’t know that I have long-distance better in me. That has yet to be proven.
So we’re trying this. Other people’s rules. This is new. And not in an unreasonable, “Seer will fail” kind of way. I’m taking it on in little chunks. Nuggets of new. I’m determined to do it, though. I want to be a different person. I want this.
Change is an interesting drug.
Orb, “Prime Evil” (2004)