Setting aside emotions is effective and sometimes necessary. Developing the strength to take your feelings in stride without slowing down is impressive. Being emo is pathetic.
I am mostly an emo asshole who pretends to be capable of setting aside emotions. Is that the worst of all worlds? I don't know and I don't give a fuck. This is not about classifying who is an asshole, or determining how much of one I am. This is about recognizing bullshit in myself and dealing with it. Maybe you can benefit. Maybe not. I'll share anyway as I workshop through this on my own.
So the background is that I have one viable option: bite off more than I can chew for the time being, and keep chewing until I have got it under control. So far it has gone well. I set aside all my needs and feelings that were not immediately pressing, and took on two jobs in addition to negotiating a divorce. Additionally I have also accelerated the game design hobby. This has all worked pretty well for a few months. But then a series of events unfolded over the past week which has pushed me beyond what I can handle, and I am getting emotional, not emotional about the things in front of me, but about unprocessed things, all those needs and feelings that I put in a box in order to do what I am doing. Those things, they are crawling out of the box. They refuse to go back in, and have the gall to demand my attention. I have lost full control.
So in order to right myself I have a few options. The keep feelings private method would require down time. It takes time to stop everything, wrestle your shit to submission, process what you can, and then put the rest back in the box. This has been my way in the past - superficially anyway - but I don't want to give anything up this time. Taking time out means not getting work done. I am not going to give anything up. I am not going to step back at all from what I am doing.
So what do I do?
Reach out to other people for support?
Well I mean ...
Look I understand the efficacy of that, and if a person offers a shoulder or an ear or more desirable parts of their anatomy, great, but in the meantime I need to get shit done. So what do I do on my own?
More surfing is what I am going to be doing. What does "surfing" mean here? I mean that I will be taking my emotions in stride and processing them as I go. No slowing down. No private time. Well of course this means that I'll still have to hide things like anger and scary expressions of frustration, and crying in public is emo bullshit that I won't by engaging in, so yes there will be a sort of privacy, but I won't be holing up and processing shit in a cave. I won't be hiding. I'll just have to (1) be as expressive as I can be yet in socially acceptable ways, and (2) find ways to put this into my work and game development while remaining fully productive. The later seems like it is more effective than the former because the former is a half measure.1
I'll process this shit so well that wisdom comes out the other side. Haha. The things we tell ourselves. The truth is that I'll be figuring this out along the way. I claim (1) and (2) are the methods I will use, but it will probably be something else because these aren't going to solve the problem.
The more I think about this, my weakness is coming from lots of little regrets. Sure I have been emotional in response to some shit hitting the fan, but I misuse my time in minor ways (like writing this post instead of getting work done), and it has caught up with me because I have almost no room to make mistakes. I need to use the time I get, each moment, to the full extent I can. Otherwise little regrets build up, emotions I did not express when I should have, things I could have done but didn't take all the way, and then later regret. And then ... shit I deleted a few paragraphs of itemized regrets... just fucking regrets that I didn't engage enough with something or someone when I could have, or as much I wanted, and those feelings of regret follow in my wake like a collection of fishing weights gathering in a tangle about my legs and arms, slowing me down, upsetting my balance.
The regrets are the problem more than all these emotions. Well actually that's not the entirety of it because they are both issues, and wrapped up in one another, but the thing is that I can do something about the regrets now. I can forgive myself the regrets I have. And going forward I can give each moment its due rather than provide opportunity for more regrets to pile up. This is the thing I know I can solve so that I can move forward.
Solved. Well half way. I actually have to do the work now.
Another thought, dividing ways of dealing with emotions between masculine and feminine is something you can do, and be dead wrong. I started out this post thinking in those terms, and thankfully I caught myself because it is stupid to think in those terms. Those men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus-terms are blinders. They obscure reality. I am from Earth. This is my planet. I am human, an individual, and I feel and process shit however is best for me rather than through the lens of shallow-pop-culture bullshit.2
Back to work on job 2.
Picture at the top is of Sausal Creek last Friday evening after work during the rain.
I'd switch game design for playing guitar, but I can not do that on the way to work, and I've drawn my line in the sand: I am not going to back off anything I set out to do back in January. So when I pick up a guitar again, it will be in addition to what I am already doing, or after I finish something I am doing now. ↩
My warning sign today was listening to Tori Amos, Tear in My Hand, after lunch and feeling tears coming down my cheeks as if the pop music had answers for me, like I was 12, and then I listened to all of her 90's stuff while sloppily coding some testing tools. Great music. But what the fuck? Pretty fucking stupid to be looking for answers in someone else's songs carefully crafted and generalized for public consumption. There are pieces of me that I have not seen yet, and I won't ever see them if I am not asking my own questions and seeking my own answers. ↩