This is a secret superhero blog. It may also be a tragedy.
The Diana Prince in this story runs her own company, Instagrams as she travels the world, has some money saved up, generally pays her bills, continually improves her credit score, is in a long-term monogamous relationship, parents her children with discussion and love, and is a warm and insightful friend. She’s a renaissance woman who knows how to order cocktails, easily navigate foreign cities, and boss around CEOs.
Yes, I find her annoying also. You’ll be glad to know this is not her blog.
This is the blog of the actual hero herself, a soul-weary, exhausted, chronically suicidal and broken 40-something wife and mother with around-the-clock existential nausea who keeps all those plates spinning—at least until she doesn’t anymore. She can’t make sense of this world, yet feels constantly compelled to try. Lifelong clinical depression, a dozen years of Grade A childhood trauma, decades of psychotherapy, a quirky and enterprising intelligence, the family’s mental illness grab bag, the dregs of a comically wild mid-life crisis that left hope, faith, and meaning in the dust of bewilderment—these are the dilithium crystals that actually fuel our hero. (And let’s be honest, an alarming increase in self-medication under the guise of “recreational use.”)
This is real life though, so this wondering woman’s super powers are limited to a very real, human feat—keeping Diana alive and functional. I must maintain functionality and production value in both the capitalist, municipal and family human systems I belong to at all costs. Why? Because it would hurt people I love if I didn’t. I’m increasingly afraid I’m not going to be able to keep it up, which is why I’m back here to blog. I need to make sure I keep track of myself. If there is one place I can be honest and tell the truth, and say out loud what is happening inside me, maybe just one thing will feel real and not a lie and I won’t crack and implode and destroy people I care about because they care about me.
If my kids knew how I felt and how I lived from day to day (considering that I am one of the adults assigned to help them make sense of this crazy world), it could scare them silly. If my family knew, they would worry. If my clients knew, they would fire me. If the police knew, they’d maybe arrest me. I really pose no danger to anyone but myself, however grave that may be, so of course I’d argue the illusion I create is for their own good. (Perhaps the cosmic jester is saying the same thing about me right now.)
When I first wrote the “about” page on this blog, I talked about warm, fuzzy things like oneness of non-separation and enjoyment of that “bigness” through mindful awareness, and how religions were based on high ideas of love and acceptance that could point us to this bigness, but were not the bigness. I still was depressed and suicidal, but excited about this new openness. However, the magic has worn off, all my high-minded thoughts have succumbed to the obvious realization that existential human beliefs and opinions don’t seem to have any bearing on what existence actually is.
My original goal in calling this Curious Wonder was to explore how big and amazing things were when I stopped trying to fit everything into my limited belief structure. If “truth” is simply what is really happening, what we are really experiencing, not which story sounds the nicest, then it is more about observation and finding and removing our distortions and filters (beliefs).
But I still was obviously focusing on what I could observe that would also happen to make me feel better about the groundlessness one feels when their faith gives out.
If Truth equals Reality, we can easily observe every day that reality holds a lot of really scary and painful things. Most of us would agree on this. But we, then create and believe in a story about this reality and call it “truth” instead, because it will help us feel better, and we fight over these stories intensely, because they are important to our sense of reality. We pass them down to our grandchildren so they won’t have to worry their pretty little heads about why the heck they are here and why all this is happening–a question no one has the answer to (but lots of people will hastily offer you one if you’re asking too many unsettling questions).
I am not a believer anymore. I do not denounce my past mystical experiences, I just don’t label them or try to make them fit into a belief story anymore, because they never really fit well anyway. I’m open that something bigger than me that I don’t understand exists. It certainly appears that forces exist we don’t understand. Scientists used to laugh at other scientists that believed in invisible electromagnetic waves, for instance. I’m cool with the fact my human mind just maybe just can’t grasp the boundaries of the infinite mystery that encompasses the fabric of consciousness, matter, energy, in all time and space. I firmly believe that we here humans don’t know what is going on with us, regardless of our beliefs.
I spiral through thoughts related to this all day, every day, and feel a need to write it out so I can process, integrate, and not go completely insane. Insanity is defined by me as “losing the ability to provide for the needs of my family and/or exhibiting behaviors that would cause suspicion under the demands of local custom and tradition.” Insanity also means I actually end my life on purpose or by careless accident, and I need to work hard on both of these things right now.
So here is my blog wherein I try to do that. I am curious and wondering about what is going on, and also whether anyone else out there is having a similar experience.