Donc je suis un malheureux

September 27, 2007

Yesterday was a strange mood day. It should have been my all out favorite kind of day: dark and rainy, a nice mix of library work, writing center work, school work, and actual class which I was actually prepared for, the prospect of an easy run on a fancy treadmill, dinner w/ D and Gossip Girl. Nothing too demanding, yet enough schedule activity to keep me from feeling lazy and unproductive either (a pathology in itself, I know, but I’m kind of at the why fight it phase on my need for full schedules). Instead, I kept feeling overwhelmed by sadness, as if there was a sinkhole inside of my chest that was constantly threatening to open up–like there was some feeling, some clarity, some sense of purpose that I just couldn’t reach, and I didn’t know what it was, and it was worse not to be able to identify it because, by all of my measures, I should have been fulfilling it exactly. Is this what they call ennui or something else? Everything’s better than fine and I’m still… inwardly mopish. This leads to frustration, and beneath that frustration, fear. Frustration b/c I’ve spent a good amount of time trying to combat the things that were bugging me in the short term, and it seemed to be working. Fear b/c, well, if even fixing all my problems doesn’t make me feel buoyant and adequate and purposeful, maybe those things are just not in the cards for me (or anyone, and thus Buddhism becomes an appealing option). I don’t want to dwell on this too much, because I don’t want overanalysis to cause this odd blend of feelings to carry over longer than it needs to, but of late I haven’t been particularly emotionally engaged w/ this blog, so this seemed like a chance to get back on the soul-baring track a bit. Maybe I’m just having writing hangover after churning out my first essay for creative nonfiction over the weekend.

After a coffee break, I am, however, feeling much better, because I picked up Gertrude Stein’s Three Lives from the stacks, and on the very first page is just the epigraph I need:

Thus I am unhappy and this is neither my fault nor that of life.

–Jules Laforgue


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