The Mundanity of Being Human

To put this post into context, refer to yesterday’s post, here.

I have been thinking off the back of some existential angst and confusion about life and how I am this week. I realise now that the struggle is not in being stable when that stability contains joy; the problem arises when I am stable but stable within a state of neutrality and standstill. 

It is not that I am not okay with being happy as my therapist suggested; I do not struggle particularly with feelings of guilt when I am actually living in a moment of joy as I know some people do. In fact when I experience joy, I find that I am now able to fully experience it – and that is indeed a beautiful thing. So happiness in itself isn’t the problem…

The problem is neutrality – being in the state of not knowing exactly how I am. I find it impossible to know and connect with myself and the world when in this state. In this “in-between”, it feels unsettling as I do not know where I stand with regards to my self. Usually my emotions are so much more intense and therefore impossible to ignore. Life in the neutral lane is just so… empty.

I can’t stand the neutrality because it makes me feel aimless and lost. I am a very all or nothing person and I guess I struggle with anything less than intense (even though a less intense inner life is something I yearn for when distressed!). Overall, I need to KNOW for certain what it is I am feeling, in order to connect – no matter which direction that feeling is in. It’s like I only know what is it I am experiencing, and who I am in relation to myself and the world, if it is at such an intense level. Low-levels of anything displease me and make me feel shifty and on edge. 

So if I am happy, that is great and I can revel in it. If I am distressed, it is fucking painful, but at least it is tangible and I am aware of myself and feeling alive within that pain. The in between, however, that is what I struggle with. The limbo, the not knowing, the disconnection from anything extreme; the boringness, the intangibility, the not-knowing-what’s-to-come. That is the most unsettling place to find myself in. The mundanity of being a human – I think that’s what it is.

I’m content when I’m stuck at one end or the other, but put me in the middle and I become lost and uncomfortable. If I can perpetuate the happy, I will be fine. But it’s the unknown and unpredictability of the neutral state that has the potential to tip me back into distress, I think, just so that I can feel some sort of connection again.

I’ve got to find, create and perpetuate the happy – and eliminate the mundanity – so that I can remain stable.

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4 thoughts on “The Mundanity of Being Human

  1. Hi…Getting a lot from your blog posts and wanted to comment here. Well thought-through and articulated! I, too, have been pondering the last few days this “neutral” emotional state you mention. You’ve prompting me to dig a bit deeper to find a better descriptor for this state, as I think it’s important, particularly if one is naming their emotions. I think it is also more beneficial to put a “positive” spin on this one (since it is a more liberated state of being, pain-free, and pleasant in that respect). So some names of the emotions I have thought closest this state might be–“composed”, “moderate”, “self-possessed”, and “collected”. I think even “unagitated”, “nonturbulent” and “unstirred” would work, but I think I’d prefer to not label it as something out-rightly the absence of the more challenging emotion. My thoughts…and thanks again for sharing this!

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    • Thanks for your comment and for sharing your thoughts, I like your take on this one. I am going to try and think less, and live more, because my head is a whirlwind, and it’s not helping my case 😉 best of luck to you!

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      • I’m learning, too. I think it’s good you thought through this less-intense emotional state of being. As difficult as it is, it’s your journey to more understanding so you can live life. You’re not alone in these kinds of struggles. The introspection can be wearying so we do have to put it aside and engage in life!

        A further thought, on the first topic, if I may….Like you, I tend to experienced more intense emotions on both ends of the spectrum. I noticed that when I don’t feel those more intense emotions (what you/I described as “neutral”), it was odd. I, too, didn’t know what it was (like an absence of emotions) and that I wasn’t used to. But because I wasn’t secure with that place, I then went looking for and stirring up the more familiar (and unfortunately, negative) emotions (sadness, anger, etc.), which I could easily do by saying to myself something like, “you can’t be feeling nothing; you have to be sad/angry about!…” (Maybe that is akin to what you are doing/did). Thankfully, I recognized this and the next time I felt neutral, I let it be. But I still had no name for it, until your posting prompted me to find one/some, and to put a positive name/spin on the emotion (as it IS positive–until I distrust is and toss it). So I can say, “I feel composed/moderate/self-possessed”, and rest in that. Thanks for helping me work through that!

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      • Yes I relate to all this! Usually in the neutral state I will end up creating something negative and painful (unconsciously, even) so that I can feel something more familiar and tangible. But because I’ve been thinking a lot about this all recently, and am aware of how my brain works and the tendencies and traps I fall into, I am trying to stop myself from influencing a change of any sorts – and just let things be. Like you said. Even the neutral… And try find meaning in day to day moments too. Thanks again. Take care!

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