Someone at work noted that I "never smile anymore", and that when I do it's a false smile. I've never been one to smile that much anyway, for a couple of reasons: firstly, it takes so many muscles to keep one on my face that I quickly get tired; secondly, I have really big lips and quite a thin face, so when I do smile it takes over everything, at which point I grow self-conscious. The truth is though that I have been smiling less lately, and I don't know quite why. Has my life taken a turn for the worse? Is it just that I'm getting older and sadder?
Maybe not. After a lot of consideration I've decided that nostalgia for the simplicity of youth is a self-deception born of the fact that we assume that we regarded childhood issues when we were children in the same way that we would as adults. But I know that not being able to tie my shoe laces at the age of six caused me as much stress as an existential crisis at the age of eighteen does, and resolution seemed just as distant.
Still, I think perhaps I've developed a habit of turning to sobering thoughts rather too frequently, and it hasn't been solely due to soured romance. Actually I'd describe it more as a sobering lack of thought. I'll be in the middle of some reverie, and suddenly everything falls away and I almost hear this voice saying "What now? What next?". Then I'll have five minutes of thinking nothing, feeling... empty I guess. It's like the engine of my mind is giving warning sounds to indicate that unless drastic action is taken, it's going to grind to a halt. So I have to distract my mind from its flagging reserves, whether it's by drinking myself into a stupor, dancing myself into a quivering heap, or being a complete bitch (and yes, that side is growing exponentially).
So what drastic action is needed? A new direction, maybe. A new job would be nice. Ultimately though I think I need a passion. Not someone else (though God knows that whether that sort of thing happens or not has nothing to do with whether you want it), but something else. Something that would stop me from being paralysed the moment superficial distractions are removed, so that I wouldn't need to do something eventful each day just to feel like I'd lived. So that I wouldn't build a minor issue into a mini-series just for the hell of it.
In a way music has been my substitute passion for a long time, and blogging for the past two months, but I'd like something that wasn't just a secret side of me I revealed to electronic souls at the dead of night. It's not that I need something to define myself by, but rather some sort of defence mechanism, a sort of "when in doubt, Tim concerns himself with this" clause. I've always disliked tunnel-vision political activists, largely because I've envied that sort of single-minded devotion to one idea. Maybe I'm just falling into the same trap that I complained of the other day (trying to make my life a story) but at least then I'd be writing deep and meaningful blog entries about something, rather than deep and meaningful blog entries about nothing.