Since I semi-retired I have been examining myself.
From the inside out.
It began as a conscious process. It has evolved to encompass my sub-conscious as well as my conscious self.
With time on my hands I committed to understanding why I am not happy that often even though on the surface of things I have every right and reason to be.
I am living a lie; that is well documented. I am not the kind of guy who is into deadlines and commitments, mortgage payments and budgets, predictability and living conservatively.
Somehow I fell into this lifestyle that I have no respect for. Middle class, scratching to survive, pissing my life away on meaningless details leaving no time for big fun, big life, big excitement, big inspiration.
Ain't no pizazz in that, baby.
And as far as I know you only get one shot at this thing so it seems like such a waste spending 99.9% of my time scratching and .1% laughing.
But I recently realized my conflict goes much deeper than that.
I realized it because I know and have always known that this life has also given me Carol, Keith & Emily, Craig & Karen.
I derive enormous pleasure and unlimited happiness from this crew. I look upon them with wonder, even after all these years, and I honestly don't give a shit if you think I am blowing smoke or not.
What I now know is that I am a dark individual. And not in the way people have been describing me for a very long time.
I am dark because there is not a lot I give a shit about. I don't care about rules, I don't care about other peoples' moral guidelines, I don't care about the right things other people expect me to do.
I don't care about nice.
In fact I am exactly opposite to that. I take great pleasure in breaking the rules, and anything that appears wrong to well behaved people appeals to me.
The conflict comes in the persona I developed over my lifetime, in direct conflict with who I am.
Nice guy Joe (as opposed to Nice Guy Eddie from Reservoir Dogs).
I think most people would describe me as a nice guy. Of course one of the problems with self analysis is the question of whether you can ever really know yourself honestly. Maybe most people would call me a flaming asshole. I don't know. So for now I'll stick with the nice guy thing.
If anybody told me to my face that I am a nice guy I would cringe. Or laugh. Or vomit.
Because I am not. It is just an act. An act I have perfected (I think).
I slip into this persona every time I leave the house. Every fucking time.
I have been fighting it for the last few months but it is such a natural act that it is hard to break out of character. Surprisingly hard.
Hence the unhappiness. The persona I present to the world is the exact opposite of who I really am.
It is pretty hard to live that way.
That's it. Self analysis 101.
I am pleased with my progress.