The Tyranny of Desire

Doesn’t this title sound rather like a really bad romance novel? But, as one does at 2 in the morning, when one is thinking both about the desire to have that sweater one saw while shopping last week and the need to have a pedicure, I started thinking about why I do the things I do.

It is one of the reasons why I started to write a blog, to have the chance to write about desire, not the lustful or greedy kind, but the selfish kind, the desire to be something you’re not, to be someone you’re not, to want to move ahead or move up or move beyond what you’ve always been. Although, to be honest, there could also be those moments when I am fulminating on the blessed relief of smooth skin on one’s dry, cracked heels (almost too much information, isn’t it?).

I have been experiencing occasional moments of great anger and great joy in pretty equal measure for the past several weeks – and have found myself reacting to them in exactly the same way. I want to share them! I want to scream out – harshly when I’m angry, loudly when I’m happy – and let everyone else know what that moment, this day, is doing to me. It is partly why I blog – instant expression of an instant sensation.

Blogging is also a way in which I am trying to figure out the direction of my life.  I want to continue to work in theatre, but am I completely sure how to do that? No, but I do know that I’m willing to explore a lot of different options and opportunities. Is working for a small company something I still feel comfortable with, or am I ready to move on to a somewhat larger, possible more adventurous organization? It’s certainly a scary prospect, but I have the skills to make that happen. Should I be considering a change in direction for my career path, or even returning to an old profession? God, that’s a tricky question. I mean, there are so many things I have done, and there are so many things which interest me I know I could tackle. Wow!

When everything you believe about yourself is turned upside down, and you aren’t allowed to ask why, you start asking internal questions. You start wanting to know “what if” and “would it have been better” and “should I have gone with my gut”. You want, even need, to have your passion, your work, your achievements validated in some way before you can go forward, and that is – at least in part – what asking questions, and writing this blog has been about for me.

I told a friend of mine recently, when she asked me how I was doing, that I think it’s like a bad break-up, especially one in which you’ve been fooling yourself for a while, ignoring all the signs you know are there because (you think) you’re so happy otherwise. Only the person you’re with isn’t so happy… and maybe, really, you’re not either. It’s just that you want to be happy, you want the relationship to continue… or at least, you want to have a relationship but maybe it should not be this one!

It happens not just in romantic relationships, of course. It happens with platonic friendships and even in the workplace. Sometimes, some things cannot work out, and perhaps that is the greatest tyranny of desire – the need to fulfill your wants and desires is so strong you become stupid enough to think that you can work things out, that you can force the ending (or continuation) you want.

Earlier this week, I was reading one of those pop culture magazines that actually reports on real research into real life. This article was about break-ups, and one of the things it said about breaking up well was the importance of doing it with some grace, some class. It said being the dumper was almost as difficult as being the dumpee, and that feelings of guilt and inability to move forward can also happen for the person who ends a relationship, as much as for the person who is, well, “ended”.

Reading that one paragraph really helped me understand something that’s been bothering me pretty much my entire adult life about human behaviour, and it’s making a huge difference as I continue to
ask my questions. Obviously, I need to read pop culture magazines more often!

So here’s the deal about my blog from now on: This is my voice. This is where I will put a public face on some of the private things that happen to me or are part of what I do. This is a little bit (although certainly not anything close to entirely all) of who I am. This is where I will come to talk about the people & the things & the places & the work & the food & the books & the music & which I love or admire or respect or want.

This can be a place to exchange ideas if you want, but it’s my place. Not yours. It’s really not about you, or you, or even you over there in the far right corner, although you might want it to be so. I do try, and I will make a greater effort, to make it a place that’s not about badness or mopiness or ill feelings or guilt feelings or just plain curmudgeonliness (unless I happen to talk about really bad restaurant service – I rather sound like my father when I get going on that topic) because my greatest desire, the strongest tyrant in my heart, is to be a smarter person tomorrow than I was today.

I want this blog, instead, to be a place of ideas & questions & dreams & experiences and, yes, desires & wants. A lot of these things I have in common with my friends, and I know that we will continue to have great conversations, agreeable and dueling alike, about these issues. But unless these things are for you exactly what they are for me, we won’t always see things the same way, and perhaps you’re going to have to recognize that this is about me.

Share your comments, give me your opinions, but please don’t be a troll. I believe that sharing the bitter & the sweet (which is pretty much everything important in our lives, isn’t it?) is supposed to be heart filling, not heart breaking, and I look forward to continuing a journey of full hearts… and better souls.

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