A symbol of modern Western comfort.
We all live in a magical world. But there are different kinds of magic. Those of us lucky enough to sit in our armchairs every day if we like are inherently more subject to a certain, and altogether intoxicating, kind of magic. A magic of instant gratification, world at our fingertips, all our tiny wants fulfilled, delivered to our door. It’s positively glamourous. And so we are naturally mesmerised by it. Naturally inclined to…recline.
I have been sitting in my metaphorical armchair rather too often these past few months. I’ve barely gotten out of it recently, if truth be told. I have known it, and I have been too apathetic to remedy it. Frankly, I have been enjoying it too much to quit. The magic show has been too compelling; too impressive. And I have been unwilling to tear my eyes away.
But the magic show is empty. It’s gloss and glitter in the cracks. It doesn’t touch any real part of me. It doesn’t nourish me.
It makes me feel safe, that’s for sure. But it doesn’t truly make my life any less precarious. It doesn’t change anything, in fact. It just lets me forget. It lets me relax. It lets me succumb. I don’t have to be strong when I’m watching the show. I don’t have to face the darkness. I don’t have to make any difficult decisions. I don’t have to live up to my potential. It’s all so very comfortable.
But I don’t want the life I’d have if I keep sitting in that comfy, cushioned, atrophy-inducing chair. I want a life of exercised power. I want to create my own sort of magic.
So go on then, Yve. Up with you.
A comfortable life is not what I’m after.
Maybe I’ll be happy with a baby and a house and a dog and a Volvo.
I wrote that in my journal once.
I will never be happy with a baby, a house, a dog and a Volvo.
It’s not that I don’t want them. The reason the supposition is so tempting is because I really do. In fact, I am working my way through the list – I bought a Volvo a few months ago and every time I look at it I still feel a wave of something somewhere between excitement and satisfaction.
But I’m also the idiot who wanted to live in my rusty Golf with a German Shepherd called Cyril and the soggy footwell that I couldn’t for the life of me find the cause of, and set off into the sunset with no money and no plan.
I don’t fit in the conventional places. I begin to die when confined.
When I wrote that phrase in my journal, I was facing the prospect of conceding my wildest dreams for a conventional, comfortable existence. Settling for a peaceful life. I was trying to convince myself it wouldn’t be so bad.
And I did concede. I sold my soul for the promise of the middle class dream, whatever that is. I thought I could live with it. I don’t know why.
Luckily for me, it was the farthest thing from peaceful I think I’ve ever known. If it hadn’t been I might still be there now, languishing amongst the material, completely deprived of true sustenance.
Lost momentum is hard to regain.
At this point, I’m really just aware that in the not so distant past, I had a nice amount of momentum. I remember kind of what that felt like, and certainly that it was good. But I can’t really connect with it anymore.
I’m pretty sure that for a while during lockdown I had my shit together, but part of me is beginning to wonder if it was really as good as my nostalgia would have me believe.
Lately I’ve been sort of floating around in a chilled out bubble. I flouted my dietary requirements a few times, which put me in brain fog mode quite regularly but, even in between, I was preferring to just bob along happily with my little toddler-oriented life.
Then I decided to commit to some actual work. But, after a blaze of inspired productivity that lasted, like, a day and a half, I found myself climbing back into the comfort of my floaty bubble with an indulgent smile on my face.
I’ve had to begin the process of coaxing myself out. But I am a sneaky motherfucker. Every time I turn my back, bam, back in the bubble, naughty-kid side-eyed grin on my face. Come on, Yve, just five minutes.