Sometimes I get lost in the depression of depression. I want to jump and embrace the world with joy and rejoice in its unpredictability. I want to race into the future with a fullness about me as I approach more closely the life I have dreamed of since childhood 1.
People speak of moving up the ladder. I too, am moving “up the ladder,” to borrow the term—of my own dreams. Though I don’t think in terms of the typical “corporate ladder”, or even exactly “upward motion”, there is something that feels like forward momentum that keeps me moving in the direction, or appears as a direction, towards embodying the dream human I want(ed) to be 2.
But did I mention, I think not in those terms. I am discoursing with my future; I have a discursive process of agential performativity 3 with my self, a process of becoming what we know of as human. This human introduces herself “these days” as “Kate.” As human she exists always temporally, never exactly existing but becoming. Currently Kate, she has also been called and is called by other names.
She has never wanted to have a lot of money. Rather to say, was never fascinated by wealth or the acquisition of it. Was fascinated with living closely to nature, to making art, following urgent questions without compromise. The way to follow questions is to invest time, but living in capitalist economy, time is tantamount to money, to rent. Time invested towards following urgent questions or time invested towards following ways to acquire money. Not the same thing. Sometimes but not always the same thing. To minimize the need for acquisition leaves more time to thinking and to writing. To minimize the need for acquisition leaves more time to invest in possibilities of … questioning. Acquisition is something I don’t want, did not want.
What are the things I did, do want? I wanted to live outside nuclear family. I did not know how. I wanted to have children. I wanted to have many diverse relationships with people that included sex(ual) experiences with them not mutually exclusive to the engagements of a monogamous relationship. I want(ed) to present and share ideas with people. I want(ed) mobility, not as in social, but as in physical; ability to travel and explore the world. Not as a tourist—that would leave me broke and bored, but as a worker, as a writer, as an artist. As a sociologist. I wanted to gather information about my fellow humanity and see the world, in class experiences. I wanted to experience through my body. I wanted to build my voice through the only voice I could truly own—or so I thought—through my own body. If I am a discursive phenomena, body BE COMING perhaps this voice CAN be formed with other voices “not my own”?
I wanted to experience that discursive process of dynamic becoming and contradiction.
I wanted to express my connection and culpability for violence in the world of structural violence of which I am a part, of which I am inside of, I am part of, the world which is creating itself. I wanted to express both my condition in moment as well as the possibility of subverting my self—self as presented encased in fleshy body, self as presented encased in conditions of my creation, (class ethnicity, historicism, knowledge, experience). I want(ed) all these things. These are “rungs on the ladder”—my ladder not long and straight but more like a flexi ladder necklace that’s been twisted, intertwined and even broken entirely. All the metal rungs of the latter scattered and gnarled around my body; my body reinterpreting itself through the existence of every metallic knot.
I sit on a train today and feel depressed that as I reach, reach, reach, journey, attempt, I do not always feel “ happier or more content” as I “climb” the ladder of my own dreams.
My security is at risk, (mostly because of the limits of my body to work, to earn?). Exhaustion, mental limits of power to even approach the thoughts I want to produce, to engage with.
HUMAN LIMITS. I FEEL HUMAN LIMITS.
1 Articulating this, I hesitate. Because I realize that time is an illusion. That childhood dreams are lifelong dreams. That there is no “origin” or end to these dreams. We grasp to them. We reach to them, sometimes touch them. They exist, timelessly, not as separate entities but as what could be called relata. They interact with us. They call us into being. They are part of our discourse. We enliven them as they enliven us.
2 I hesistate, again, in making this claim. I dont truly believe in forward direction. It is the contact interaction of me and my dreams. The conversation between myself and dream self. The conversation between self and self that I believe I created. It is not attached to direction. But from one perspective, could be understood as such.
3 See Barad, Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter, 2003