Worldliness, or lack thereof

I have been horrid of late. I’ve become steely, hardened, impatient with the incompetence, inefficiency and weakness that surrounds me. My best friend pointed it out too. I was not as soft any more. I had noticed, but I couldn’t afford myself the luxury of doing anything about it.

Why has this happened?

For a very long time, I’ve been operating far out of my comfort zone, crossing my habitual limits daily, doing things I’ve no aptitude for. I have no worldliness about me.  There are moments, when after having put my best effort into things, I no longer care if I get treated a little dishonestly or unjustly. All  I want is for it to be over. No more dealings with worldly stuff, so I can go back to candles, books and my glowing orange ball of affection (that is a metaphor I use to describe how people close to me make me feel – as if being surrounded by a glowing orange ball of affection, all safe and content).

What the world is doing to me, how stressed I am, how disconnected from myself, how considerably worse a human – this is a heavy price to pay for a little bit of financial security and social advancement.

I went to the bus stop after returning from the bank, and some old lady told me to watch it and not sit on that bench because someone had spilled milk on it. She said milk stains are hard to get out. Then she put a tissue paper sheet on the spot, saying that she hopes people will notice it better that way, so they won’t get their clothes dirty.

I understand her world where milk stains are important. I understand the world of pensioners thronging around discounted bread. And I understand the world of families taking their kids for a sled ride on Sunday. Because my grandmother took us too. I feel sympathy with the people on the bus, and the people that live in little ant hill flats. I used to hate that world, but now it gives me a warm feeling of belonging. I wonder what they are like and what they do in life, whether they are happy. The people on the bus who can’t afford a car. I smiled to myself when I overheard two men in their 50s-60s wishing each other happy father’s day and discussing their children and soon-to-arrive-grandchildren. And another pair of men discussing the evil cat of someone’s mother-in-law. I get all that. That world is mine. I grew up in a world where things that some call “small things” were the essence of life.

There is much more purity, serenity and truth in that kind of existence. Perhaps I’m getting Dickensian in romanticizing poverty, but what can I do? I get these people and what makes them tick a million times better than I get an average middle- or upper class person’s aspirations. I am somehow between the two worlds. My education and profession place me in one, my childhood and upbringing into another.

I like to take things slow, but nothing seems slow in the modern world. It drains me and turns me into a bad person, a disagreeable person who has no affection to give and wants to call everyone gits. Or alternatively, sleep all day and not do anything at all.

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