Well after my rant last time about international central bank driven financial subterfuge I though I would touch on a pleasanter subject today: insouciance. I don’t know the exact etymology of the word but it is related to the French term “sans souci” – without worry. Also the name of Frederick the Great’s beautiful baroque palace in Potsdam, Germany, by the way. For all us gay alcoholics, the idea of insouciance, of pleasant indifference, peace, calmness, serenity etc., is an aspirational state, though one not achieved without some degree of difficultly. I attended a meeting yesterday at the 519 community centre in Toronto’s “gaybourhood”, and this theme repeatedly came up in the sharing. One guy talked about the idea of patience, that often anxiety over an issue or goal is ameliorated by simply waiting; the issue will resolve itself, often happily, by just waiting.
In my alcoholic mind, I need everything to be resolved NOW. Decisions have to be made right away, and without introspection or advice. Grandiose ambitions need to be fulfilled immediately, like writing a book – why, I can’t tackle that unless I can churn out several chapters today! Of course this is self-defeating: the net result is that nothing gets done, and in the past, I ended up drunk. It’s this idea that I have to aspire to perfection, and then of course fail to meet it. It fits the narrative of failure that is so deeply ingrained in the dark recesses of my mind. It’s the same with my love life (or lack there of); the idea of just meeting someone and hanging out with no expectations doesn’t work for me. I need to project all my hopes and fears onto this person; it’s no wonder I don’t enjoy the process, and give up, and in, to my inner sadness and loneliness instead.
Insouciance is to me something other people have. The cute guy across the coffee shop. Nothing fazes him (and why would it – he’s so hot!). I project the inverse of my chaotic mind onto him; to use a statistical term, he is the alternative hypothesis (I’m the “null”, the unwanted outcome). I need to find insouciance for myself; it won’t change anything physically about me, but it might improve my dating odds, and many other aspects of my life, such as writing and painting. Nothing will be resolved today so just focus on the present moment or task, and do my best. It will all come out in the wash, my Mom used to say. This always seemed willfully naive to me but as she too was a member of the fellowship, there was great wisdom behind it. I understand that now.