on-going mostly unedited stream of thoughts

what is the price of aliveness

While travelling in bangkok there is a sense of exhaustion as I have a fear of missing out. I felt like I couldn’t rest, because I wanted to do so much and I had limited time here. Yet I felt a sense of aliveness that has been missing for the past three years, something I didn’t even know I was missing until I experienced it again.

I desired to be buddhist in my way of life, to be contented in the mundane and ordinary, to have as little desires as possible. In my pursuit of optimal health I lived virtually like a monk: sleeping at 9pm and waking up at 4am, intermittent fasting from 4pm onwards, eating very little carbs, exercising every day. In return I felt physically better than I’ve ever been in my entire life, but spiritually deadened.

What I wish for myself intellectually is not the same as how I feel in reality. I guess there is a deep sense of peace when one loses their desires. There are no disappointments and emotional upheavals when we learn to want and expect nothing out of life. But at what cost? What does it mean to live? What does it mean to live, for me? Buddha may have thrived on being Buddha, but that doesn’t mean I want to live like that. I don’t think there is one right way to live for every person. I think the point of life is to discover how we individually wish to live.

I didn’t know my spirit was dead until they came alive while in bangkok. I just felt happy, thriving. My senses felt full. I keep wanting more. The Buddha is against cravings. But there is a spiritedness in cravings in the right amounts. It gives me the desire for life. More experiences. More sights. More life.

Travelling seems to provoke existential crises in me. I started re-evaluating everything I thought about my life. I became deeply depressed near the end of my trip, afraid to go back to that deadness. Am I being too harsh on my monk-like life? Am I just being temporarily blinded by the delusional romance of travelling? Some things may be temporary, but it doesn’t mean they are not worth experiencing.

According to my oura ring my body has been super stressed this entire trip. My resting heart rate has increased about 20 beats per minute on average. That is a humongous increase. My heart rate variability has decreased dramatically. According to my biometrics I’m
imploding internally. I am so tired. But so alive.

Maybe I am imploding physically internally. That I’m acutely damaging my body in unseen ways. Is this price worth paying in exchange for a few days of feeling this aliveness? I have no answers. I’m asking myself these questions repeatedly. With no clear answers.

I wrote this while on the flight back to singapore. I haven’t been writing spontaneously out of my weekly designated routine for a very long while now. I wish to be more like this, to be capable of writing transient unformed thoughts and be less concerned about people reading my unedited stream-of-consciousness writing that has no point. Pressing the publish button on the flight now!