Barrier-Fog

Sometimes, there is a barrier-fog in my brain. It frustrates me, because it lets me see what I want to work on. Everything is blurred and refracted, but I still know it’s there; I have a concept of what my goal is, even though the barrier-fog makes it hard to see clearly. Sometimes the goal is hard or impossible to see. Sometimes it shines through the barrier-fog as clearly as a television screen in a dark room.

No matter how clearly I can see what I want, though, the barrier-fog makes it hard to reach. Sometimes the fog is just that: a white mist, obscuring what I’m looking for and making it difficult to decode whether the direction I’m headed is actually the one I desire.

Sometimes it’s more. It’s bright and flashy. It’s a composite of all sorts of things that bring me temporary joy and distraction but aren’t what I actually want. That’s when the barrier-fog is at its most dangerous. That’s when it actively prevents me from doing the things that I want to do.

You see, when it’s like that, I know my goal clearly, and I know the direction I need to take in order to reach it. But the barrier-fog takes a hold of my brain and twists and turns it to other directions. It’s like putting text in front of someone and asking them not to read it: if they speak the language, their brain interprets the words automatically.

That’s what the barrier-fog does. It brings up all sorts of tidbits of things that might catch my attention, and they do, and them I’m lost inside the fog, listening to and watching and participating in the things that don’t actually fulfill my desire. I find myself writing something completely unrelated to that which I’m supposed to be working on, or reading something random, or even watching a video that I don’t actually have any interest in but — hey — the barrier-fog obscured my path and led me to it.

It feels, most of the time, as inscrutable and unavoidable as the weather. People have studied the weather for centuries, but it still does things unexpectedly. You can prepare for it all you want, by wearing the right clothes or carrying an umbrella, but it’s still going to do whatever it was going to do in the first place.

Some days, I can walk right through the barrier-fog and reach what I actually want to be doing. Some days — most days, if I’m honest — it comes across me and I can barely concentrate well enough to do even one part of my goal for that day.

Maybe, like the weather, I need to learn how to prepare for it and mitigate its effects better. Do they make a fan for your brain, to blow the barrier-fog away? Maybe if I keep studying it, like the weather, I’ll be able to predict it and work around it more feasibly.

The post I began working on for today sputtered out and was suffocated by the barrier-fog. For some reason, it was easier to write this than it was to keep writing that. I’ll continue to work on it to post it tomorrow, because I still like the concept. I just couldn’t find my way to it today.

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