Where Am I Right Now?

Alec Zaffiro
4 min readFeb 20, 2022


Oh yeah. I’m here, where I’m supposed to be. I don’t know how, but I am. That’s the thing. I don’t know if I’m supposed to be here. But I trust that I am.

The more I think about it, the less I know matters. The less I want to know. Or maybe the less I’m willing to change.

I think about the past. My youth. Not just my youth, but the collective youth of everyone around me at that time, too.

The past reappears better.

As if I somehow became tainted along the way.

Maybe when I was little, I was further away. Further away from realizing. Further away from unconscious belief. Further away from limitation.

There’s two kinds of happiness, I think.

The kind we experience now.

And the kind we remember, that collects over time.

Currently, I’m quite happy. If I reflect over the last two, three, four months, I retain the feeling. I’m happy.

But if I dig a little deeper, say one, two, three years ago, I feel pain. I feel uncertainty. I feel tragedy, sorrow, anxiety unhinged.

Aloof angst, they’d call it.

I think about the depths of my inability to be competent or capable.

I think about the friendships that once were, but are no more. (I notice that I feel okay despite that.)

I think about my existence. My existent. Noticing that it ends.

I understand that life is not automatically good.

I know about my foolishness and my proclivity to fuck up. Yeah. My ability to make things worse, despite my efforts not to.

I am good. We’re all good. Apparently.

Apppppaaaarently. Allllllegedly.

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

When I began writing this, I wanted to say something I’ve been needing to say. The problem is I don’t know what that is.

There’s my need to organize. My need to make sense.

There’s my desire to isolate and withhold. Especially from groups.

There’s my disdain for logos. And disapproval.

I’m afraid of being an “ideologue.”

I want my mistakes to be mine. I’ve made plenty of mistakes before. And I’ll be sure to make them again, and again, and again.

There’s the inadequacy. The pandemic. The reliance on substance. The need to need. The desire to create, but feeling unworthy of true expression.


So those things get in the way.

The sentiments I just put there. You can scroll up and read them again if you want.

Those things sometimes demand my attention. Other times, they don’t. Sometimes, they aren’t even there.

It’s humbling to notice that people are like that. That humans are full of trauma. And drama, in the psychological sense.

Life is a drama and we’re all the main characters.

I used to think there was something uniquely wrong with me. I didn’t understand that consciousness leans towards suffering.

Too many things can go wrong in a million different directions. Ideally, there’s one thing we all want. It’s called the narrow path for a reason.

It’s built right into the framework. We are wired for suffering. We have evolved to find problems and confront them. And solve them. Or die.

Unless you live under a rock, or in your parents basement, you should expect the unexpected from life. It’s a pattern that has yet to come.

You might have a good idea what’ll happen tomorrow, but you don’t know what’ll happen in 10 years.

It’s too far out. Too much can happen. Too many abstractions and way too much margin of error.

That’s good.

Be prepared for life to demand more than you can handle. There’s a really high chance of that.

You’re going to need to update with time. Obviously.

Or else you fall apart and behind. And no one wants that.

So act as an agent among the inanimate.

Otherwise, descend into something less than ideal. Submerge into the insentient. And let the good people sort you out.

Or address your problems now, properly.

I believe, and perhaps this is a unique and specific belief to me, I believe all experiences linger, at the same time, all at once.

Our perception is fit to one.

No matter what happens objectively, humans have the uncanny ability to metamorphose experience.

We do this endlessly as we perceive “more life.” Time adds. Time is life.

Is that true? Yes. The more we do and the more we live, the more our life adds up. How does that not make sense?

In some sense, it makes sense because 60-year-old me will have more data and experience to draw on than 25-year-old me. From a quantity standpoint.

But qualitatively, that’s a mystery. People deteriorate. Memory is not permanent and we don’t get to choose what we remember.

When I’m 80, I might know less. And perhaps that would be better.

But the burden of value remains.

How will my current values influence my end? How will I feel when I’m 50 and have gone through all that’s transpired.

We must have a filter to interpret the world.


In the same breath, I believe addition of experience subtracts from our idea of self. Or has the ability to! If we do a poor job making sense of our experience, “who we are” fades into reductionism. We are no longer solidified.

So where am I? Oh yeah, right here.

Where I’m supposed to be.



Alec Zaffiro

I write to think and organize my ideas. I like psychology, philosophy, and self-improvement—em dashes are my specialty. Not an expert.*