I’ve had an unusual mix of media consumption as of late. I’ve been watching a lot of tv shows I had lukewarm feelings towards on Netflix while doing schoolwork. However, I liked some much more than others. In addition I have been doing quite a bit of reading over the holidays. So I’ve decided to write up some feelings on a bunch of these and queue them up. I’ll be tagging them with ‘Media Consumption Musings’ if you’d like to follow along.
Two days ago I fell in love with this show and since then I’ve watched it all and now I miss it.
I read some fan fiction even.
The characters, at least most of them, seemed so good, crappy things happened to them but they really tried hard, and they really cared about each other. I really liked that.
Sometimes if I read a book or watch a movie I feel so invested, immersed, that its hard to stop thinking about once it’s over. Maybe some people felt that with Harry Potter, or their favourite book, but I feel it a lot when I read or watch. I think I am a deeply empathetic person and it’s easy to get sucked up into other peoples (fictional) lives. It can be really overwhelming sometimes because it kind of of makes all the awful things that happen in the world feel unbearable whenever you’re reminded of them. Something that I’ve found deeply helpful, is this video about dealing about sexual injustice. I haven’t done the activity yet, but I might in the future.
Anyways I got a bit off topic. It can feel good and bad to be sucked deeply into a story but it kind of feels sucky right now cause I have homework to go do and there isn’t any more of the story and that makes me feel a bit sad. I really wanted a happy ending for Lux and Eric.
Anyways, if anyone wants to talk about this show I’d be down.
To me, anxiety feels like chaos starring in to my innards.
It is very strange to look at pictures of people you saw nearly every day, or at least every week day, of your life for 12 or more years and have there features become somewhat unfamiliar to you. No longer tied so tightly to a personality, but appearance that is less biased to past feelings and shared experience, good or bad. Seeing how those we grew up with could be considered handsome or pretty if they were just pictures instead of children you grew and fought and played and learned with.
It’s a strange thing, memories.
“I just want to be happy.”
I can’t think of another phrase capable of causing more misery and permanent unhappiness. With the possible exception of, “Honey, I’m in love with your youngest sister.”
In our super-positive society, we have a zero-tolerance policy for negativity. But who feels ‘Great!’ all the time?
Yet at first glance, it seems so guileless. Children just want to be happy. So do puppies. Happy seems like a healthy, normal desire. Like wanting to breathe fresh air or shop only at Whole Foods.
But “I just want to be happy” is a hole cut out of the floor and covered with a rug. Because once you say it, the implication is that you’re not. The “I just want to be happy” bear trap is that until you define precisely, just exactly what “happy” is, you will never feel it. Whatever being happy means to you, it needs to be specific and also possible. When you have a blueprint for what happiness is, lay it over your life and see what you need to change so the images are more aligned.
Still, this recipe of defining happiness and fiddling with your life to get it will work for some people—but not for others. I am one of the others. I am not a happy person. There are things that do make me experience joy. But joy is a fleeting emotion, like a very long sneeze. A lot of the time what I feel is, interested. Or I feel melancholy. And I also frequently feel tenderness, annoyance, confusion, fear, hopelessness. It doesn’t all add up to anything I would call happiness. But what I’m thinking is, is that so terrible?
I know a physicist who loves his work. People mistake his constant focus and thought with unhappiness. But he’s not unhappy. He’s busy. I bet when he dies, there will be a book on his chest. Happiness is a treadmill of a goal for people who are not happy by nature. Being an unhappy person does not mean you must be sad or dark. You can be interested, instead of happy. You can be fascinated instead of happy.
The barrier to this, of course, is that in our super-positive society, we have an unspoken zero-tolerance policy for negativity. Beneath the catchall umbrella of negativity is basically everything that isn’t super-positive. Seriously, who among us is having a “Great!” day every day? Who feels “Terrific, thanks!” all the time?
Anger and negativity have their uses, too. Instead of trying to alleviate some of the uncomfortable and unpleasant emotions you feel by “trying to be positive,” try being negative instead. Seriously, try it sometime. This will help you get in touch with how you actually feel: “I feel hopeless and fat and stupid. And like a failure for feeling this way. And trying to be positive and upbeat makes me feel angry and feeling angry makes me feel like I am broken.”
If that’s how you feel—however you feel—then you have a base line, you have established a real solid floor of reference. Sometimes just giving yourself permission to feel any emotion without judgment or censorship can lessen the intensity of those negative emotions. Almost like you’re letting them out into the backyard to run around and get rid of some of that energy.
A corollary to the idea that we must all be happy and positive all the time is that we must all be “healed.” When I was 32, somebody I loved died on a plastic-covered twin mattress at a Manhattan hospital. His death was not unexpected and I had prepared myself years in advance, as though studying for a degree. When he died, I was as stunned as if he had been killed by a grand piano falling from the top of a building. I was fully unprepared.
I did not know what to do with my physical self. It took me about a year to stop thinking, madly, I might somehow meet him in my sleep. Once I finally believed he was gone, I began the next stage: waiting. Waiting to heal. This lasted several years.
The truth about healing is that heal is a television word. Someone close to you dies? You will never heal. What will happen is, for the first few days, the people around you will touch your shoulder and this will startle you and remind you to breathe. You will feel as though you will soon be dead from natural causes; the weight of the grief will be physical and very nearly unbearable.
Eventually, you will shower and leave the house. Maybe in a year you will see a movie. And one day somebody will say something and it will cause you to laugh. And you will clamp your hand over your mouth because you laughed and that laugh will break your heart, it will feel like a betrayal. How can you laugh?
In time, to your friends, you will appear to have recovered from your loss. All that really happened, you’ll think, is that the hole in the center of your life has narrowed just enough to be concealed by a laugh. And yet, you might feel a pressure for it to be true. You might feel that “enough” time has passed now, that the hole at the center of you should not be there at all.
But holes are interesting things. As it happens, we human beings are able to live just fine with many holes of many sizes and shapes. Pleasure, love, compassion, fulfillment; these things do not leak out of holes of any size. So we can be filled with holes and loss and wide expanses of unhealed geography—and we can also be excited by life and in love and content at the exact same moment.
This is among the oldest, deepest, most primal truths: The facts of life may be, at times, unbearably painful. But the core, the bones of life are generous beyond all reason or belief. Those things which ought to kill us do not. This should be taken as encouragement to continue.
The truth about healing is that you don’t need to heal to be whole. And by whole, I mean damaged, missing pieces of who you were, your heart—missing what feels like some of your most important parts. And yet, not missing any part of you at all. Being, in truth, larger than you were before.
Human experience weighs more than human tissue.
Augusten Burroughs (via hurricanesandhighfives)
A fascinating and thought provoking read.
It’s sort of funny how we think of colors associated with invisible things.
I just read a chinese proverb about an ‘invisible red thread’ that connects people.
Does indicate that we often think of invisible things as simply hidden? Not inherently having the quality of invisibleness, but merely masking the true color of the object?
And yet we have things like glass and plastics which can be clear, or transparent, despite not being invisible persay. What about really clean, glare free glass, do we ever consider that invisible? I mean, I’m sure it’s marketed that way, but do we think of it having the property of invisibility, or merely blending in, or letting light through.
The actual criteria for invisibility would be interesting to look at, if there are any. Does something that bends light around itself count? If so, it could still theoretically be colored, and possibly viewed from some angles that reveal that color.
Remembering people and places I’ve lots touch with makes me wonder if humans were meant to travel wide and far, even amiciably growing a part from people has a sort of pain to it. There is only so much time and energy to put into friendships, and maybe if we didn’t move around so much we would not aquire and shed the way we do, for it is hard to remain close over great distance, especially when years slip by. I do not know why it is I desire to hold on to connections so tightly, although human nature itself is surely the reason in part, I wonder if perhaps the isolation I felt from my peers for some time led my to hold so tight to the friends I made. Sometimes I simply forget, but if I remember, bumping into some trace of what we had, or the person themself, the waves of nostalgia overtake me. It is a strange feeling to be content in the present, and even excited for the future, while still missing the past. However it feels rooted to my extreme disconfort with eternity and mortality, I would like to have forever to explain time in both directions.
Strangely enough, this is probably also why I’m a pack rat, and a compassionate person.
Sometimes I become nearly overwhelmed with nostalgia. I am happy in the here and now, but those rose colored glasses.
Memories are tied together tightly, to music, to photographs, to each other, and I hold tightly too.
Isn’t that a reverse of usual.