In fifth grade we would play a game called “popcorn” where the students would take turns reading out loud and when that student had read enough they would yell out “Popcorn!” and the name of another student, who would start reading where the previous student left off. The process would repeat until the entire section was complete or the teacher got tired of hearing the word “Popcorn!” yelled in as many different ways as the class could come up with.
Once the “cool” kids (who were really just bullies) got a hold of the popcorn torch, I pretty much lost all chance of getting to read out loud. One day my eagerness to read out loud caught up with me. I couldn’t contain my excitement for the story and was reading silently along, eager to see how the story would unfold, when I started whispering the words only loud enough for me to hear. Unfortunately I was so lost in reading that I started reading out loud along with the “cool kid”. The girl looked up at me, confused. She and I made eye contact; I shrugged my shoulders as if to say “opps” and blushed as she continued to read. Luckily, no one else seemed to notice. The awkwardness only lasted a second because I once again found myself engulfed in the story.
With many things, except money, I often do not dread the worst-case scenario the most. I dread the mediocre scenario. This is because if the worst-case happens, I am pretty damn sure that I will not go do it again. I will rationalize all sorts of reasons for why that particular “worst” is definitely not going to enter into my paradigm ever again, and I will build coping mechanisms (i.e. habits) that ward against these defined “worsts”.
But after having gone through a mediocre scenario, the passion derived from the “worst” escapes me. I have no real reason to repeat and no real reason not to repeat.
It is like a bad date, I know I will never see and/or date the guy again because of the disastrous events and feelings associated with the date, but at least I have a funny, drama filled story to tell. But a mediocre date, oh god, I could be doomed to repeat the same vanilla over and over in my efforts to force some value or at least a tickle of a feeling of excitement. But that is just one example.
The point is not to avoid the mediocre, it is to know what mediocre means and to learn from it sooner, rather than later. Identifying the mediocre makes the exciting shine.
Lately I’ve been getting really excited about my plans, then walking away from the event feeling rather, well, bored or let down or like I just wasted my time or wasted someone else’s time. I’m not sure what the problem is. I’m excited to get out and do things, but I just don’t seem to have as much fun being out as I do when I’m home doing my own thing (practicing the drum, working on dance moves, reading, listening to songs over and over and over again). I don’t feel closed off, like I’m totally willing to be talkative, but I guess there really isn’t much going on that I can expressively share aside from the usual routine of school and work.
The problem is that I don’t have anyone to dance and play the drum with: those two things are literally all I want to do. I can’t even imagine having someone to dance and play the drum with. Like I’m not even sure I would enjoy that because when we’re not dancing and playing the drum I’d have to entertain them (they’d be house guests obviously) so then I couldn’t just naturally move from one activity to another without running a plan by the person. My free time is either doing what someone else wants to do or doing what I want to do… I have a hard time compromising because another person’s presence takes up space in my brain and diminishes the enjoyment of my usual alone time routine because I start feeling guilty that I should be doing more to entertain them. Which usually leaves me feeling even worse because I’m not very good at entertaining people who can’t entertain themselves.
I’m tired of feeling bad after situations that were meant to make me feel happy. Like those people who talk really big about cool plans, but never actually implement them, or if they finally do, it isn’t until way after my excitement over the idea has dissipated.
Or even worse, feeling bad because I realize the happiness was only a momentary disillusionment from reality….like “Damn it, there are other things to consider, and those other things really bring the whole idea down.”
Sigh… everything has this filter over it today. Aside from my school project (my abilities there left me confident and pleasantly surprised) the rest of the outside world just isn’t doing it for me. I finally step out of my bubble and end up seeing no point in being there.
To be honest, I don’t think whiskey and I ever really got along as well as I tend claim despite the many moments when I felt a rush of excitement at the Jameson bottle cap click-clicking open or the crackle-crackle of the ice cubes in a glass warming up to their new roommate. The look on a strange, new face as I perform the classic sip-and-swish with a feminine smile of harsh satisfaction combined with a fleeting eye-to-eye flash, is, definitely, reason enough to enjoy the old man’s medicine.
All was grand until whiskey and I had a major falling out. You see it has this way of making me believe that what I am feeling deep down inside is, more or less, rational and that the company I am with will totally understand and agree that there is a problem and they will help me resolve misunderstandings with it. On top of that, it makes me believe that expressing what I am feeling in the most abrupt and, at times, explosive manner is the best idea ever. “After all,” whiskey tells me, “your true friend (a) will understand what actions have lead you to feel this way, (b) knows that feelings aren’t facts, and (c) realizes that at this moment in time, there is no way to sugar coat the fact that it hurts you to have to hear about ‘her’ all-the-time.” Being starved of proper outlets of natural emotion, especially frustration, in my normal awareness, whiskey provided me with an outlet which, I found, works well to weed out those who think solely about themselves under the guise of thinking for themselves, at price, of course.