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The Move from Fantasy to Reality

The Move from Fantasy to Reality

When I was a kid I would plow through fantasy books.  The nice thing about many books of that genre is that they come in whole sets.  After reading one book one day I could read another book in the series the next day.  When forced out of my book world to eat dinner, socialize, or go to school, I would wiggle in my seat in anticipation of what was about to happen next in the story. Instantly, once released from my waking life necessities, I would grab the book (which usually wasn’t far from grasp) and nestle into my pillows once again back in fantasyland.

Unfortunately, I eventually grew out of this genre.  Suddenly it didn’t take me away anymore.  All the far off lands sounded familiar.  The main character of one series strikingly resembled the chosen one from another.  Still I kept trying and kept reading to get my self back into that wonderful wash of fantasyland emotions.  In revisiting books of by gone days I could feel moments of the saturation, but sadly they were just moments.

In my searching moved around to other parts of the books store I found the fiction section and thought, “Finally!  With all these to choose from I should be quite happy to devour the contents of these shelves.”  But no, they didn’t stick.   The stories had characteristics of fantasy in that they weren’t real, but they were fantasy based on this concert jungle I already walked around in. I may as well have been watching soap operas or cheesy chick flicks. In my withdrawal state of despair I thought, “what else is left?  Reality is so boring, I don’t want to read about reality… or do I ”

It was then that I wandered into the Philosophy aisle.   Philosophy, the mother of all sciences, the root of ponderance, and driving force of figuring out what the heck is going in this life. Suddenly reality wasn’t so boring. I pondered existence, behavior, the simple things, culture, and habit.  I noticed references to it everywhere in history, advertising, phrases….it was everywhere.  The world finally had some color again.

By then I wasn’t a kid anymore.  I could not just pull out a book and read through calculus or finance classes.  I had to pay attention to the practicality of the world. Groom myself for employment opportunities and speak in simple terms to avoid being misunderstood.  After all of that, the Philosophy topics I had to leave behind were no longer interesting.  Once again, I found myself needing something to look forward to, some happy excitement to break me out of my Eeyore resting phase.  So I decided not to find it in just books… but to actually live it instead.

Disconnecting

Disconnecting

I once had a close friend whose method of disconnecting from things, eras in life, and people was much different than my own.  He would put a lot of time and energy into building something awesome, then enjoy the fruits of his labor for years, only to one day kick it to the curb calling it a worthless piece of junk.

Nothing he called “junk” was junk at all.  He simply couldn’t see how to bring the object, habit, or person into his next phase of life with him.  Since he couldn’t form a plan to mix the old with the new, he automatically thought that the old must be gotten rid of.  Labeling it as worthless was the only way he knew how to depart from it.

The gap in his reasoning evolved from his belief that by that point in his life he should know how to handle life.  To save face from not knowing that more options for dealing with the situation existed, his ego assumed that his default method of departure was the only way to handle it.

Respectfully departing would involve feelings of loss, disappointment, evaluations of love, and many other emotions that, in order to save face, he had a strong urge to hide.  These, more positive, goodbye emotions were replaced with disrespect.  In justification for his actions, he pushed aside the good aspects to focus on the few things he felt resentful for.  Since objects and people are never perfect, flaws pointed out can hold a lot of weight, especially when other people feel as if the flaws are the result of some sort of personal failure.

If something is junk, well then obviously someone wouldn’t think twice about getting rid of it.  But a pattern of calling once-cherished things junk just to avoid facing the loss…is, well, sad.  But people do what they do and it picking up the pieces gives them more things to do.

When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough Anymore

When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough Anymore

Often, when deep inside of life being a certain way, I, by habit, forget that it can operate in many other ways.   When running certain emotions I forget that the only thing that has changed is how I perceive situations, all else has kept running its course as if would if I weren’t present for it.  It is my presence that makes the difference when it burns the experience into my psyche.  It takes a long time to realize that what has been going on around me hasn’t been the only possible option, it has just been the option I was most willing to accept because, to get to this point, there was a certain level of accept and reject going on that lead me to where I am at the moment.

In review of my choice to accept an aspect of life that comes along to fill a need, want, or void, I find that I haven’t chosen the best.  I chose simply to the point that I wouldn’t have to be bothered by making more decisions on that matter.  This is simply a by product of having a lot to do.  I don’t have time to continue searching when I have good enough sitting on my doorstep.

This ‘good enough’ gets me by for a while but, after more of a while, it fulfills less and less of the intended void, leaving me to further fragment my existence by filling smaller voids which constantly open up because I can’t be bothered to part with the original ‘good enough’.

or maybe good enough was the best I could think of at the time and now, I can think of better….

On Guilt

On Guilt

When I partake in a guilty pleasure, for days afterward I am hyper vigilant that someone is going to call me out on it.  Typically though, I am only called out on those pleasures for which I feel no guilt.  So then, why am I expecting a negative reaction when I feel as though I have done something to feel guilty over?  It must just be the effects of guilt, an emotion for which there seems to be no antidote for.

I often don’t realize that I feel guilty until I start to wonder why certain memories keep flashing into my mind.  At that point I simply ask myself, “why are those few seconds of life so significant?”  From there I shift through all past memories which I find are associated with this reoccurring thought and deduce a common theme.  Guilt is tricky though because it is not an emotional which I like to admit I feel.  By having a habit of avoiding it, I find that there are many other memories that have been left untagged by the guilt category, making the mess a rather large, draining chore.

But still with guilt, is isn’t like other emotions in that acknowledging it neither fully takes away its uncomfortable residue nor does it give me new habit to practice so as to make future situations less stressful.  I’m am simply left feeling guilty and knowing it.

That makes me think that my propensity to feel guilty has less to do with the actual behaviors which excited the guilt in me and more to do with a need to feel far more guilty in life than is really necessary.  Therefore the guilt in me is hungry for reasons to get its fair share of my waking life and thus attaches itself to situations simply because it has greater power than a more desirable emotion like joy.  While this reasoning makes sense to me, it still doesn’t dissipate my discomfort.  There must be something else going on in addition to the guilt…. perhaps it will surface in another note…

The Evolution of Spending Time

The Evolution of Spending Time

There I was sitting in Victoria Park in Sydney with my Saturday friend. We were sitting on the hill just above the city pool intermittently people watching as he taught me how to read tarot cards. We had been in the habit of hanging out every Saturday, just killing time either at the park, the mall, just walking the streets, or watching cool concept movies at my place.

Conversation, as usual, was flowing smoothly and lead down fascinating roads, but in the back of my mind I was thinking about something else. I was thinking about how I often spent time with people because another person, who I was hoping to spend time with, was busy or didn’t want to spend time with me. Seems to be a reoccurring predicament, one that keeps me from fully enjoying the present because I still was halfway pulled away by some other longing for something that was completely out of my grasp.

In this case something different happened, my Saturday friend has now become someone I wish I could spend time with, not because he does not want to spend time with me, but just simply because of distance and I’m okay with that reason.

On Traumatizing Your Inner World

On Traumatizing Your Inner World

I often sit and daydream about how it all could go wrong. I could get a devastating disease, special people could suddenly cease to exist, or someone could undermine my efforts for stability and longevity. I guess those are the main categories to fear and ruminate over how I would handle myself through various survival mechanisms. It is one thing to dream up horrifying situations, yet it another when a perfectly rational individual believes that the moment they fear the most is actually happening and could lead them to the devastating end or life situation that they dread most. But that thesis is best saved for a different essay.

In remedy of these intense periods of anxiety, I try to think of equally horrifying situations that I wouldn’t be afraid of. Through this procedure, I have learned that there are horrifying things that I wouldn’t be so devastated over if they actually happened so long as none of my choices were a contributing factor to the outcome. For example, getting an STD would be much worse than having breast cancer considering that the former involved some sort of break down in my decision making, whereas the latter is probably a result of nature being out of my control. Though I guess you could add the nature argument to both cases, but it is clearly more heavily weighted in the breast cancer example unless I willingly to walk into a high radiation zone, which is highly unlikely despite my extremely over-active imagination.

My intense habit of dreaming up bad situations stems from bad things that happened in the past which I felt totally unprepared to properly deal with in the moment. Like all those situations where after the fact you think of all the perfect things you could have said that would have been much better than what you actually said. It is those moments that haunt me because of their sudden heightened occurrence that forced me to deal with everything that was happening in the moment without break or proper time to think it through. All I had on me at the time were the only resources I was capable of using, and even then I wasn’t even aware of all the tools at my disposal.

These situations have caused me much misery over the bad way in which I believe I handled the situation and in this jungle it seems as though my mind needs more training on how to more properly deal with them when they come along again in the future. Until then, I’ll traumatize my inner world in hopes of not feeling so traumatized from the outside world.

On Despair

On Despair

I sat on the balcony of a cafe next to my work in Sydney gazing out at the puffy clouds in the sky to the west. It was lunch time, well, the end of lunchtime, I was in the habit of taking lunches later to make the rest of the work day go by quicker. I had tunnel vision, meaning I didn’t care to look around and see if anyone I knew was sitting nearby; all I could think of was how horrible it was to be in this situation.

I just wanted to cry but I was tired of crying, I cried for three days after every phone call because I couldn’t stop habitually ruminated over every detail of the call. He wanted to pretend like nothing was wrong; wanted to call me as if I was happy he dumped me and was now off doing what he thought was what I wanted to do all along. I couldn’t do it anymore. There was no reassurance, no mention that the problem existed other than a Freudian slip followed by a nervous laugh when he accidentally said April 4th (the day he dumped me in a smokey bar) instead of August 4th (the day he was planning some sort of backpacking trip). Regardless of him making such a big deal about leaving me behind for some life experience that he couldn’t do tied to some girl back home, he still insisted on calling me every few days to tell me of his adventures and listen to what I was doing.

It was that day, 4 months later that I realized he dumped me after 7 years to go on vacation.

So there I sat, plagued by cyclical emotions. The current emotion I was in was rather analytical and dry of energy. I realized that the only reason my mind was sick was because this voice kept creeping into my life from far away offering nothing more than a hint that it might come visit. The thought of which only filled me with dread.

Then the phone rang again, as if on cue. There it was again, apparently sitting in some cafe in Tibet or some country near there, expecting to get what it wanted out of me for the time being without leaving me with something of value in return. I was mad at it, but I didn’t know how to get rid of it. So I just started talking about all the boys that I’ve encountered to make him jealous (because I knew it would work regardless of how he denied ever being jealous). I went into detail about how the boys all loved me and complimented me on the strangest things and how they were all so different and all such good friends even though I had only known them for the few months I’d been in Sydney, and how I was really fascinated by one in particular.

Then I just came out with it and asked, “Why are you calling me?”

There wasn’t much of an answer, so I just kept talking, “I don’t understand why you are calling me, you were so mean to me, you said such horrible things, and now you want to call me like none of it ever happened, you just want to go on as if nothing happened.”

Somehow the subject of another girl came up, who I knew he had a crush on because he hadn’t stopped talking about her for an entire year. Then he said, “you always get in a such a rage when [girl] is mentioned, you know you’re just going to have to get used to her and I being friends.”

“No,” I said, “I don’t because I don’t want to talk to you anymore, this whole situation is driving me crazy and I don’t want to deal with it anymore.”

“Whoa…. What!?!” he responded almost with a slight laugh over me saying I was being driven crazy because he always called me crazy for having normal female emotions, “But [girl] and I were going to come visit you!”

“What the fuck do I care about seeing [girl], why the fuck does she have anything to do with this?” I said.

It was at that point someone (the fascinating one in particular, of all people) walked by and tapped me on the head with a rolled up newspaper, as if to say what specifically I am not sure, but I perceived as if, to say “hey I’m here and take it easy.”

“Great,” I thought, “I tried to keep all this away from new people, I tried as much as I could to not be broken, but I’ve failed by being stuck in this tunnel vision of a fog all because the phone happened to ring when someone I knew was nearby.” If I wasn’t pissed off at my situation before I definitely was now. And I wasn’t going to put up with this shit any longer.

“But I’ve been carrying gifts for you for three weeks until I could get to a post office, what am I supposed to do with them now?” the voice pleaded.

“Throw them away, I don’t care, I don’t want them anymore, give them to [girl] sounds like she’ll appreciate them,” I snapped back.

“Well okay,” he said, “If you’re going to be like that then I guess this is goodbye.”

“I guess so!” I retorted.

“Okay, then, bye.” were the last words from the voice I’ve ever heard.

“Bye,” click.

Then sometime later… the phone rang back in Huntington Beach, California.

It was the voice on a train to his next city, calling a friend back at home.

“Friend! It’s [the voice],” came a solemnly desperate voice

“Hey man, What’s up?” asked the friend.

“Stephanie,” sob, “said she doesn’t want to talk to me anymore,” he cried.

Just as the friend was about to respond the call was dropped and there was silence.

On Trying New Things

On Trying New Things

Expectations can be rather confusing once one asks: where do they come from? Ideas. Sometimes created by you, other times from external sources. To try to never expect something from someone or a certain situation is rather difficult, for example, when some one asks me to participate in something, I am naturally going to inquire about the details of the situation. From there I formulate an expectation of what I am getting myself into for preparation purposes. Sometimes I am happy with the outcome, sometimes I am not…it is difficult to figure out exactly why.

Some people are more accurate in projecting my level of enjoyment in events, other people (I have learned through trial and too much error) to just never join them.  That’s why I am trying new things: to see if I like it or not.

Sometimes I don’t realize that I’ve been trying new things again. New things just pop up and lately happen to randomly happen within a small amount of time. I don’t realize until after the fact that I have tried three new things and the reason I’m confused over my experiences of them is that I happen to try three new things in a row that I didn’t enjoy very much. I didn’t really realize the trend I was on. So, essentially, I need to keep trying new things until I find some new things that do leave me feeling cheery. I have this habit of sticking to the plan, and sometimes when the plan doesn’t happen, I only make it worse by trying to figure out why the plan didn’t happen. When in reality, there was no plan, just an idea that would have been better to take with a teaspoon of salt.

In Love with the Idea of Someone

In Love with the Idea of Someone

I think my habit of falling in love with the idea of things isn’t helping. Well it does help because it allows me to construct an ideal picture to guide my path, but the planning and discovering of what elements would be perfect to put in my situation distracts me from other things. Gosh, I’m trying to say that I shouldn’t fall so in love with ideas, yet all my support to that statement points to “I love falling in love with ideas.” sigh… I just love it so I’m just going to keep doing it. There is no rational way of saying that I shouldn’t dream so much, because dreaming has in fact proven to be the catalyst of all my travels.

But it poses a problem when I am not sure whether I love someone, or just love the thought of them. It is a tricky way of thinking about people. Because whatever data I have gathered is filtered through my brain and my dreams are end products that I use to see if I’m on the right track. If too much negativity manifests in my mind at the thought of you, then I take that as a sign that this isn’t working. If I get a positive reading, then we’re good.

Data selection is key here because when I have a good reading and I’m really enjoying the thoughts someone provokes, I tend not to want to hear anything that will spoil my inner fun. So if I think I need to gather more fuel for my fire (i.e. information), I will still chose to find positive things to outweigh any negatives I happen to run across in the process.

Love is strange in that it has a built in component that makes me refuse to find reason not to love someone.

Anyways, I do not see that it is a bad thing if someone is in love with the idea of a person; however, if that is the only thing about them that makes you love them, then you’re not really in love with them at all. You’re in love with the parts of them you can create. So this Pygmalion effect essentially is misdiagnosed as love, probably because of the euphoria and sense of completeness that is only attainable in my mind…

Passion for Solitude

Passion for Solitude

I get discouraged by passions creeping up on me. For many of them, I just naturally orient myself in their direction only to discover later that I am fact passionate about something. It leaves me wishing I had realized my talent earlier so that I could have been even better at it by now.

Passion is definitely a love, a real love affair with part of the self.  It is in you and can only come out of you if you do what it takes to get it out.  There is something so special in being passionate about oneself. I’ve just been doing it, making sure that I am taken care of. “love, love, love, love, I love, love love Love.”

The difficulty is that I believe that I am so complete inside that I do not seek out what I may be missing in the outside world. I don’t even want to try sometimes because if something isn’t working for me I crave being by myself, where I know all my mental cookies are there to feed me.

This habit leaves me with a looming fear that I am missing something in exchange for the things I like doing so much. Since I don’t really like missing out on cool things, this fear speaks volumes. Maybe I just need to learn to enjoy missing cool things… by why would I? what would be the benefit? To avoid giving the fear so much power? I guess I would change this trait of mine once the fear got to be too overwhelming and made it impossible to find enjoyment in the situation. I hate how fear does that to me. Takes the fun out of so many enjoyable ideas.