Life as an Extreme Sport

soaking in misanthropy

Ye gods. I’m having the sort of misanthropic day where even being incessantly cuddled by two adorably affectionate kitties isn’t helping. I’ve tried most of my normal outlets for venting, and in almost every case it’s just made things worse – I can’t believe I just had to pull an “I don’t need a lecture on ELSI” card on someone in an argument; yet, there it was and I did. Maybe I’m asking too much, but when talking about whether or not physicians should have a right to refuse treatment, I’d like a bit of credit for that which I spend my every living breathing minute soaking in.

Of course, today I’m debating the merits of that soaking to begin with. I’m at this weird point of confidence level where I don’t need minute by minute hand-holding, but I sure as hell need more than 30 minutes, if I’m lucky, a week. But it seems like, since my default mode of operation is “adult”, and thus I don’t throw down with a temper tantrum every time I want or need something, I continually get dropped to the bottom of the list in favour of those who have mastered the fine art of being over 6 and still comfortable pitching fits. With a thank you, certainly, but it sort of sucks to feel like the result of being competent is being ignored until you screw up too badly to be ignored, ya know?

Of course, some might feel they should chide me for the implicit assumption that I will screw up eventually, and be taken to task for it. I think that’s where I still need the hand-holding – my faith in myself does only go so far, and I’m pretty sure that once I get too far in the deep end of the pool I keep getting tossed into, I will drown. The fear, of course, is that I’ll drown and take down others with me.

A lot of what I need right now is probably buried under that pile of laundry on my bedroom floor, symbolically represented by the meditation cushions I know are there but I can’t see. Suffering might be inevitable, but does self-created suffering have to be?

We also often add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive, overreacting to minor things, and sometimes taking things too personally. We tend to take small things too seriously and blow them up out of proportion,… whether you suffer depends on how you respond to a given situation.
-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I just wish I felt like I had an option somewhere between “learn to mimic a two year old” and “be a doormat” – and that the option were simple, easy, and didn’t come with any repercussions. …I always did have a healthy imagination.

Perhaps Sarah and Jareth’s exchange is the most accurate: “It’s not fair!”

“You say that so often – I wonder what your basis for comparison is.”

Part of me thinks that my basis for comparison is off, and the other part thinks that by even making it about me and assuming that I am the one with the issue, I am taking blame I shouldn’t. The geeky gripping hand points out that it might be easiest to just stop at “making it about me” – but maybe that’s easier, because I could at least have comfort in existing. If it wasn’t about me at all, perhaps it’s just back to doormat.

When I get stuck in this sort of loop – this sine wave pattern, Sandra dubbed it earlier – I inevitably hit a point, just past talking it vaguely out to myself (hi!), where I simply stop talking and I try to fade away. Where I try to minimize the impact I leave around me, and just slip through life unnoticed. Because I suspect, I think I have always suspected, that if I stopped talking, stopped demanding attention, stopped reminding people I existed, no one would remember, and I would just fade away.

At every job I’ve ever had, there’s always come a point where I’m the last one left in the office, and I find this out not because people have said goodnight, but because I get up for some reason, and end up doing a lonely circuit and realizing that the entire working world left, and no one thought of me even enough to say goodnight before they went home. Learn enough about indigenous cultures (or just read lots of Neil Gaiman), and you eventually come across the idea that you are only dead when you are forgotten. Maybe that is, at the root of it all, the problem, the fear – if I can be so easily ignored, forgotten, when I make the effort, what happens if I become tired and I stop?

The fear that I’ll fade pushes the fury to be heard, and the sine wave repeats down the line.