Good evening ladies and gentleman
So i find myself wandering, not about modern society, but about something as equally enormous and infectious as I can perceive it to be. A world ran by social media, in which we post things convinced the world is gaining insight into who we are and that someone cares about this rare look into a mind designed to look “interesting” and “popular.” This is our world and it is up to us what we do with it and in particular how we react to things, not the rest of the world. I have found myself so deep down in hate the last few weeks, so lost in anger and rage at just everything, for this was my crutch and the way i believed i was staying in control of my mind.
Most ironically, convinced i was living the right way, using these ideas, these emotions of powerful negativity that if felt even for a morning can drain even the most positive person of all the joy they thought they would ever be able to feel. You lose a part of yourself living like this, for when you think about it, it kills a part of you, the part that feels..anything. As when you or I get so lost in something so dourly negative, a situation, emotion, a friendship that has run its course, a relationship on its last legs, a person you always believed would be in your life in some way- gone in an instant.
As i said last time, it can all happen so fast, often so much so we may not even notice what is happening until it becomes a distant memory. I was listening to the acceptance speech for an honorary degree of some form for comedian and writer Tim Minchin- i can’t help but fixate on the same phrase, over and over again i keep hearing this point in my head. Minchin basically says the forever pursuit of a long term dream is a remarkably difficult pursuit to rationalize in the modern world, as he goes on to be a great believer in the pursuit of short term, digestable goals. It does make sense in what i believe the alternative is to this short term goal for life, for the fear, the realization of how huge the dream seems, and how very far from the top of the mountain we find ourselves can be a powerfully awful thing to realize.
So what do we do? We hide. I hide, you do it, we are all guilty of it in some way. Right now even, you are thinking about the hiding you have done or may be doing, even as you read this. Before you going turning me off- understand that especially recently i am all for hiding, to taking the consolation prize. This way the world remains in our control, we see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear and feel what we think we want to feel.
I’ve always been confused by this sentiment, even though there is an argument for the powerful brilliance behind it. To “feel the way we want to feel” is, when you think about it, impossible, because we have no control over how we feel. When we wake up, as we move through the day, as we climb back into bed and as we sleep. The way we feel is essentially a collection of reactions to things happening throughout the day, week, month and year- etc. etc.
We have no control over the way we feel, so in my experience when “feeling” becomes overwhelming, we go the opposite way entirely and work harder than we ever thought we could to feel absolutely nothing, to hide from the thoughts and feelings that are so often hard to admit to the existence of. What do we do when we don’t like something we feel? We hide from it- hiding is what it all comes down to.
Another good way of seeing this is through a point made by Mo Gawdat in a video i was watching on the internet recently, the perfect way to me, to describe how confusing life can be, how easy it can be to hide from it all. Its beautiful, if we can see the choices we have, for everything is just that- a choice.
Gawdat goes on to talk about how the world is forever trying to define happiness, to the point where its modern day interpretation has lost all meaning, because happiness is forever being replaced by fun. We struggle to find that content, calm, beautiful moment in life in which we are happy, its so rare these days it sometimes feels like you will never be able to find that euphoric sense of occasion ever again, so we hide from it in fun. We go out, see friends, go to the club, hit up a gig, fill your brain with something, anything, that essentially means we are not thinking, we are doing something that means we see and feel nothing, distracted by an event that is doing all it can to help us ignore the present reality and the possibility that we aren’t as happy as we would like to be.
Is that even a thing? Is there a point in all of our lives where we are able to not get “happier” and through this same logic are we even able to be truly happy? I like to think we have our own understanding of happy, and the scale of it, to you or me as an individual is frankly meaningless. It’s the hiding that confuses me so much more. Through anything, through feeling something different, through feeling nothing at all, or to saturating your mind with cat videos, Snapchat streaks, Instagram stories and just general “fun.”
Why do we hide? What is the desire to run from what is essentially who we are? Why take the consolation prize and hide in the power of emotional negativity? What are you and I needing to hide from so badly that we allow such misery and pain to wash over with such power to drag you deeper into the darkness with what seems like a possibility of a way out?
Yours, with love as always