Friday, September 28, 2012

The Unrequited Life

There is a strangely human aversion to change.  Maybe it trickles down through the rest of the Animal Kingdom, too, but I can't imagine a fox getting drunk over losing a job.  I don't know many foxes, so maybe I'm misinformed.  I'm misinformed about a lot of things these days.

I am not a huge fan of change.  Little changes I can handle - like trying my baked mac and cheese with Gruyere instead of Cheddar* - but the big things are a struggle.  These thoughts always lead me down the path to extinction, not mine - yet -  but the extinction of just one species of animal or just one species of plant.  It's a small blip in the grand scheme of things, losing one species, but I just feel so sad about it.  I contributed, probably.  It's a little my fault.  But then my mind starts to wander...and I realize when this one species goes away, another rises up to take its place.  Not immediately, but over time.  There is always something coming up after us.

I think about what we are doing to ourselves and our planet and I know what the endgame is: one day we will be that species, the one that goes extinct and something else comes along to take our place.

We get all up in arms about it - and maybe this will help us change our future, I hope so - but I don't see a lot of forward motion.  I think humans are essentially good, but we are also selfish - I know this from personal experience: I am selfish - and that is a not so great combination.  Couple those two things together then add in thoughtlessness/obliviousness and the world as we know it is most likely doomed.

This isn't a call to arms: to reduce, recycle, reuse, buy green and local, eat less meat (though all these things you should do).  This is a meditation on getting to the bottom of things, to why change affects us so greatly.

Because once I see the grand future down to the very end of its thread and look at it honestly,  I can accept human extinction, animal and plant extinction, the shifting of tectonic plates, the coming of a new ice age or a hot, barren inhospitable to life landscape.  I don't love this acceptance, but it is what it is.  At least I'm not as sad or scared about it.

Of course, once we get to the personal, these above thoughts don't 100% apply.  Why can I get used to human beings ceasing to exist as a species, but I don't like to move?

The unrequited life.

Not unrequited love, that's a whole other blog post at a later date.

The unrequited life.  The life that would exist if you didn't change. That's what trips us up.  I've been holding on to all my unrequited lives for so long now they have taken over my life.  I am an unrequited life hoarder.  I don't want to let them go...even though holding them is stupid and unproductive and maybe even detrimental.

Why do I, do we, do this?  Why can't we get over the jobs we lost or didn't get, the places we've moved from or were kicked out of, the lovers we've banished or been banished from?  Why are we so obsessed with the unrequited lives we didn't lead, to the point where the lives we ARE leading suffer?  The present consumed by the past.

Living this way only makes us unhappy, right?  An unrequited life is a still born life with no future.  So why do we coddle them, like parasitic twins taking all the nourishment, keeping them alive for nothing?

Any thoughts folks? 

*I always get a maudlin after a hard drinking night - two vodka sodas is a hard drinking night for me - but I did have a slamming mac and cheese :)













 

39 comments:

  1. Great post, Amber. You've given me a lot to think about.

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  2. all things are creatures of habit. when encountering anything new or unexpected, everything goes into Fight or Flight mode. nothing alive likes the unknown or surprises. those things scare us. so we hold onto the stuff we know, even though it makes us unhappy. the knowledge of the sadness is far kinder than the fearful unknown of what maybe out there.

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  3. I used to do this too. I would ponder, reminisce and mourn for things long past or missed opportunities. Then one day I asked myself, that if I died tomorrow, would I regret my life as it stands? I had to answer no. You see, each unrequited life brought me to where I am in this very moment, and this very moment is where I need to be.

    There will always be things that didn't turn out as I expected, or places I wish I could have gone, but in NOT experiencing those things, it has opened doors to new adventures. Life is literally what you make it, with good and bad. Those unrequited lives are not you...they were never meant to be a part of you or you would now be someone different.

    So now my motto in life is no regrets. Ever.

    Cheers!

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  4. Very thought provoking. Thank you for this.

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  5. Regret tricks us into thinking that maybe one of those unrequited lives would have been better than the one we live now. I think it is part of the human ability to imagine. If we can imagine a different (i.e., better) world than the one we live in now, we can create ways to change it for the better.

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  6. "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." - Søren Kierkegaard

    You want to learn from mistakes. You want to have things to take away from things that weren't successful. Yet you have to revisit those things to make that happen. And then you attempt to revise history...

    The good news is that you have the entire rest of your life to do whatever you want, and the experience to know at least some of what that could be. Maybe open a gourmet mac and cheese restaurant? :)

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  7. That was a great post. And right now I actually feel like I could have written it! (Without your talent but you get the idea!;))

    I feel like, even knowing that life is just what it is and if you don't do what you want right now, nobody's going to do it for you, sometimes you're just stuck and unable to do it. Weither it's because of people, obligations, or what you feel - basically nothing, or not much, you actually have control over. And yet, I'm also perfectly capable of saying that if the Earth is not adequate for human life to devellop in the future and I'm in part responsible for it, I'm kind of fine with it. Is it because we sort of, punish ourselves by thinking we somehow deserve it?! I have no idea, but then again I'm french and we usually put gruyere on our mac & cheese, so... ^^

    Always a pleasure to read you. And I hope my english is understandable! ;)

    ps : two vodkas usually do this to me too!

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  8. We are human beings and as human beings we don't like change. Its a generalization. Its Psychology in its greatest form. Our culture tells us to be afraid of change. The only way we can change that is by saying we will change it. So by saying you will no longer hold on to inrequited lives is the first step in doing so. Anything you say you can make true. Its just a matter of making that fiirst step.

    Thanks to you and your blog post I will be thinking a lot again. Sometimes I think I think too much.

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  9. I think we all at some point stand up, look around and ask ourselves "is this it, is this all that I am?" Different people handle it different ways.

    Mine was 10 or so years ago. I have come to accept what my Life (capital L) is and I am pretty happy with that.

    What sucks is I had to gain this insight in my 40s and not in my 20s! Cest la vie I guess.

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  10. Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing it.

    I think modern society makes a big deal of 'getting over things' and 'moving on'. Everything that happens in life is part of a collective that makes us who we are, so letting something go is an act of divorcing a part of ourselves. And that can't be healthy.

    Learning, growing, finding some perspective on our bumps and pains, are all good things, but I think they must go hand in hand with accepting an embracing our past experiences.

    And when these experiences reemerge to plague our thoughts, I think they're big road signs reminding us to take another look. They are agents of change, pointing out with big neon 'Hey, remember this? This sucked!' signs, showing us our past so we make smarter choices for the future.

    Change is hard. It doesn't happen until the force to change is greater than the need to remain. Our unrequited lives are a powerful (and sometimes ugly, depressing, and downright nasty) force. But they're not bad. When they're powerful enough, they get us off our butts.

    I say embrace it, and figure out what it's trying to tell you. And maybe lay off the vodka sodas. ;)

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  11. All the alcohol! :D always, damn it.

    I don't really understand all these masochistic behaviour. It gets us several head- and heartaches and we seem to virtually enjoy torturing ourselves only to once give up all the control (which we always try so hard to have, but in fact do so little). Only for that feeling, alcohol should be illegal, I swear :D

    But seriously now. I think you are so right.
    I sometimes think about whether it's the burden we have to bear for some of us do reflect a lot (or even too much) about all these things. About life, ourselves and our part in it. Our faults and weaknesses. It's a shame that all the things we lose or can't reach seem to count so much more to ourselves than those we really did right. It's hard to accept that because it's really distressing and doesn't make kind of a good sense of course.

    I think it's important reflecting all these things and I think it's because we don't understand all these things and we have to comfort ourselves that it's ok how we feel because everybody does and it's not only our fault. It's a human fault in general, we're not quite perfect as we wish. It's an essential part of humanity, it's a shame, but that's what it is.

    But you know, you're one of those really great persons for having these deep thoughts. Reflecting omeself is the most taxing thing because you never know where it leads you in your head and what is "real" in the whole context, in the end all that counts is what's real in your head. But walking all these ways through the labyrinth of life makes you a greater person, a caring person. Exactly this is what makes you more worth than you could ever think, bearing the burden of emotional intelligence, changing world through exactly this and sharing it with people. This is really precious, keep it, this is so valuable.

    Much love and thanks for sharing, Amber.

    <3

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  12. Another great post... makes me think. Reminds me that time and tide melt the snowman.

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  13. NeuroMan42 was quoting Doctor Who in the very bad yet very watchable story "Time and the Rani."

    Enough snark.

    The unrequited, the unrequitable...of course we need them. Sometimes to kick ourselves in the pants when we need pants-kicking, sometimes to call upon to guide us on a new direction. Sometimes it turns out that the damn things' time simply hadn't come yet.

    Saw the trailer/teaser to DustUp...I don't get VOD, but heck or high water, I'll get the DVD (mind you, I'm still trying to find a copy of The Killing Jar...). Your "Princess Leia strangling Jabba" moment alone is worth the price (not that I condone violence...I don't advocate alcohol consumption either, but that's your business).

    And honestly, THAT's where the dog collar photo came from??

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  14. You blog gave me a lot to think about. I hate change but I am one of those selfish people who think of what the change means for them rather than word as a whole.

    I think the reason we don't leave our unrequited lives behind is because we can't at least not entirely. It's the experiences both good and bad that shape the people we are now and that comes partly from those unrequited lives we have lived.

    I'm disabled and while I have never been ashamed of that at all. I have often wondered what my life would be life would be like as a non disabled person. To do the things I cannot and ways life would be easier in certain aspects.

    Then I realised it wouldn't be my life our experiences shape who we are. So without disability and unrequited lives that came from it like disability sportsman for example I'd be a different person for sure. I have no way of knowing if a non disabled version of me might be someone I'd want to meet or not it's anyone's guess.

    I think as people we like to think we can leave those unrequited lives behind but the truth we can't. From time they like trip us up and remind us of things long past but we just have to take them with us.

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  15. It took picking up and moving 1/2 way around the world for me to start living the life I had always dreamed of, but didn't know was possible.

    It took a kick-in-the-pants from a friend who saw me stuck in a spiral of nostalgia (both real and imagined 'could-have-beens') for me to even believe a different way of life existed than the one I was comfortable with, the one I had worn like that sweatshirt I held on forever (the one whose right elbow-to-wrist smelled so strongly of the Drakkar Noir my first kiss used to bathe in before we went to the movies).

    Now, I still like to dip my toes in the deep, moody end of the pool from time to time; but generally, life in the sunshine is pretty awesome...and I gots to say, the mac and cheese is just as good on dry land and I enjoy it even more knowing that it won't be around forever (the mac and cheese).

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  16. Some hopes are robbed from you, some hopes are barred from you, some hopes were overlooked at the time. A new hope, an old hope, a car crash, and a bar of soap: and don't forget to end with a rhyme.

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  17. Its just human nature to hold on to things, even when they are bad, they are memories and building blocks that built who we are today.

    Whats sad is we don't hoard the good stuff.
    Some how the things in life that burn, make us bleed & break lead to deeper scars, where as happy memories, they leave no scar, just a residue.

    I don't think we started out meant to be like this, but, life, some of the worst human behaviors and values have some how grown stronger in our species than the good.

    So. The pain of the unrequited sort of leaves a brand or tattoo accidentally put on a sensitive nerve that when you move a certain way it burns.
    Happy doesn't scar, its more like glitter dust that blows away or washed off.
    and that sucks.
    It sucks the bad leaves a deeper impression, coming back at times to dig a little deeper.

    So, what do you do?
    You learn to relish in happy things, even simple things.
    Like, standing in a summer down pour of rain. Just letting it run over you soaking you with no thought, just feeling.

    Or the joy of a new taste, or the joy of breaking free of routine and TRYING something new and exotic to eat, for you anyway.

    You have to MAKE the good stick, a scar with no pain.

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  18. Hi Amber. Very thought provoking post this one and I will do my best to answer honestly from my own perspective.

    For myself, and I speak only for myself here, change scares the heck out of me. I prefer the safety of routine, some structure that makes things acceptable. new things scare me shitless tbh. The thought of change, from tiny ripples to seismic upheavals, is enough to give me sleepless nights.

    As for the unrequited life (and I would be interested to see a blog from you on unrequited love) I think we all have regrets either of the road not taken or the road we did take and regret fundamentally. For example, whilst I do not regret having a daughter (even though she hasn't talked to me in over a year now) I wish I had never met her Mother, or more accurately I had become a father to a different woman, one who was stable and didn't treat me as someone to abuse and hurt with wanton and sadistic abandon. I wish I'd had a different Father, one who wasn't a mean, paranoid bastard and even worse with a drink in him (which is why I ahve not and will never drink, which is one road not travelled that I dont regret). I admit I find little joy in life personally. I enjoy the company of my friends and family and of course I like my hobby (playing role-playing games) but I rarely smile, I find little to truly smile about.

    Clinical depression is a bastard of an illness. In my case I find it so tiring just trying to raise my mood up to "balanced" that I get exhausted very easily.

    And may I say, I like the idea that you find two drinks a heavy drinking night. I've known far too many people who's idea of heavy drinking involves double figures and then they range from annoyingly cheerful to terrifyingly violent to obnoxiously loud and arrogant. Yes I admit it, I am terrified of people with drink in them.

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  19. Hi Amber this is an interesting topic. I like the term ‘unrequited life’.

    We hold onto our past choices and the lives we could be living because they’re the best lives we never had.

    The unrequited life is appealing to us because we never had to live it. Because we tell ourselves that old lie that the grass is always greener on the other side, that something else, somewhere else is better than us here and now. Because we made a choice the unrequited life remains something untainted by experience and we are free to imagine how much better life would be if we’d stayed in a job or in a relationship.

    We do this because life, to put it simply is gruelling. You work hard, save money, make friends and fall in and out of love. It’s all hard work even when you’re doing something you love (which I at least think I am). So we cling to the ‘what ifs’ the ‘could have beens’ and the ‘maybes’ and the longer we live, the more choices we make about life the more unlived lives we acquire. So they make us miserable, we forget that the choices we made were never binary and we don’t get rid of our unlived lives because we can tell ourselves that while those relationships, careers, friendships or whatever else lasted that they were the best times and that if we’d stuck it out through a rough patch or if we hadn’t lost interest that we’d be in a better place now.

    So we beat ourselves up and think ‘maybe we’d be in a loving relationship with a wonderful woman rather than single’, ‘or maybe we’d have made partner by now if we’d stuck it out at an older job’. We seldom stop to think ‘maybe we’d be in a better place, but maybe we’d be in a much worse one.’

    That’s my two cents. We hold onto our unrequited lives because we like to imagine the good that could have been and because we never had to live those lives we forget that we would have had to face problems and choices over there too.

    P.S. The link between thinkers, drink and melancholic behaviour is a long and proud tradition. I’ve found that if I have more than two glasses of whisky I become quite morose.

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  20. Curious that someone who has so clearly been the engineer of so much defined change in her own life finds herself inimical toward it in the abstract, don't you think?

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  21. Funny how when reading another person's words on changes, the David Bowie song "Changes" pops in my head....You both are amazing!

    Changes
    Oh yeah
    Mm
    Still don't know what I was waiting for
    And my time was running wild
    A million dead-end streets and
    Every time I thought I'd got it made
    It seemed the taste was not so sweet
    So I turned myself to face me
    But Ive never caught a glimpse
    Of how the others must see the faker
    Im much too fast to take that test

    Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
    (turn and face the strain)
    Ch-ch-changes
    Don't want to be a richer man
    Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
    (turn and face the strain)
    Ch-ch-changes
    Just gonna have to be a different man
    Time may change me
    But I can't trace time

    I watch the ripples change their size
    But never leave the stream
    Of warm impermanence
    So the days float through my eyes
    But stil the days seem the same
    And these children that you spit on
    As they try to change their worlds
    Are immune to your consultations
    They're quite aware of what they're going through

    Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
    (turn and face the strain)
    Ch-ch-changes
    Don't tell them to grow up and out of it
    Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
    (turn and face the strain)
    Ch-ch-changes
    Wheres your shame
    Youve left us up to our necks in it
    Time may change me
    But you can't trace time

    Strange fascination, fascinating me
    Ah changes are taking the pace Im going through

    Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
    (turn and face the strain)
    Ch-ch-changes
    Oh, look out you rock n rollers
    Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
    (turn and face the strain)
    Ch-ch-changes
    Pretty soon now you're gonna get a little older
    Time may change me
    But I can't trace time
    I said that time may change me
    But I can't trace time

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  22. Hi Amber! I'm a long time reader of yours. You inspired me to create a blog, though I don't know how to blog in such a poetic fashion. On the off chance you're reading this, I would like to show you mine (Though it's nothing like yours). It would mean the world to me if you would honestly tell me what you think:

    www.kyras-awesome-blog.blogspot.com

    If you get a chance to read it, THANK YOU!!!

    -A huge fan!

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  23. Yes, yes, so many times yes. So many arguments, with people now gone, that I keep replaying, not only in my mind but out loud, and wish I'd won. So much we think we've kept, even though it's truly gone and only kept in an image, a conditioned reflex, soemthing like those.

    DaddyCatALSO

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  24. You're right but it's never that easy. I hate the idea of failing to get what I want and then knowing it's too late to change anything.

    /Avy

    http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com

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  25. Amber,

    you know, it’s not in my place to tell you that and I really don’t want to step across personal borders, but I feel like I really want to help and language as such can’t help too much when you’re craving something more intimate than naked words from people you don’t know.
    Your post isn’t about this, but yet it is.

    You know, it seems to me there is always people talking about how they feel you saved them or how you give them hold in their life. It’s always this kind of input on how YOU (and your work) affect THEM. Sure, this is really, really precious and your life and work wouldn’t be the same without it, it’s huge gift in fact, being able to give something that big to people!

    But seen from the other side I can imagine that must be a little ‘irreal’ for you. I mean, I think as a person who stands in public with everything he or she does focused by people who are actually affected by this person it’s an experience which will always be a special kind of ‘reality’ to oneself. It’s part of your life though, as I said, a precious part, one of the main parts for sure. But there must be an incomparably small circle of people, people surrounding you in your direct real life, who live with you and really know you. I mean, being an actor known through TV shows and stuff must be, apart from what I said above, not that much of a total different job compared to others. You’re still a human, a ‘normal girl’ for yourself. Surrounded by a few people knowing her, only a few which can really build a solid bridge between each other. All the stuff you mean to people in general (fans) is based on what’s ‘real’ for themselves, things they cling to, which you stand for. And for that of course you always do and always will affect them/us in so many ways. You give strength and lighten up a lot of people’s days.

    But you know, being that idol or kind of heroine for people is only one side. I really admire
    and look up to the way you manage all that responsibility and how much love you always share with your fans and people you mean a lot to. But in the end all this, what you’re talking about is unconditional to what YOU mean TO OTHER PEOPLE. It comes down to being a human being and having needs and flaws.

    It makes me sad that someone can give so much to other people and still suffer loneliness. I mean, it should also much be about WHAT YOU NEED. As a plain person, not the actress or heroine. Because that’s what it’s all about. We are human, and even though most of us don’t know you as a real person (I mean, really, really know you, and I don’t either), as a girl, one among many, special for herself in ANY kind of way as a person, I feel you might be craving something very essential at the moment.

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  26. What I wish FOR YOU is finding love again, a shoulder to hold on to that is only yours. Some person erasing doubts, comforting you that everything will come out right and you can believe in. So that someone can give all that back to you. I don’t know if you sometimes feel lonely, but I guess everyone does from time to time, especially after a long term relationship, as a single person. Feeling misunderstood (at least to the point that there is no one who REALLY feels like you) and lonely can be a real pain in the ass. Gets you thinking bout all kinds of deep stuff, the world, yourself, and you may feel like no one can tell you. No one can give you answers, because for sure there isn’t always an answer. But that’s not the point. Not having someone who can make you feel that it’s just ok what you feel because he can explain to and share with you because he knows you, giving you real comfort is hard. It always is.

    I mean there’s family and friends, and love in this kind of was of course. But this is not the same. It’s not enough to fill the hole we’re suffering.

    All this is an important part of your journey and it’ll be a part of the path as precious as every other part whenever you were not feeling that lonely, you will live on it, I promise.

    But I also know I cannot comfort you by just telling you this. It’s naked words and means a whole nothingness compared to sharing that one special intimacy with someone who can really be YOUR shoulder to ground you and spend hold, keeping you on that trail, allowing you to be who you are. Plain you, in a simple human, loving kind of way.

    It isn’t about having precious thoughts and rationality, it’s about emotions, and sharing these plain thoughts with that special someone.

    He will be there, you know.
    And you will feel warm and sheltered again, all the doubts will be like blown away, comforted by a higher force, their screams will fade and you will be fine.

    Don’t let life get you down. Always see your goals and walk the path, it’ll all turn out really fantastic. Life holds something really special for you, girl, I promise!

    Just walk your path until you will find what you’re longing for, and always remember:

    “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” - Marcel Proust

    A world of love,

    Mogli

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  27. Amber,

    By way of introduction, I have worked as a freelance artist in my own small corner of the entertainment industry. I am currently writing a novel.

    I came to your blog--I cannot tell a lie--expecting to find people talking about writing. This I’ve seen, though sporadically. What I have seen here seems to be of a wider variety of topics, something a bit more daring, and certainly more brave than simply exchanging tips on craft.

    Having begun to make my own way down the other side of the mountain you seem to be facing yourself currently on some level, I thought that maybe I would take a stab at bravery and share an insight or two. What is creativity, after all, but a sharing of emotional experiences? And since life is nothing short of a large creative project, it’s through sharing these experiences that we also grow--and help one another to grow along the way.

    First off, I’ve only recently discovered your writing, and read, “Death’s Daughter,” which I enjoyed. I said, “Is this the same Amber Benson who played on Buffy?” And having Googled you, discovered a number of writing and directing credits aside from acting. I thought, “Wow! Good for her.”

    Back when I had a career in the above mentioned field, much of it dealt with science fiction, and/or superhero-type subject matter. At that point in time, Buffy and X-Files were the two shows that seemed to be getting it right. Interestingly enough, I passed this bit of intelligence on to several other writers and artists I worked with at the time, who refused to watch either show out of some envy, or ego based excuses. The industry can be quite full of themselves at times, as you are no doubt already aware. I enjoyed the work you guys did, however, so thank you.

    An aside note: I never know when complimenting someone creative on their past work how they feel about that part of their lives, or the work in general, as opposed to what they are doing now...so I’m hoping that compliment will be taken at face value.

    As far as the subject of your current blog, and that mountain we spoke of earlier involving change, pain, and those more prickly areas of life, let me say that this is a subject I am all too familiar with. After a car accident, I lost my career, friends and associates ran from me as if I contracted the plague, in short, most everything I owned, or cherished, went spiraling away through a series of shifts and changes that were beyond my ability to control.

    I certainly tried to control them by hanging on as tightly as I could. Meantime I wanted to write, so I kept thinking, “Pay attention to what’s happening. It’ll be grist for the mill one fine day.” I believe that was the only thing that kept my sanity, though by a mere thread at times.

    Having gotten my life stabilized to where I’m actually working on my novel within the past year has left me with very few people I can consider friends, or family. I have certainly had a lot to ponder. I’ve read everything from religious material, to self help books, to new age during the course of my climb in an attempt to discover answers. In the end, what you have is yourself. And only when a little time passes so you can see where you’ve been in terms of both hindsight, and emotional detachment, does understanding begin and you see you’ve actually grown.

    Therefore, without further ado, here are a few tidbits on change, and those unrequited lives we tend to feel we are always missing out on:

    Time travel, or past-tripping (if you prefer), is a dirty little trickster at best. It loves to run us through all the “could have” and “should have” scenarios, playing back old mental videos, or side-stepping us into visions of alternative realities that might have been, if only...

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  28. The entire time we spend doing this, however, we become a cork stuck in a bottle. We can’t really go back to those moments and redo them to our liking. We know this. What we are sometimes unaware of though, is that no forward movement can occur either. And so, we come to the nasty truth concerning time travel...it’s a trap that suspends us in time, luring us in through our pain, giving us false hopes that some answer we haven’t seen exists there. Then we end up blaming ourselves because we were too stupid then, and must still be stupid, not to see what we should’ve seen, or acted in some way that we did not.

    The results here are always the same and never pleasant.

    The worst case scenario is that I’ve known people who made a lifestyle out of doing this sort of thing. Regret/depression can eventually turn to sickness if given a permanent domain. And for some, illness becomes the only way to uncork themselves from that sad bottle they’ve become lost within, released by dissolving and fading out of existence.

    Morbid, but nonetheless true.

    Let’s move on to the extinction of species, saving the planet, trying to be superheroes in and of ourselves because someone needs to put on tights and leap into the fray, right?

    God, the story of my life...figuratively and literally (sans the tights...LOL!).

    We have so many things leaping out at us on a daily basis, telling us we have to conserve that, pay more for this, not eat anything because it’s all going to kill us, and a healthy dose of fear concerning life as we know it. The media needs to be slapped profusely for screwing with our heads in this manner.

    Add to that that as a creative person, I’ve always looked at life in a way that was a little different, witnessed more--not the least of which is how people who have no other hobby, or outlet, seem to take up hurting one another out of boredom--god knows, some even do it for sport.

    What all this leads to is a mixture of anger and frustration which causes resistance, not solutions. Because the harder we push, the more resistance we end up creating for ourselves. When we give all that energy to a problem, we very often end up sustaining it.

    Again, not a solution.

    None of us were personally sent here to save the planet singlehandedly. And nothing ever got fixed by worrying, or driving ourselves crazy over it. This might sound corny, but what the planet needs, what existence needs, is a little more love and kindness. Release the stranglehold of fear that the media seems to have us all wrapped in and allow yourself--and the world--to breath a little easier. That and the fact that the media has so often been prone to gross exaggeration about so many things throughout history (hey, they are writers and corporations looking for ratings) that we have to ask ourselves just whose reality are we living in, ours, or theirs?

    Tights or no tights, superheroes are very often prone to creating their own struggles. And that’s because they constantly borrow problems not their own.

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  29. And finally, let’s get around to people. They (we) are what life on this planet has mostly been about since our coming into being, and long before we were born. If there’s a higher power in charge of keeping this universe together, history has also shown us that humanity hasn’t really changed much under his (or her) watchful gaze. Maybe that’s the point, we all need to experience this crazy thing called life, the good and and bad, in order to come to some type of understanding of ourselves because nothing at the core of it has changed except technology, and the delivery system by which the bullshit travels down the stream.

    On a personal level, people come into our live and leave us something of themselves to consider, to learn from. Some associations are long, others short, and few seem to be consistent in any of our lives. And we hope that while some have torn through our lives, maybe some little piece of ourselves stuck and will make some difference. “But,” you may say, “so many people seem good at coloring life and seeing it only as they want to see it. My words of wisdom just bounce right off of them.” And I would have to agree. But we’re back to donning those tights, aren’t we? We can’t really change a single soul, for better or worse, if they don’t want that change. On one level, who are we to say our change is right for that person? Don’t they have their own path to follow? Their own lessons to learn? Yes, and maybe we simply aren’t the people to teach them. Or maybe there’s just supposed to be enough contrary people out there to bump up against to sharpen our own perspectives.

    On the other hand, even if we are genuinely offering something good and loving to another who refuses to acknowledge it, or pisses all over it, would we really want that person hanging out in our lives and perpetuating more pain, causing more resistance? Because few people do change. Wether good person, or bad, we all hate change, don’t we? And yet we want it for so many things outside of ourselves, when what we really need to focus on is internal.

    Life is what we make it, and change is inevitable if we want to achieve anything.

    Amber, as a creative person, did you achieve any of your personal goals by sitting in the same spot? Or did you have to learn, change, and persevere while chasing them down? Why do we believe the rest of our life’s ambitions are so different, or should come any easier? Aren’t our creative projects and goals models for achieving other things? All things?

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  30. I’ll end this by referring back to one image that stuck with me from my reading along my own trials and tribulations. It said to visualize yourself at the top of a hill (I prefer mountain because life’s too large for a simple hill). Behind you, your entire life stretches out on the path below. In front of you is a door, or gateway. But before you can step through it, or begin the march down the other side, you have to check your baggage. Review life from the perspective of an observer gazing down on its events. Bless it all for bringing you to this point, then release it all before stepping through the gateway.

    Gaining that distance, losing the emotional sting of past events, is really the only way to be free of them, to begin moving forward again.

    I have often wished there were some method of learning without having to undergo so much crap. But the truth is, you could read all this babble to a hundred different people from various walks of life and get a different response. Even those who nodded and said they understood would still have to undergo some (or most) of what were talking about here.

    Yet, in reading this thread, or learning how a masterfully creative guy like Woody Allen still has to keep creating so he doesn’t think about crap like this, makes me feel I haven’t been alone during the worst parts of my own journey. We never are, though loneliness is often a traveling companion most of us get to know better than we would like to.

    We will certainly not be the last to experience these things either.

    Best of luck on your continued creative journey,

    Robert

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  31. Letting go. Learning who you are and accepting yourself and your life and figuring out where you want to go from here.

    It's called growing up.

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  32. Unrequited life. Nostalgia for the paths not taken, the choices not made. A curse of memory and imagination.This both sucks and makes life worth living.A paradox.

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  33. I'll make it short.
    Any changes in general scare the crap out of me. But I have to get used to them, because that's the way all our lives go.
    If there wasn't any change then you'd probably be stuck in one unproductive place. No change,no moving. Not backwards but also not a single move forward which I think is important.
    Changes make us who we are today.

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  34. That was really beautiful Amber you don't know how much I respect you... This post let my mind wonder... However I have school in the morning... Looks like you gave me something to ponder In math class... :) Thank you so much for being you... -your BIGGEST fan Miranda (the walking rainbow) <3

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  35. After reading this blog entry I thought of a line said by the Ghost of Christmas Present in the 1970 musical "Scrooge":

    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not here any more."

    BTW Albert Finney. Best. Scrooge. Ever.

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  36. Humans are by their very nature egocentric, as much as we strive not to think that way; it is our nature.
    we are also resistant to change, we like our ordered existences; and having clear cut organizations.
    any time that change happens we take it as an affront to our egos.
    no matter how we may try to hold off negative thoughts and anxiety, we are still mentally selfish in that way.
    however recognizing the fact that we feel that way, is a step to dealing with it, though it is never easy.
    still one of the best ways of getting over something negative is support from those who care about you, or even your sycophant fans :)

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  37. Nah, animals strive for change, anything to help them survive and procreate. There's no emotion behind their actions, just their basic animal instinct.

    As for the ever present selfishness, it doesn't matter whether you are or aren't, what matters is do you act upon it? You should always choose to do the right thing, the selfless thing over selfishness. Why? Because it's the right thing to do and that should be reason enough. When you get hang of doing just that you'll realize the reason you do things is not because you're selfish but because you over think you actions and reasons.

    Which is why every unrequited life stems from an irrationally emotional decision or selfishness. Yeah, you made the wrong choice and in knowing that you should get some sense of catharsis and probably, hopefully, move on from it.

    As for your parasitic twins sentence I don't even know where to start on how wrong, scientifically speaking, that is.

    Wanna know what your silver lining is ('cause there's always one)on this maudlin? You get to eat cheese without worrying about the horrible side effects lactose intolerance brings about. I, on the other hand, am going to scarf down this very cheesy cheeseburger and not regret it later while I go about the rest of the day trying and failing to ignore the pain. Totes worth it. :3

    My silver lining: french fries!

    Sincerely,
    This Bitch <3

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  38. It's amazing isn't it? How scared humans are of change and how much they hold onto the past? But I suppose if we didn't, we would probably already be extinct . . . After all, traditions are generally there for a reason. And when tradition is broken, sometimes it really does create more bad than good. Maybe it's just our knowledge of that and our fear of that happening . . . or if the change was for the worst, maybe living in the past is our way of coping with our lives now; not a good way to cope obviously, but coping none-the-less.

    Not exactly scientific or anything, but there you go!

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