It isn’t what people say at the beginning of a conversation that is on their minds. Wait for it. The bread and butter will reveal itself. I know this because I know my own mind. It never stops living. My life is a mere continuation of my dreams, but in my waking life I are often interrupted by simple things such as people talking to me, cars needing to be driven, work needing to be done, and bodies needing to be taken care of. In my sleep there is no stopping the thoughts, they manifest to their fullest without remorse or guilt for any harm or discomfort they cause me. But I don’t mind, I like to roam free. In watching my thoughts, I am able to see through the layers by not getting stuck on one topic, so for a second, I get a glimpse of what is bothering me way underneath it all. Under those layers are the things I wouldn’t say until I was deep into the conversation. Under the layers are the situations that I wish never happened, the things I wish I could take back, and the things I wish would leave me alone. I see those issues there, but seeing is all I can do. If I pull out a topic from the roots and thus finally rid myself of its nagging existence, another topic will fill into that spot. The process is endless because the spots are always there, grasping issues to apply its emotions to. Seeing through the layers, clearing them off, and restructuring was just the beginning. It is overwhelming to climb what you thought was the tallest peak only to finally see how many more mountains are ahead of you. It is the space they layers fill that needs adjustment. How to adjust them, I don’t yet know. From here I cannot see how deep they go because the surface life covers them for most of my day. When the surface life is very smooth and thick, it crates a nice trail to follow that makes me not think about the foundation built below. Maybe this is because the deep layers really do not matter so long as life is in order. So I guess this one comes down to this: When life is good, don’t spoil the fun.
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.
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…
This is long over due, to the point where this should have been my first note. But I had the urge to pull Proust from my book shelf and read his opening paragragh/sentence to “Days of Reading” and I still so full heartily agree. I cannot say it better. There is just some nostalgic essence in remembering the many books I kept my nose in. I understand why they want children to read, more so than ever, because I can draw on experiences that I never actually experienced to aid my waking life.
I feel a sadness for it actually. I cannot get back to that place in my mind, I cannot revisit those stories as I first experienced them because I am no longer at that stage. I no longer escape life into fantasy because I’ve managed to merge my fantasy with real life and I am content. Therefore I seek no solace, no need to reach into another world of make-believe. Now I am merely interested in cool concepts and stories that guide me into deeper understanding and meaning into my actual daily existence. I am at one side excited about all I learn about in the real world beyond my home town, but at the same time depressed over my inability to connect with characters and events of stories long past. An entire world of existance taken away from me by time and experience. I’m forced to grasp to what I can, desperately for some peace of mind to avoid becoming like those jaded folks who tell me that fantasy world never existed in the first place. Oh believe me, it is real, I have my personality to prove it.
I watched a documentary about dreams recently and it got me thinking that perhaps my brain has a love affair with dreaming. I’m often not fully paying attention when I’m awake because my thoughts gravitate to more interesting scenarios which may or may not be actually happening… in other words often my dream world is far more interesting to me than real life. This accounts for much of my behavior like my so called “spaciness” and wanting to be alone so often (I can follow my own train of thought without having to explain it to anyone as well as not have to follow their social rules in the process).
So that is a practical explanation for why I continue to be lost in a daze much of the day. But I am thinking that from a more physical assumption, perhaps I am not fully awake. Like, I am thinking that if our brains have certain genetically programed patterns of sleep that cause dreaming (this specific documentary said that REM sleep is for practicing and preparing for future situations based on data it processed during non-REM sleep) then if I am not fully waking up then my daydreams are running in similar patterns to night dreams. Then anxiety about a made up situation that isn’t a real life danger, would be the day time equivalent of a nightmare.
From this prospective, I can see why people have a difficult time being in a good mood when they worry about stuff that actually will never happen to them. If you can’t always wake yourself up from a nightmare because you think it is really happening, how are you going to wake yourself up from fear…especially when you are convinced that you’ve got to prepare yourself to face this fear?
I think it will help to remind yourself that in your waking life you’ve not always as awake as you think you are.