It was the Best of Times, it was the…

It’s already the end of November.

And boy, what a month it was.

I know I’ve complained a lot recently about growing up and I’m sorry, but I’m going to be doing it again.

My least favorite part about this past month (and really, the past year or so) was the fact that I felt as if I could have put forth more effort to prevent certain things from happening. A sense of guilt came over me as I saw social media blow up: friends hurling insults at friends and vowing never to speak to each other again, just because of some political views. It hasn’t exactly been fun, watching all this drama happen, and there were countless instances where I had to stop myself from stepping in and making a fool out of my own self. I even had to stop myself from writing a blog post on the very topic; I consider myself somewhat political but I do my best to keep it away from my leisure (which would include blog posts).

There are a few reasons why I feel guilty about the past few months, but it mostly boils down to the fact that I feel somewhat responsible for things that have happened. I briefly addressed this topic in my last post, and the sentiment hasn’t changed. I feel that I have the power to change the world, and that I simply haven’t done it because I’m lazy, misguided, cowardly, or have my priorities in the wrong place, etc.

The other problem is that I’ve been training myself to pick up on small things like social cues, and using my observations to determine how people are feeling. However, I’ve reached the point where I can sometimes notice things that are not so obvious, and leaves me in an awkward place where I can’t decide whether to bring it up or just walk away. There’s a moment when I weigh the two options, but then I usually opt for the latter, because I’m usually not willing to ignore social norms just so I can show someone that I can tell they’re not doing okay. Then comes the doubt: should I have said something? There’s no way to know for sure. The moment is lost forever. Then comes the guilt.

I wish I could just stagnate in ignorant bliss.

Music to fit the mood.

Jan

So many noteworthy things have been happening lately that it’s hard to keep up.

I recently found out that I lost one of my high school acquaintances to suicide. I do admit some fault of being absolutely clueless about how he got to that point, and it would be unfair of me to assume that he wasn’t talking to someone about his mental health but I feel a huge loss in my heart. I didn’t know him particularly well but I always respected him for the different perspective he had of the world and his boldness to share it.

It’s too late now. My words of affirmation were too few and far between. All I can do now is wish that I had done something differently, that there was just some way I could have known what was going on in his life. But what could I have done? The guy seemed perfectly normal; a bit odd, yes, and rather lonesome, but perfectly normal otherwise. Nothing could have tipped me off about how he was feeling or doing.

That raises a question. Is it my fault for not being able to tell how he was doing? Was it his fault for not being able to deal with it? Is it the fault of his close friends who weren’t able to help him? Is it society’s fault for putting a stigma on discussion about mental health?

“Fault” probably isn’t the right word to throw around but I’m sure it’s a little bit of everything I just mentioned. All we can do now is to try to break this stigma; to show people that it’s okay not to be in the best shape. Nobody’s perfect and the fact that we’re trying so hard to appear to be perfect is literally killing us.

 

Personified Cynicism pt. 3

You know what really grinds my gears?

Well, lots of things.

But dude, take some care to reflect on your life and how you live it.

If you’ve become complacent in any part in your life, it means that you have decided that you don’t want to get better at that part in your life anymore. Whether that decision is conscious or unconscious is extremely context-and-person-sensitive.

For some things, that’s okay. For example, I’m totally fine with bowling an average of 45.

For other things, it’s not okay at all. Like the way you look down at people or are completely oblivious to how they’re reacting to you. And if this becomes enough of a problem that someone brings it up to you, it is not okay. If more than one person brings it up to you, it is definitely not okay. Do something about it. Fix yourself. Forget that “I’m independent and nobody can tell me how to live my life” idealism. There’s something called basic human decency.

And if you can’t tell which areas of your life have devolved into complacency, then think about it instead of filling your life with inane garbage. Or just ask your close friends. If your friends don’t have an answer for you, then they’re having the same problem you are. Get new ones.

This is as much a reminder to myself as it is a message to you.

Personified Cynicism pt. 2

I’m probably going to regret everything I said in my previous post, and I’m probably going to wish I had published it privately or somewhere else, but whatever. I need it to be here forever, so I can come back to it one day and think about how wrong (or right) I was.

However, please allow me to make some amends to what I said. By “the elderly,” I mean the elderly. I don’t just mean people who are older than I am, or my parents or my friends’ parents (unless they’re considered “elderly”). My words very well may apply to this audience but they are not my target.

I need to teach myself to practice forgiving people for the choices they make that I think are bad. Another person’s choice may seem like a very good one to him, or maybe he won’t be able to see its lingering effects in the way I do, but I’m just going to have to let him do what he wants. Sometimes people just make choices that affect others and they don’t even realize it. There’s nothing you can do about it but react and adapt.

↑ I had all those thoughts while on the road. But I should probably learn to apply it to other aspects of my life.

Personified Cynicism

If getting hit by a car has taught me anything, it’s that I should be more careful when I go about my everyday life. Even if I’m following all the rules, all the laws, thinking about and paying attention to everything that I’m doing…doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone else is, too. Therefore, the best I can do is simply to give everybody the benefit of the doubt. That they’re not paying attention or thinking about exactly what they’re doing.

If there’s ever any group of people whom I’ve found will purposely ignore the rules, it’s the elderly. They go through their day like the rules don’t apply to them. And I’m pretty sure they know the rules are, they just don’t care that they’re breaking them. “I’m older than you, so I’m wiser than you. Leave me alone,” is what I imagine is going through their heads.

I don’t know where this mentality comes from–that since you’re older than someone and they disagree with you, you’re automatically correct because you’ve been alive for longer and therefore must be wiser. This seems to go hand-in-hand with the idea that once you get older, you don’t need to spend time learning about things anymore. I’m not there yet, so I have no possible insight on why this happens.

I dread aging.