How difficult to engage.
Do brains ever turn off? Does thought ever stop processing? This can’t be just me, running around inside my head in ever concentric circles. At least if there was a spiraling movement I would have the notion of a wind down, a wind up. But often it just feels a whole lot like around and around. Not always consistent but at moments like this, when I feel in a bit of a limbic state. When I say limbic, I am making a word play on limbo, though being a noun it does not have a past or future tense. It’s always present, creeping in at the cracks, waiting for inertia to slow down so it can ensconce the right now into a jello mold of what’s your hurry? But I also speak of that darling system of the paleomammalian brain responsible for emotions and longer term memories, I’m fairly certain. Which to me are the two main sources of crazy in my world.
Emotion because it’s just so filled with feelings and there is no reasoning with it.
And long term memory because while I do trust that I remember things fairly accurately, albeit as they apply to my perspective, there is much possibility that I refuse to recognize patterns I know I have/am living within/convince myself aren’t detrimental to my evolution on any level. Today I am concerned with one in particular. Ye old tried and true habit of death by never.
Have you ever watched a movie and determined however far into it that you know exactly what is going to happen? Whether the script is transparent, the premise old hat, the pattern so obvious you want to scream at the actors that they are just puppets playing out a drama so tired they should just have stayed home.
I do that with my own damn life. I am presented with a scenario. For example; the idea of going back to school (it’s coming up to september, this feels somewhat pertinent) decides it wants to be on my radar. The Nanaimo campus of Vancouver Island University offers a great marine mechanic course (how I wish this course was offered at the powell river campus..i would seriously have already signed up..probably..). I have a background in being a boat mechanic, it’s the skill most likely to keep me from being voted off the island during a zombie apocalypse, and wow do I ever enjoy working on engines. I really do. They make sense to me, there is an irrefutable logic to mechanics that I adore.
So this is where the movie starts. Opening shot, a girl walking up to a college campus, the excitement of something new and broadening in her future. She passes the requisite math and english tests with flying colours, secures a loan, the future is bright. She works out where she’s going to live, finds a nice suite in a house where she can board her dog with the quirky but well intentioned landlady upstairs while she is at school. She starts off excited, new books, new tools, new knowledge. She becomes jaded halfway through the year, being in one place is difficult, doing the same thing every day becomes tedious.
At this point in the narrative we might introduce a love interest, something to keep things fresh while adding a dimension of sexy. Maybe a cute scene where she carries his books to class to keep a well worn tradition if only slightly turned on it’s ear. We know it won’t last, she is planning to become a marine mechanic, join the sea shepherds, travel the world blowing raspberries at whalers. He is on his way to becoming a molecular geneticist and cure cancer, which is hard to do at sea. But for now, it’s sweet. But no one has any illusions about what will happen after graduation.
And through a series of delightfully well edited montage sequences, we arrive at graduation. Heart on sleeve, she needs to work now to pay off the debt incurred. As heartbreaking as it is, she knows the whales will understand. She will save the world next season. For now she needs to pay some bills. Life goes that way sometimes. After a couple of years of slowly becoming locked into to a career where she is working on super yachts for the super rich she begins to loathe her job. She begins to hate the smell of diesel where she once loved it. She begins to resent and wakes up sad every day and wonders about her lovely geneticist and if he ever thinks of her and maybe she should have..maybe she…
And I just cut the film right there.
It’s a righteously insane thing that I do. I play out a possible scenario, live a series of years on a teleprompter in my mind, reading the future from a script that hasn’t been written except by a brain crowded with speculative fear. It’s only slightly different to the thing where i half assed try something and then celebrate when I fail because it might have ended badly if I hadn’t failed at it. In this place, I decide I know exactly how it will end and that is, in tears. So don’t even bother.
There’s actually a little voice inside my head that is demanding some page space right this second. She insists that when one knows oneself (in my ideal world, that’s one definition of evolution) you recognize a pattern that has failed in the past (trish goes to school, gets a straight job, stays in one place for a series of years, is totally stoked to do so..normally that pattern never makes it past trish goes to school, I enroll and then fuck off to somewhere else) and you avoid it because yes! It is obvious how it will turn out. There is no reason to see it as a failure or to write about it with a negative connotation because recognizing the never try pattern of playing out scenarios and deciding to avoid them is just as much a thing to be learned as recognizing the how the hell did we end up in this really wrong place pattern of lifestyle choices that are not suitable to a girl who knows she likes to sit still but never wants to be settled.
So really, I don’t know which makes more sense. They likely both do, depending on one’s perspective. The school scenario is a good example but it’s not what’s actually plaguing my brain right now.
The difficulty I’m having right now comes from having entertained a scenario as future possible and it’s a reality I have not considered for a very long time, but it’s a familiar story. My fear is that since the basic story is familiar I will decide (as I’ve done in the past) I know how it will end and won’t have the patience to just let the film run and see if I’m wrong or right. I am trying to keep that in check because variables exist. There is always a possibility of wild cards one can never completely predict to prove us wrong. So I will do my best to be patient and stay in one (sane) place long enough to work out whether or not this chapter of the story will have a happy ending. Though to be fair, happy ending is just a matter of perspective.
And no matter how what else is going on, once you find something that resonates in your heart, even just a little bit to begin with, doesn’t it deserve the patience required to see if there is a fit? Before deciding that it wouldn’t have worked anyway and seeking the new thing, the new place, the new (old) habit? And rather than give into fear that I made/am making/will make the wrong decision, perhaps it’s wiser to concede that there is a very strong possibility my own (sometimes) crazy brain might be so out of practice with the concept of staying in one place long enough to let the amazing things happen, rather than trying to force the issue, generate awesome and reap the (probably short-term) benefits that I might miss out on actually, actively and accurately engaging with something delightful.
There you go, Serenity. The word of the day is patience. I’m working on it.