Depression is a war within yourself, and it’s nice to have a marching song that makes you feel that victory over it is obtainable. I’m listening to If I Lose Myself Tonight by OneRepublic–the Orchestral Intro version by Alesso–the orchestra brings a certain drama to the song that is fitting to my mood. If you’ve got the time–check it out on YouTube. I’m mesmorized. I think having some dramatic music (not necessarily emo–which I’m a fan of, but dramatic) seems to get the writing juices flowing. Which I think is a well established issue at this point.
The highs and lows that can plague an introvert like myself are really hard to describe. I feel sometimes when I let a little of myself shine, it is either like a flood where I can’t hold the barge back anymore and the stuff I’ve tried to keep seeps out. I suppose that’s the universe’s way of telling me that it’s not “normal” (wtf is normal?) to feel this way. Perhaps healthy is a better word.
When I do talk to anyone about anything personal, I am on high alert. Are they visually giving me signs of disinterest? Am I good enough? Will they like me? It’s an impetuous feeling of never being able to mix the right formula to let myself shine. My Dad told me once when I was 12 “The first day people meet you, they love you. The second day though, that tappers off.” This is perhaps either a self fulfilling prophecy or the moment I can recall beginning to be hyper vigilant about how I came off to people. I don’t want to blame him for his (for lack of a better word) stupid comment, but I don’t understand what telling a 12 year old something like that would accomplish. What is the MO? I find myself asking that a lot, in basically everything I do. Perhaps that is why I’m a Criminal Justice and Counter-terrorism major. I want to know why people do what they do? What is their intent? I know I’m good at seeing the bigger picture and being an advocate (anyone ever take the 16Personalities personality quiz? I know I’m the Advocate but can’t remember the acronym aside from being an “I”) for people who it’s easy to judge if you take everything at face value.
I’ll share a story with my brother that really inspired me today. The story, if you think about it, has basis in practically everyone’s life…we all have people that judge us under the guise of “I’m only doing what’s best for you” when really it’s something else.
Okay, so he got these shorts not too long ago from Mountain High Outfitters. They’re the same length as his underwear–they’re essentially daisy dukes. I have no idea why he desires to wear them because they look really uncomfortable. I’ll admit, when I first saw him walking out the door with them on a few weeks ago, I didn’t have my glasses on and thought he was walking outside with a pair of underwear on and opened my mouth to ask him “what the [expletive tirade begins here] are you doing?” My Mom smacked my arm lightly as if to say “Shut up!”
Moms always know when we’re about to insert foots into mouths.
Thank God she did. I think my brother is like me, sensitive in a lot of ways and not so much in others. All it takes is one comment to really bring him down. The uncomfortable look was not my primary concern with the shorts, as much as I may have tried to convince myself of it. I didn’t want him going out in public looking like that for fear people would make fun of him.
Track Change: When I Grow Up – Garbage
Well, we went to Cracker Barrel today. We all got ready and while we were walking out I heard my Mom politely telling him that his underwear was protruding from his shorts. The underwear was longer than the shorts. I heard her say “I don’t want you to be embarrassed.” I get what she’s saying too. It’s like if I had a booger in my nose that I wasn’t aware of, I’d want someone to toss me a clue. Anyway, his response is something we should all strive to be more like.
He said “Thanks, Mom. But I’m not embarrassed.”
In that moment, I thought. “Wow….good for him.” I wish I had the guts to stop over analyzing myself and just stepped out into the world feeling fresh and without a dark cloud of misery and fear of what someone (who doesn’t even matter nor will be seen again) will think hovering over my head.
The truth is, for the most part, people are far more busy worrying about every insecurity they have of themselves to even give your insecurities a thought. I’m sitting here thinking I’m a fugly slut walking down the street but hell, I’m sure everyone else is thinking that too. We’ve got to stop doing this. We’re not supposed to have the perfect tummy or the perfect ass or the perfect hairline to be attractive. The irony in eating a cupcake and chopping on Doritos while writing this is not lost. Of course, there are people that make fun of others looks. I think we’ve all done it. I don’t know when, probably when I came of age and started realizing life is not always wonderful when I started thinking about others in the context of how would I feel is someone else was judging someone I cared for. That usually snaps me right out of it. I remember once working at the grocery store, this more to love woman was using one of those motorized scooters and fell off it. I had sympathy pains. It had to fucking blow.
Track Change: Hey Look Ma, I Made It – Panic! At The Disco
I went up to her and everyone else just watched her sitting on the floor. It’s one of those moments where the introvert is shelved and I equpt my wit to delve out some much needed criticism. I asked the people watching or “walking by innocently” if they’re the type of person who laughs when someone falls or helps them when they get back up. I don’t think people who make fun of others are necessarily bad… they just need to be more self aware. Everyone’s head went down and faces turned to shame but the woman’s face had glee as she zoomed away to finish shop.
Trying to circle back to my initial drive to write this, my Dad’s comment rings true. But that’s not because of him. It’s because of me. I’ve allowed the fear a home inside. I’ve hidden my freak flag from view. One thing his comments have taught me is that words can be used as a weapon. And to be cautious with criticism.
I describe it like being in the sea, waves taking me up then down again. And every now and then a big wave covers me…and pulls me under for a few days. When I’m up it’s like I’m buzzing inside from an overdose of energy drinks.
Oh, and before I go, I wanted to share a transcript of a Codec conversation in the 2001 PlayStation video game Metal Gear Solid 2. It made me laugh. Maybe it’ll make you laugh too. I think I’ll listen to the longplay while I sleep.
Otacon: Snake, do you know the Chinese proverb “Care avoids err”? “Err” is thought to be a ! Kung word meaning “what.” There are some linguists who think that this accounts for an almost universal utterance—— of the syllable “er” when people are at a loss of words. A kind of vestigal —
Mei Ling: Hey!
Mei Ling: What a crock! What did you do with that little cheat sheet I made you!
Otacon: Er —
Mei Ling: Oh, there it is — Hey!
Otacon: Er, that’s really a…
Mei Ling: How could you do that! You know how busy I am and you — !!
Otacon: It’s not what you think…
Mei Ling: Oh, so what am I thinking?
Snake: What’s going on over there?
Mei Ling: Oh, hi, Snake. Do you know that Otacon’s been —
Otacon: Er, Mei Ling, we’re in the middle of a mission and everything! So can we, you know…
Mei Ling: …
Mei Ling: Fine. Sure. And Snake, the real meaning for “Care avoids err” is that if you’re cautious, you can avoid making serious mistakes. Even if you’ve gotten used to the mission, watch what you do. Good luck!
Otacon: Yeah, Snake! Good luck!
Mei Ling: You, I’m not done with.
Mei Ling: Let’s discuss this, shall we?