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the trouble with tragedy (sparked by Amelie)

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Jan. 11th, 2002 | 02:42 am
mood: apatheticapathetic
music: cole porter - White Tie And Tails

In an intermittent conversation on the nature of self and life with vanillahyacinth it came to light that my personality has tendencies "to analyze, take strolls, look for logical conclusions or declarations [I] can make and have a tendency toward bitterness," while her opinion of herself states "I float around, drift, mull, burn, sometimes explode, and wallow."

At first, I recoiled from this thought, as I fancy myself a moody dreamer. While the terms are true, it paints a picture of me as a very computer-like person who misses out on both the great joys and sorrows of life. And that I don't agree with. I do feel many emotions, and I have been known to explode, it's just that when I explode it tends to not be something which I allow other people to see. I suppose that I implode more than explode if I am to be truly accurate. I have the temperment of a sensitive artist and the analytical mind of a scientist. And I tend to operate in one mode or the other since the two seem often to work against each other. Since the most efficient and least taxing mode of being (for me) is to remain in a detached scientific state, I tend to seem very steady headed and even-handed, with my feet planted quite firmly on the ground. (Stuck in the mud, says my second self).

I explain this now by saying that my life is tempered by a tragedy. What happens when you live with a situation that is quite literally life and death every day is that all else gets put into perspective and to cope and continue with life, a part of the mind develops that insists that if you're not going to die from it, it's not so important. And such a mentality is very useful for keeping one's feet on the ground.

There will be time to dream later, time to reflect, time to wallow, time to drift.

While the thought pattern emerged first from my mother's disease, it carries over into the rest of life. There was no use in wallowing or suffering of self-pitying over a situation which I couldn't change and knew I couldn't change. I have hope that things will get better, but as my mother has not yet been off of chemo for more than a year since she was diagnosed seven and a half years ago, I have come to accept her being sick as part of reality, and the only way to cope with such a thing is to grin, bear it, and move forward. Self-pity will only send me into a spiral of depression and depression is not a state in which I enjoy spending time.

That mentality, that idea that it is of no use to let myself float or drift carries over into the rest of my life. And so I stay for the most part very steady -- not because I want to, but because I have to.

But now and again, my dreams creep out -- the self that wants to dance in the clouds and take risks and just be wild and emotional surfaces. Perhaps that is why I connected so well with Amelie. I am that character -- I am the person who loves to help other people and arrange for things to work well for them (or to plan revenge on those who I don't like so well -- not damaging but annoying revenge). I am fond of plans and strategems and will take risks for others, but never for myself.

I will encourage people and encourage them and encourage them to chase after the people they want to be with, and yet I won't do the same for myself. I will try to befriend a boy I like, but that is as much initiative as I will take. I tried to ask someone out once, but that proved humiliating and now I am not brave enough to try again. And I am comfortable with my gregarious but introverted existance, or rather, comfortable enough with it that I will hold on to my dreams and wait for them to come true. Because I'm afraid to step out onto that limb and take that risk.

I need to get some courage or something

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from: vanillahyacinth
date: Jan. 12th, 2002 07:21 am (UTC)

Aha! And similarly, my ex and my ex-roommate have both seemed emotionless to me, even though they certainly do feel emotions. I can see the imploding thing. The similarity between you and them is greater than I previously noticed. In fact, what you said about "the most efficient and least taxing mode of being" applies perfectly to why J. is the way he is, I just realized.

And regarding your last sentence, you do have courage, my dear...isn't that established in the rest of your entry? *hug*

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