Nope, still addicted


Let me put this idea to you:

All that anyone in the whole world throughout all of history ever does… is chase emotions.

We may do it in countless different ways, we may do it with the help of rationalizing and intellect, but at the end of the day, are we not all struggling to find out exactly what will bring us that sense of… happiness? of contentment? of satisfaction? of meaning? of peace?

Chasing emotions.

In secondary school, we studied 12th night for literature and our teacher told us that Orisino was more in love with love than with anyone. He’d put his object of affection up on a pedestal and worshiped it from there. That image and idea struck me and stuck with me, and often I would see myself in a similar light; at that age, I loved getting into crushes. It didn’t matter how improbable my crushes were, how little I actually knew about them or how little interaction I had with them. I enjoyed admiring them from afar and I immensely enjoyed the emotional highs (and lows) that took place only in my own head and heart.

In love with love. To be even more specific– in love with the emotional highs associated with love? Love is a drug, an addiction.

When fans go crazy over their idols, when fandom obsesses over characters and pairings… If you’re not a part of it, it may look crazy to you. But it’s the same for everyone– you have your own method of chasing that emotional high, I’m sure you do. Be it through a sport, a art, your career, shopping, clubbing, alcohol… Intellectually, you may think your method is superior– more meaningful?– but emotionally its similar, is it not?

When I say I’m addicted to escapism, part of it comes from needing that high, and not finding it in real life, and so you run elsewhere in search of it.

When I had my first super-serious crush, my first infatuation, my first ‘love’, when I moved beyond being happy with fangirl-ing people from afar to genuinely wanting more, I think that upped the ante of emotional high enough to end all frivolous crushes.

When I had my first relationship… well. That emotional high, that fulfillment, felt like all I would ever need. As much as the intellectual side of me cringes and rolls its eyes at this naivety and superficiality… being in love made my world realer than real, it gave my days meaning and added colour everywhere.

To me, being able to share my life with someone else and share their world in turn compound the joy of everything beauty in life and made every pain bearable.

To me, a relationship is something I can pour my heart and soul into, make a deep emotional investment and get back exponentially high returns.

I got home today badly craving another shot of escapism.

What I really want is to have something really mesmerizing, something really captivating. A really good story (or something, anything) that will pull me in, and consume my world, at least for a while. Something touching, something moving, something that will tug on all your heartstrings and make you go awwww!!!<333 ;_; something that makes the world feel more real, more saturated, have more kick.

I search for that high in stories because there is nothing in real life right now, nothing that I can go awwww<333 over.

But stories, in whatever form they take, can no longer deliver the high I crave…
They just can’t. I just can’t. I can’t get emotionally invested enough. Stories don’t cut it anymore. How could they? You need a higher and higher dosage each time…

Even so, I still can’t stop chasing the little highs, just for a taste, a drop…

It’s been almost two years. I stare at the date and realize with a start that our anniversary date, which was yesterday, has faded in my mind and replaced with our break-up date, which I had been unconsciously counting down towards.

It’s truly amazing how time passes; I can’t believe it’s been this long. I still think of her just about everyday. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I think of a time, of a feeling, of an emotional high.

Everyday I miss it, and most days I seem to chase after it in all the wrong places for lack of knowing what else to do…

Introspection on introversion


They say that introverts have their energy sapped by social interaction and recharge with time spent alone.

It’s strange– there’s both a sense of ‘taking in’ lots of outside stimulus, and a sense of ‘putting out’ a lot of attention. I guess they amount to the same thing; in order to take in all the external stimulus, you have to give them a lot of attention.

It feels like I’m a sponge– it’s very easy to be passive and just soak in all the information, everything that is happening around. It’s much harder to ‘give out’ anything– to say or show or express. Hard to get stuff from inside to the external. Whereas for other people it happens effortlessly– every time they speak they show a little of their personality, a little of themselves. Some don’t even have to speak.

It feels like I’m a mirror– I try to reflect back what I see, what I ‘took in’. Playable catgut, pliable clay. Chameleon boy. A friend said, recently: I’m water, I take the shape of the container.

When I have all my attention on you – general you, plural you– I feel like I’m not in my own head. All my focus is on you, on you, on you. Trying to empathise, understand, see what you see, put myself in your shoes, on alert for any cues and clues for me to take in, wondering what you’re wondering, wondering how I appear to you. All that attention expanded is exhausting. What’s more, while that’s happening, there’s no one left in my head to think my thoughts. It’s hard to be me– when you ask me what I think, I think first about the answer from your point of view, and try to modulate. Of course, everyone does this to an extent (you’d describe your faith differently to a non-believer vs a believer; you’d talk about gay rights differently to a homophobe vs an activist) but is the difference normally so stark?

Things happen fast in the real world– there’s no time to think, to contemplate, to ponder, to ruminate. You just react. React. React.

When you don’t think– or when I don’t think– there’s no ‘I’. There’s no me thinking about what I’m thinking and why I’m thinking. There’s no metacognition. The me that is usually here talking to myself in my head doesn’t have time to be activated. It’s just… react, react, react. That… feels less like me.

It’s only when the activity stops, and I’m alone again, do I then feel like I’ve finally come back home, into my head, and I can think about the day and what has happened. Like the gears and thoughts and ‘me’ that have been on hold all day to concentrate on you, you, you can start moving again. Like you went out into the field to collect data — react, react, react– and now, with the day’s spoils in hand, you return, tired out, to your lab– your home ground, your headquarters– to examine and make sense of all the new data you now possess.

Which parts are acceptable and which parts should I aim to change? It can’t be good to be a chameleon boy, it can’t be good to be morning pipe smoke, playable catgut, pliable clay.

Of course, everything’s an exaggeration to an extent. Everyone has their own opinions, even if that opinion is pretty apathetic and easily influenced….

No. I’ve been moving away from that. There are things I feel strongly about, and I’m sure of those views. I won’t compromise on those and I will disagree with you.

But standing firm in your own head, on your own blog is so different from projecting your convictions in real life. If you attack, I’ll fight back but why remain lifeless unless provoked?

A never ending journey. I’m game. Next step.

Rambling thoughts on the insufficiency of God’s love


You don’t care*. No, don’t deny it, it’s true; but I understand. Humans have a limited capacity to care, limited time and attention to give. You have yourself and your family and so many other closer friends to care about first- there’s not much space left for a once a year friend except maybe once a year.

Humans have a limited capacity to care- limited time and attention. That’s one reason they invented god (or the modern concept of god, anyway). God, who has unlimited capacity to love all and everyone, and does it better then any human ever could. Because that’s what most people want most in life- to love and be loved. To feel cared for. To feel like they matter.

And yet some people would take that away from others– forbid them to love and be loved. (I’m referring to homophobic sentiments, of course.)  Why do you and how can you deny people such a fundamental need of their emotional well-being?

And this god– supposedly his love is all you need, his perfec love. The love that quenches your thirst eternally while every other leaves you wanting. And yet people who feel his love, who bask in his love are not satisfied– god is not enough (what blasphemy!) and they still need the love and support if their community, the love and support of their family, the love and support of their friends, and the love and support of a significant other. Why can’t you subsist on god’s love alone?

All men have a god shaped hole in their hearts, they say. Yet even when you’ve filled that hole with god, there’s still some hole left. How can it be that god’s not enough?

One of the favourite ‘trump cards’: the fall. We live in a fallen world. Our relationship with god now on earth is not as it’s supposed to be. It’s been tainted with sin, restricted by sin.
But even in paradise, even before sin and the fall, god wasn’t enough. Man was made to worship god, but worshipping god didn’t fulfill man enough, didn’t make man satisfied. God wasn’t enough, and god said so himself: it is not good that man should be alone. But he wasn’t alone, he was in PARADISE, with god, in his intended, untainted state, with all the incredible wonders of creation at his beck and call. And… It still wasn’t enough.

How can it get better than that? As Adam, the first man, in paradise, knowing god? Isn’t that what Christians claim is god’s original, intended plan? Trump card ‘the fall’ is out of commission; it hasn’t happened yet. Isn’t that the thing that is separating us from god, and isn’t separation the thing that is keeping us dissatisfied? Apparently not. Adam had it all, and still it was ‘not good’.

Apparently you still need AT LEAST a mate (in addition to all of paradise and being on one-on-one speaking terms with god) to be satisfied and fulfilled.

As little sense as this makes, it makes even less sense to believe all that and still deny some people the right to love another**. God himself said that even with everything else absolutely perfect, it’s still ‘not good’ to be alone.

*Is there a difference between actively not caring and not actively caring? If there is, I mean thelatter.
**I guess this refers specifically to people who admit that homosexuality natural and beyond an individuals control but insist that they should abstain from being an ‘active’ homosexual. 

Swim against the current, run against the wind.


Stay strong, stay true.

I’ve just finished watching the season finale of series 6 of this UK television drama Waterloo Road, which centres around a school and it’s students and teachers.

One of the larger story arcs that has been taking place involved one of the teachers, Francesca, getting involved with a student, Jonah. Since it is not just taboo but illegal for a teacher to ‘take advantage’ of a student in this way, you can imagine there was a lot of sneaking around, being paranoid and alternating between ‘I/we can’t do this. It’s wrong. It’s too difficult, too risky. It’s not possible.” and “It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. I love you and all’s fine as long as we have each other.” All this cumulated in ep19 and 20 with (SPOILER ALERT!) them being found out, Francesca being suspended and charged along with pending imprisonment, and then the two of them running away to get married (before being arrested and brought back). Makes for great TV drama indeed!

The whole thing could easily parallel a closeted gay relationship; constantly watching your back and being afraid of being found out; the way you act around each other in public, a necessary facade; the lies that come with keeping a secret; and huge secrets, even from those closest to you; the conviction that you’ll be ostracised and worse if anyone knew; knowing that no one will understand; all that negativity, risk and adverse concequences being offset by the joy you feel when you’re together…

To be honest, most of the arc made me really dislike both characters, possibly precisely because I could see myself in a similar situation so easily. They were being retarded and brainless! Too careless and impulsive and immature! C’mon guys, it’s hard but not impossible! Can’t you sacrifice some short term pleasures for the long term happiness!?

At the very first signs of it, when Francesca was still trying to stop it from even starting, and then stop it from progressing… To me she didn’t try nearly hard enough. Later on, when they were well into it; Acting so suspicious, doing really stupid/risky things, not taking enough or proper precautions, and not planning or talking about things seriously… why couldn’t they have kept it a secret until Jonah graduated? Like I said, it’s difficult, (in the sense of being mentally and emotionally draining,) but not impossible, (like I cannot NOT speak to you during school hours.) I’ve been there! …or maybe I haven’t, since we didn’t share a working/schooling physical space and weren’t closeted with most mutual friends.

But these last two episodes really brought me over to their side. What was once blind, stupid impulsiveness has become an inspiration: If i were in a similar situation, with hostility and disapproval on all fronts with no sign of respite in sight, would I be so brave to continue to stand firm for what I believe in, and do what I think is right?

To lose your family, your friends, your job, your community, you life and still stand strong?

At least they can get married. Part of me thought. Even if gay people were to run off to some other country to get married, that piece of paper would have absolutely no power back home. We’d still have absolutely nothing. And in time, when the scandal has blown over, they will become just any other couple, blending in. They can rebuild. Gay will always be gay, and will always stand out. 

What would you do? What would I do? Would I be willing to give up my family, my home and friends if it came down to it, for the person I love? Would “giving up” your family, home and friends even be the ‘Right’ decision to make?

Here’s my stab at it:

You’re not ‘giving up’ anything. You’re merely standing by what you believe in, you’re merely staying true to yourself. And if, because of that, other people fall away, that’s hardly your doing, your choice, nor your fault. And if they should, in time, change their minds about accepting who you are, you’d more than welcome them back with open arms. The only ‘giving up’ would be if you gave up on your dreams, your beliefs, your values and yourself.

The only choice you should be making is to stand by what you believe in, and to stay true to yourself. Leave judging and rejecting of people to someone else, that’s not your choice to make.
—-

I guess this is the follow up to my Charles and Erik post that I’ve been meaning to do for the longest time, but hadn’t truly reached the conclusion in my mind and heart. I knew where it was heading all along; It just took me a while to get there. Am I there yet? Maybe I still have a little way to go… maybe we’ll always have a little way to go. You always have something to better, something to work towards. That’s life.

To recap my entry, I was envisioning Charles Xavier as someone holding a belief (presumably the Right one): that mutants should ultimately live in harmony with humans ie humans are friends, and Erick (Magneto) holding a differing belief (presumably the Wrong one): that mutants and humans can’t be in harmony ie humans are the enemy. And these differing beliefs, while not directly pitting them against each other, were different and serious enough to change them from friends to enemies. And I wondered where such a line would be drawn? What kind of differing beliefs would make turning against a friend justifiable, and inevitable?

Specifically, I was using this fictitious example to help me think about these these differing beliefs: homosexually is morally wrong / homosexuality is NOT morally wrong; religious beliefs in general.

Soon after I wrote the post, a friend pointed this out to me: If i insist on alienating or cutting ties with people who think homosexuality is Wrong, I would have turned into Magneto. It’s not, as I was envisioning, Xavier vs Magneto representing pro-gay and anti-gay. But rather, mutants as homosexuals, humans as heterosexuals and Magneto the one who has turned evil, hating all humans for the evil deeds of a few. So the right answer, according to X-Men? Be Charles, and not lose hope. Be Charles, and reach out even to the ones kicking you down. Be Charles, for how else would humans be able to know that mutants aren’t all bad?

And I also realized: neither Charles nor Eric ever rejects each other? They never said, “You’re not with me? Then you’re against me. From this day forth you are my sworn enemy and I hate your guts and nothing will change that.” Wasn’t it more like, “Friend, join me. No? Well, I’m sorry, friend, I have to go. But the invitation stands.”? Being ‘enemies’ only as a technicality of finding themselves on opposite sides.

Well, I’m not an X-men fanboy or fanatic, so forgive me if I’m straying from canon and projecting my own ideas onto the characters.

But… the lesson never seems to change does it? Be a Gandhi. Be a Jesus (ok tbh I’m still feeling slightly sore about Jesus/christianity). Be a Charles.

That is… hold on to what you know is true. Stand up for what you know is right. And most of all, love and accept everyone. Leave the judging and rejecting to the one who has all the answers (or thinks he has all the answers, anyway.)

Ripped Heart


Sudden, unexpected, violent–
All that’s left, a gapping hole.
The magnificent tree that had been seeded
that had taken root
that had been growing beautifully
under tender loving care
unceremoniously uprooted.

By what? who? where? how? why?
In shock and reeling from injuries
can only stare.
Stare and stare at where it used to be
as the wounded heart bleeds.

Reaching out frantically–
Where is it?
Just a mistake. A wayward wind, maybe.
Wrecking unintentional havoc.
A trial to be overcome.
Re-plant the tree, quick!
Put it back where it was, fill up that hole, tis not too late.
It’ll recover, and be stronger from this.

The tree… is gone.
Twas not a wayward wind.
I see that now.
Twas a deliberate act.
To rip, to hack, to chop, to destroy.
There’s no hope left for it.

Well, maybe– start again?
Here’s a seed from the beloved tree.
Should I place it in the hole?
Start a new chapter of the same book?
It’ll be good–mistakes made with the previous tree won’t be repeated.
It’ll outshine it’s predecessor.

The seed’s… not growing.
It’s not receiving the love or care it needs–
or perhaps it was a bad seed from the start.
Bad trees bear bad fruits which give us…
dead seeds. Not worth the time.

The gapping hole stares back.
Blacker, bigger
each time you look.
The edges harden–or are they healing?
No, they turn black from poison.

The darkest, roughest parts
are those in contact with the roots of the missing tree.
Once full of life and joy,
now only death.

It’ll be a slow and painful
but necessary process
to weed out every single last tendril
deeply entrenched and entangled
in the soil of the heart.

Great care is required
to not cause more damage
to let the heart heal
to extricate
every
last
memory

and send it the way of the obliterated tree.

(How inconsiderate
to take the tree but leave the troublesome roots.
Leave it there to develop and flourish
else don’t even start to grow it at all.)