Thursday, August 11, 2011

How to Not Let the World Drive You Crazy (if you're me)

For my 100th blog, I thought it appropriate that I actually show up and write a blog, (rather than just post some poetry).  The obvious topic: Why haven't I been blogging?  Ok, gather 'round girls and boys and we'll work this one out.

I think the main thing that has kept me away has been the things I've been thinking of.  They don't have any simple solutions or plausible explanations.  I can't find that Pollyanna spin for any of it.  I suppose it boils down to shock and awe at the state of the world.  The problem with that... ok, I can't even begin to breathe on a whisper of a hint of the problems with that.  But the problem with me thinking of it is that it is without solution.  That is, as long as we look at the big picture.  And I've written about this before so I know this already.  When you stand too close and look at the details, when you try to work it all out and make some sense of it, when you try to see what's really going on behind what we're told, you feel very, very small.  And that's no way to ignite a revolutionary state of mind, or to promote any sort of hope at all.  What a person has to keep in mind is that the world is absolutely, incurably, undeniably, sickeningly, and dangerously insane.  And it's not our fault.  Well, that is, it's not our fault- individually.  But the point is that we're not meant to try and affect that mess.  We're not supposed to be out to slay that wind-mill.  We're each here about our own individual business and that can get lost in a heartbeat as loud as this world can be. 

Ah, there's the thing that does me in- the roar of the world.  It comes in so many voices.  It's the T.V. I stopped watching, the horrors that are happening even though I'm not looking, political opining, so many -ism's, so much abuse and cruelty. It's just a big, loud world out there and it can rub a person raw just to know about it.  My reaction to that is to retreat till the scabs heal.  I'm really glad to say that I've learned a lot in this quiet time.  Rather than dwelling deep within anything, I've simply been staying really close to myself.  I've watched my responses and thought about how certain things affect me and why my responses might be so different from those of the people around me.  People are fascinating people.  We can have so much in common and yet such different ways of being.  One of the most important things I've started to, (finally), realize is that sometimes people just don't understand.  I think I forget about how unique we all are and expect that other people can understand why I might deal with something in a certain way, or even an opinion I might have.  Something in that "wanting to please" part trys to tell me that if someone else can't comprehend what I'm going through, I must be doing something wrong.  I forget that it's me who's going through the thing.  Of course someone else would do something differently, they're not me!  I can see where you might be getting bored right about now, what is this, Sesame Street Self Help?  But bear with me, this is ground breaking stuff for this girl. 

So I've rather sloppily established two things so far.  1. Don't worry about the world.  Have compassion but don't let that drain passion.  2.  Don't worry when they don't get it.  They never will and it won't ever matter.
Well, that feels better.  Now I have to add something I, (mercifully), learned a long time ago.  3.  Laugh at yourself!

 I can not stress the importance of number three.  I would make it number one but if you skip one and two you won't be laughing at anything anyway.   I think I may have a mild form of what Big Pharm likes to call social anxiety.  What that really means is I'm shy.  And I, (as I believe we've covered), think too much of the opinions of others and, for some reason, really want to be understood.  Again, I can not stress the importance of number three.  I have had some awkward moments and uncomfortable situations that might have literally killed me of embarrassment in my teens.  (Yes, I understand the word.  I actually believe I might have died of heart failure or brain aneurysm in any of several situations in my life had I not learned the ability to laugh at myself.)  I would really like to announce my retirement from the habit of occasional dorkiness and doing things others find strange but it would be short lived.  Besides, trying or not, I'm one of the funniest people I know.

4.  Have good friends.  This is a tough one.  I am a very lucky person in that I have some very dear friends who have become a family to me.  I've retreated from them in a lot of ways too but the retreat is something I'm willing to retire from.  I think I just take in so much from so many directions and I haven't learned to filter it properly so at some point I just start to hide from everything.  Again, this is a thing a lot of people don't understand but knowing that, I can try to at least explain the need.  I feel like I've made so many gains.  I know that I tend toward depression in the winter and that was surely an issue in that season but my desire to spend a lot of time alone outlasted depression.  I started to understand what that time is for.  I need to make a conscious effort to sit with myself and process what I've been through in the day or week.  It's a nasty habit of this culture to plow ahead through each dayweekmonthyear without really slowing down to say, "How do I feel in this moment?".  So, I need to ask myself how I feel in this moment and then pick up the damn phone and call someone to talk about it.  I also really want to get more comfortable processing these things with my friends, rather than brooding over them alone.

5.  Write.  Writing has been my anchor at every turn and for so long in my life.  It's what happens as a result of my life.  It's the safest way to figure something out.  My other favorite pressure valve is singing.  Sometimes I don't have any words for a thing but a ton of emotion.  If I'm excited or angry or overwhelmed, I'll put on some music I like and belt out a few songs, it helps push the excess energy out.  Also, sometimes if I'm feeling lazy I can sing and get energy, too.  It helps I live in a house so I'm not driving neighbors crazy.  So maybe number five should officially be 5.  Find things that make you happy and do them.  Or, to be more specific, learn what soothes you.  Having outlets and hobbies and interests is an essential way to nurture the soul.  It's these things and our connections with others that really make our lives. 

This feels like another really disorganized post but it also felt like a good write.  I'd like to recap:

How to not let the world drive you crazy if you're me:

1.  Don't worry over the world's details.

2.  Don't worry what they think.

3.  Laugh at yourself!!

4.  Have amazing friends.

5.  Do what you love and what nurtures you, (even hiding away sometimes).

Wow, that's doable.  See, I should have just blogged a long time ago, I would have figured it all out.  :)  Not really, its a process.  That is, it's all part of the show, folks. 


  1. Well done on your 100th post, here's to many, many more.

    I'm loving your top 5 of how not to let the world drive you crazy .... I certainly identify with them all, especially number 3.

    Part of the show indeed, I know I find blogging great therapy.

  2. Thank you! Oh, number 3 is the MOST important! Blogging is wonderful therapy! Writing of any kind, really. Blogging just means getting used to sharing what I'm writing and thinking again.

  3. Love this post. Congratulations on your 100th.

    I can sure relate to so much of what you're saying. Because you mentioned Sesame Street, I thought of the old book about just doing the things we learned in kindergarten. Of course your 5 non-crazy suggestions are more grown up.

    Don't think I'm making sense. Anyway, sure enjoyed reading this.

    Blogger is only letting me comment as anonymous.

  4. Stopping by to say hello .... its been a while. Best wishes to you and yours.