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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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This is probably either a lot more or a lot less deasperate than it sounds. I'm not sure which thoug
delirium happy
As is my way, from time to time, I've been Thinking recently, which any fool can tell you is a distinctly dangerous thing to go doing. Specifically, I was thinking about my core values. I was pondering the question, what really matters? What is important? What do I care about? (yes, I am aware that that's actually three questions)

The answer that I came up with was actually fairly disconcerting. There is very very little that I care. Maybe a handful of people. A few very vague and nebulous concepts along the lines of liberté and egalité (though not fraternité). A bit about my self. And... that's about it.

There are a whole lot of things that I think I probably ought to care about. Lots more people. Doing what's right. Physics. Gay rights. Mental health issues. Conservation. The disproportionate power of the media and multinational corporatios. Health. Happiness. Friendship. All sort of stuff. But I just... don't. My skin has grown too thick. My expectations have got too low. Passion may rule reason, but cynicism trumps either of them.

I don't like this. I don't like this one littlle bit. It's all too familiar. I want to lose some of my jaded cynicism and get a bit of wonder back in my life. I want some passion again. I want to feel alive, damnit.

So help me out a little bit here. What should I be doing? What is there out there in this big bad world of ours that is actually worth caring about? How do I learn how to live again?

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How do I learn how to live again?

If you find a spectacular solution to that, let me know.

Actually, my photography has helped me a little bit. It's made me look at things a bit more. Not people - not interested in taking pics of people. But nature. It sort of makes me realise that none of it really matters in a way - politics, society, people. Because nature keeps on going in its own wonderous little way whatever we do. And I find it all ridiculous, because we're part of nature, and we're complicating things.

So, I guess a good starting place to learn how to live again is to start with the basics, the simple things, the things around you. Get to know them and to care about them, and then concern yourself with the bigger things, if you need to. Some of the bigger things are just too big, so we can't necessarily grasp them. So, little things. Like conservation - put a bird feeder outside your window, grow some flowers in a windowbox or something. It's not much, but it's a small way of getting involved.

Stop moving, and watch life. Then, when you feel comfortable stepping in, go ahead--but take baby steps. Write for yourself. Take an afternoon and exhaust your body (walking, hiking, biking, whatever you prefer) just to see where your mind goes. Consciously do nice things--little ones, like holding a door for an elderly person--and know that you're making life a little better.
And the number one way to live is to forget yourself.

sarianna is right. Take care of yourself, and gently take care of others, a little bit. Keep some of that cynicism -- you've earned it. But also learn that just because many people suck, they don't suck all the time. Cultivate some pity for others. Note the differences you make to individual people for doing something.


I'm going to have to agree with Miss Jessica.

Crap. You know that it's just not going to be your day when you find yourself being ganged up on by New England hippies. (even kewt and kewl ones)

The thing is, I think that cynicism is now a defense mechanism for me, similar to how self-deprecation was many moons ago (before you knew me). It's almost instinctive now. Instead of actually thinking about something, or displaying my real feelings, I just automatically reach for the cynical viewpoint, and I don't like that. I want to learn how to let go of some of that and actually start holding opinions about things again, rather than thinking that none of it actually matters so I may as well just be deliberately contraversial.

The problem is, I don't want to give up all of my cynicism because I kinda like it, and I'd go crazy without it, so that makes it hard to just give it up. On the other hand, can you kindly beat me about the head a bit with large sticks if you see me laying the cynicism on excessively? Please?

Hippie hippie hippie hippie hippie hippie hippie hippie hippie hippie mushroom mushroom.

Anyway, with that out of the way, I agree. I think your cynicism was well earned, too. (The transgender crowd? LJ? Uni kids?) You need to learn a balance between cynicism and cautious optimism, and moreover, learn to fight it 24:7 -- because for instance, I tend towards pessimism to no end, even though I know it's unjustified. But by knowing that, I can fight it decently, and say, okay, that's not fair, even if only to myself.

Hey, progress is progress. And certainly I'll say a word when I see it, sweetheart.

totally OT, but....

I didn't realize that you're a Blockhead too! yey NH! =D I'm up in Bartlett, just north of North Conway. :)

Re: totally OT, but....

I'm from the part of the state that may as well be Massachusetts. ;) I grew up in Nashua and went to school in Massachusetts, but moved to Manchester as a newlywed, and 2 kids and 1 divorce later, I'm still here. My boyfriend works with one of the über-hip advertising firms in the restored millyard (rho, we had textile mills, much as all y'all had cotton mills back in the 1850s), and a friend who's staying with us originally is from Laconia.

I've always felt quite bad for those of you north of the Kancamangus -- I mean, at least here, we can have a festival in December where "All the Fucking Tourists Have Gone Home", whereas the end of foliage season merely means the beginning of ski season for all y'all, which tends to then seamlessly blend into people starting to take weekends in the mountains at the summer homes.

Re: totally OT, but....

Heheh, I'm originally from Peabody, MA. I just moved up here this past May. Should be interesting, but at least I get to leave for ZooMass this fall (a welcome change from GW...no more bumping into Condoleeza Rice in CVS, thank G-d!). =)
I've never been skiing. How odd is that? I actually dislike winter. And autumn. I pretty much only like summer. Must move out of New England.

I am reminded a bit of a friendship I had once with a cynical snarky queen named Peter. Peter was adorable, and I was kind of platonically infatuated with him, if that makes sense. But I noticed after a while that I had lost a lot of my goodwill towards people - not the people I loved, but the people I just kind of tolerated or actively disliked (eg at college). While I was deeply involved with Peter, I defaulted to cynicism in dealing with those people, instead of my real default, which is where you kind of breathe, try to see where the other person is coming from, and go forward from there. (This isn't even on particularly goodhearted grounds or anything, either - it's just the purely pragmatic reality of "this is what works").

Anyway. I finally connected the dots up - I did have cynicism in my nature, yes, and that wasn't a bad thing, but hanging out with Peter had really brought it to the fore. I didn't stop hanging out with him, and I didn't even stop snarking with him, but when he was being cynical, I'd say to myself, "I'm going along with this conversation because it's funny and there's some truth in it, but I don't have to make it my whole worldview. This is his stuff, not mine." And that...kind of broke the spell.

I just think we all have things that encourage our various traits and thought modes and heart movements, both good and bad - people, social places, ideologies. And I don't think we have to give up the things that encourage the bad ones, necessarily. But (IMO) it's good to be aware of them and keep that little bit of separation that says, "There's truth in this, but it's not the whole truth."

What everyone else has said:-)

But also, try not to feel too disillusioned about not being able to care about the things you want to be able to care about. Eventually you'll see/hear something that'll bring back all of your old passions - for me it was hearing about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by British troops. I was quite genuinely livid, and this is after a few months of not caring about much.

I know from past experience that there's a fine line with things like that. If you don't care about it enough then there's no motivation for change, but if you care about it too much then you end up getting frustrated and down on yourself and it's very unproductive. Needless to say, i'm going to aim for the balance point.

I'm not sure how exactly relevant this is to your particular variety of cynicism, but what springs to mind from my experience is that caring (about anything) takes energy. And if you look after _yourself_ well then you have more energy available. So if it was me I would be recommending to myself: sleep lots, eat well, go swimming. Your equivalents may vary :-)

Not saying there is no mental/emotional "work" to be done too, but I would treat health & self-nurturing as kind of a foundation for what you're talking about.

anyway good question I think!

Babysteps... one small thing at a time. Find one thing you care about, and others will grow from it, slowly.

If you can, find people who care about something, something you think ought to care about, and join them. Caring can be infectious.

You might want to give yourself a holiday from any excesively cynical community you are part of, for a while. cynicism is infectious too, and it often feels like *fun* while doing it, but not so much after.

Find why you need a defense mechanism: what are you defending yourself from? what are you defending yourself against?

And finally, more caring about physics:

From bash.org:

#13813 +(391)- [X]
[Leo-chan] I have a large warehouse full of large weapons of mass destruction
[webrunner] Destroying mass is against the laws of thermodynamics!
[Leo-chan] screw the laws of thermodynamics!
* Leo-chan pulls out a perpetual motion machine
* webrunner stops the machine
* webrunner holds out a "Thermodynamics Police" badge

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