Thursday, April 12, 2007

My goodness, it's been a long time since I've posted. My massive audience must be so very disappointed!

I've been thinking lately about people, and my place among them. I mean let's face it: people are practically impossible, and I include myself in this number. We're inconsistent at best, fractious, bumbling, envious, neurotic, and mostly just generally clueless. Some more than others, and often in different ways than each other, but still.

As a person who (sort of) works in psychology, I'm torn between the desire to continue making positive changes in myself, and just wanting to sit on the ground, pout, and say "If you don't like me the way I am, then go away." I'm sometimes so tired of being self-reflective. I mean I had my first therapist when I was 7, and my first self-help book when I was in 5th grade!

I'm familiar with the idea that dealing honestly with problems in relationships is what brings people closer together. I even sometimes believe it. But when faced with problems in relationships of all types, I so often just want to crawl into my den and watch the toob. I don't do it, necessarily, but I want to. Why are there so many problems, anyway? From the friend having her ten-millionth crisis, to the coworker who takes out his misery on the rest of us, to the obnoxious bus passenger who insists on watching a music video on her cell phone at top volume oblivious to the people around her and their glares...sometimes it just all gets to be too much.

I know, I know, there's no way to escape it, and that's just life, whether or not we want it to be that way. I understand about compassion and that I'm the only one who has control over my life and happiness, and whatsmore, I understand that this is pretty much all in my head. I choose how I deal with these situations - they aren't bad or good, they're just neutral.

I was watching a DVD the other day about a group of 100 friends who developed a mindful community in the 1970's with the purpose of developing relationships with each other based on honest communication. One of the members, who was a teen when the group started and is now middle-aged, said that he looked forward to continuing to improve himself until the end. Whew. Just hearing that made me tired. I don't want to do that; I just want to live.

Then it struck me: it's not that I don't want to change, it's just that I don't want personal change to be the whole reason for my life. I want to talk about the weather, or a TV show, or some stupid current event drama, or my cat, or this frivolous novel I just read, in addition to the deep "meaning of it all" stuff, even MORE often than that deep stuff. Some people might call it small talk or fluff, but to me, it's fun to laugh about goofy weirdness that doesn't necessarily make the world a better place or set us up for grand personal change. If it weren't for escape, where would we be? Digging like a muddy Sisyphus in all the stinky muck of the human psyche, never really finding any answers, just more questions? Meh. I'd rather go on vacation.

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