Adulthood is supposed to provide freedom, excitement, power, and influence with which we are supposed to change the world. It may very well do all of these things for the chosen few, but in the past few decades it seems as if adulthood has equated to nothing more to the masses than drudging through everyday necessary activities, paying bills, meeting ridiculous deadlines, struggling to barely breath...
I have recently begun living in "adulthood," but I have been so dismayed at what it has to offer me so far. Sure, I have excellent grades, a devoted fiance, a bright future ahead of me, a clean record, and a comparatively low amount of loans; however, I have seen the dismal and desperate looks on the faces of adults around me for too many years. They have eyes that are dead, skin that's pale, movements that are edited, laughter that's forced, and happiness that's laboriously mustered up. Everyday I watch people interact in depressing manner that resembles the Doldrums in Phantom Tollbooth.
I thought that if I tried to live with vigor, passion, insight, and prudence that I would avoid the broken situations that characterize the real-life Doldrums surrounding me; however, it seems that misery truly does love company and the real-life Doldrums do not desire to better their situation and constantly try to invade my life to eradicate any semblance of fire that exists within me. They tell me to be wary of love and to never marry because it is always doomed. They tell me to have promiscuous sexual encounters because I should enjoy things while they last. They only offer sensory numbing liquids and drugs when I try to think of something fun to do. They criticize or ostracize me for giving brutally honest answers to questions asked. They applaud me for the accomplishments I achieve, but discourage me from challenging my limits and refuse to accompany me in my pursuit for life. If I tell them the honesty that they "want" to hear, they often pause for a second, bend their head, come up with a passive response that avoids accepting the blame, kindle anger inside of themselves, and redirect their self-hatred and/or insecurity towards me and my imperfections at our next encounter.
What do the Doldrums really want? They want me to make them feel comfortable. To console their fragile self-esteems by reassuring their lies that there was nothing else they could do, there was no other path they could take. Why do the Doldrums ask for honesty when only 1 out of 100 people will give it to them, and when that one person does oblige the Doldrums unanimously conclude that it is unacceptable? Perhaps, the false-questions and leading statements are only reality-checks to see if their comrades are trying to buy into the lies as well, so that when they find the few people who are trying to rebel against self-soothing philosophies pervading the western-world the Doldrums can beat them back into line.
Perhaps, it is only myself and my fiance that see most of the world this way, but I doubt it. He and I both know that we are not the only fans of Hunter S. Thompson because of his honesty, wit, and his severe hatred for facades.
Over dinner tonight, my fiance and I were discussing how much of a let down that life has seemed to be. It is as if there is a constant cloud over everyone, despite the fact that we both have so much good in our lives and so much good we are trying to pursue. The Doldrums around us pretend they do not see or feel the cloud shrouding them in gray as well, but it is obvious they do because everyone has a method of coping. I cope by throwing tantrums and pointing fingers at everyone around me to blame them for causing me to feel as if my life is unassuming because I feel safer hurting others before they can add to the hurt I've felt inside for many years. My fiance copes by over-indulgence and always playing the "nice-guy" in order to make himself seem as non-controversial as possible so that he builds a persona that is so different than himself that when people throw insults at him they are so far off the mark of his true-identity that it does not phase him. Even though we both have signature lies, we loathe them and try to destroy them whenever possible. We are constantly trying to learn what it means to be honestly happy and to know God's purpose for us and to have passionate lives. However, like I said earlier, Doldrums and misery love company, so that when we both have made decisions or spoke words we honestly felt, chaos has ensued.
All of these feelings and more remind me of two things: Socrates and The Watchmen. To explain the first, I am afraid of what I am to become because of the anger that my words have called-out of people. One person said that I reminded them of Socrates because of the questions I asked and statements I said and tried to console me by saying Socrates was respected. I responded by reminding them that Socrates was also murdered because he made everyone uncomfortable and that no one stood up and really tried to save him, am I to have a similar fate and only be tolerated by the public because I challenge people's security blankets? I am scared that I will never be excepted, but I am more terrified to coddle the lies that so many people do. To explain the second, throughout The Watchmen the viewer witnesses heroes fight crime and do whats "right." In the end, what is "right" is equivocated to the worst of evils, the simultaneous murder of millions of people all over the world. The only reason why this evil was tolerated was because of the realization that people do not just lie to each other and themselves, they love to. As Edward Blake dangerously put " 'What happened to the American Dream?' It came true! You're lookin' at it..."
And if this is true that means "This is a joke. This is all a joke..." That is my greatest fear.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
It was a hot, humid night laying in a hammock in South Carolina. I had just graduated high school and had been thrust into an emotionally-charged romance with a boy who I had viewed only as a best friend until a few weeks prior to graduation. As we lay next to each other listening to the crickets, batting away the gnats, and smelling like dried lake water we began to talk about our friendship, our relationship, and our future. Neither of us had ever felt the pangs of heart-brokenness caused by losing "your first love," but we both knew that when August came and we both left to attend separate colleges that our comfortable relationship would drastically change. We began to discuss how we were individually going to adjust to our separation and he pressed me for my opinion on our seemingly-doomed relationship. I looked up at the black sky and replied "You are like my Miracle Bubble." He turned his head to look at me and laughed, confused at my fantastical and unusual answer. It was at this time that I explained that I had certain people in my life that affectionately called Miracle Bubbles.
During my childhood I changed elementary schools twice, middle schools twice, and high schools twice. As a result, I often had short, broken, and poorly-ended friendships with many people that I have never seen again. I learned to cope with the uncertainty and dismay I felt for not having any lasting connections by cherishing little moments with people. Occasionally I would develop a strong friendship with a truly wonderful person and over the course of our friendship my brain would memorize the lines of their face, the sound of their laugh, and the expression of sadness, laughter, and curiosity in their eyes. Their comments, questions, and jokes would permeate my thoughts daily as if I was subconsciously trying to meditate on the wonderfulness and beauty existing in the spirit and mind of that person so that I could somehow be made purer. It was this special group of people that really compelled me to laugh and live from day to day. They cut through my numbness and kindled the fire inside of me; they performed a miracle. However, our situations would change after a given amount of time and I would be physically separated from each and every one of them; they would float away. The combination of the inexplicable vivid life I led with each person and my inevitable separation from those I cared about the most placed those truly wonderful people in a whole new realm of existence. They became Miracle Bubbles.
As I explained this to my best-friend on the hammock with tears in my eyes, he looked at me in silence. I did not need for him to say anything or attempt to console me because I was crying water-droplets of joy and awe, not sorrow. He was next to my side on that hammock and had been my friend through thick-and-thin. When I left for college, I risked never seeing him in person again, but I had accepted that. He had encouraged me to live and is a truly wonderful person and because of that I finished my explanation to him that night with "You are one of my Miracle Bubbles."