mathemagicalschema: A blonde-haired boy asleep on an asteroid next to a flower. (Default)
[personal profile] mathemagicalschema

So that last entry. Sounded kinda depressing, huh? I even tagged it "happier than my tone suggests".

I have been having a growing realization that while I do not struggle with experiencing happiness, I think, when my life is such that that's a reasonable way to be feeling about it, I am absolutely dreadful at remembering it, seeking it, and communicating it. This is far from the first time that I've written something, my global mood being pretty happy, maybe mentioning one or two less happy events - and come across as sad as hell, often not even recognizing it until someone points it out. More dramatically, Emily showed me a video she had taken of us during my last visit, and I could hardly remember being the person in it. I can reassemble what the experience must have been like, but watching it was like seeing someone else wearing my face and speaking with my voice.

How godawful would it be to have a happy life but only be able to remember the worst parts of it?

So I've started attempting to record the times when I'm happy, why I'm happy, and what that feels like. It's... hard. I keep putting in stylistic bullshit that turns my attempts at happy sentiment to bittersweetness, or making hilariously sad comments like "wow, this thing happened, and it so totally didn't replicate an anxiety-nightmare! My belief in my worthlessness was so unconfirmed!" Nice try, sad-brain, but we're aiming a little higher than that.

Today my brain had a hilarious little objection as I was examining my reasons for doing this. "Wait a minute," (it seemed to say) "I'm doing this to try to write happy things, but I don't actually like happy writing. As far as emotional content goes, I pretty much just like angst, or happiness-as-angst-counterpoint. I mean, I'll keep doing the journaling anyway, because I want to remember this stuff, but why should I have to write in a tone I don't even like? oh noes inauthenticity" I quickly realized that this sentiment is both absurd and false. Absurd, in that even if I don't want happiness to even be a thing in my tonal palette for creative writing, I of course want to be able to communicate my actual mood in my journalblogging in ways that sound sincere and descriptive. False, in that I very much value and enjoy reading my friends' description of their happiness. Writing is for communication and not just aesthetics, doncha know.

Other assorted things:

  • Guitar continues apace! Yesterday I watched a video of someone introduced as an "amazing musician", and realized the guitar part of the song was easy enough that I could probably play it without inaccuracies within a month. I quickly set about transcribing it - I'm pretty sure it's the same strumming pattern and three one- and two-finger chords the whole way through. It would probably be good for me to listen to less Leo Kottke and more regular people.
  • I am going to try to find myself a song that I really want to play that is well-outside my current abilities, but near enough that I can figure out how to approach it.
  • Herb garden continues to be an herb garden. The parsley and mint have been producing pretty well, though those are the ones I use the least of. The cilantro has just gotten over transplant shock, and is now exploding with feathery new leaves. The basil is the newest addition and seems to be in transplant shock still - which is odd, because it was in a biodegradable pot. Soon! Soon I shall nom all the tasty basil.
  • Started writing fanfiction that must never leave my hard drive. It's so reassuring, though, to be able to work on plot and prose without the pressure of original characters and worldbuilding. And if I do decide to post it (behind about fifty layers of security and obfuscation) I know I'm already above average just by having reasonable grammar most of the time. The certainty of non-ridicule is comforting, even if it stays private.
  • Burritos are delicious. Green habanero hot sauce is delicious. It is making me want to cook with hotter peppers than serranos. This is probably a bad idea.

(no subject)

10/6/14 00:11 (UTC)
quirkytizzy: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] quirkytizzy
Hi! Very pleased to meet you! And funny you should post this today - I've been on an inner tear with myself about "post the happy - but the sad is MORE POWERFUL - well, damnit, happy is still good -" so and and so forth.

It actually makes me wonder if my Lithium needs to be upped or something. But still - I really relate to what you said here.

And I'm looking forward to relating to more of what you write. Thank you.

(no subject)

10/6/14 01:09 (UTC)
auxiliatrix: windranger by diredude (windranger)
Posted by [personal profile] auxiliatrix
Ajahn Brahm has this story about two chicken farmers. One who takes the eggs they lay home to their family, and leaves the chicken dung to be used as fertilizer. And two, who takes the dung back home to their house, and leaves the chicken eggs to rot. Both farmers have chickens, eggs and dung. Yet one uses them wisely and the other does not. The point being, what experiences and memories do you choose to take home with you?

Part of the reason it's easy to take home the bad experiences is there seems to be a cultural preference for taking good things as a given, and asking "how can I learn from the mistakes I made?" or "what can I learn from this painful experience?"

But what if you took the bad, the mistakes, as a given (and given is close to forgiven! :P), and ask, "what can I learn from how I succeeded?" or "what can I learn from this positive experience?"

What would you tend to remember then?

I've only started thinking about this recently. It's easy to hear someone say "forgive yourself for your mistakes", and to wonder endlessly, why can't I practice this? But how often do you act like that person, who says they have forgiven you, but remembers and brings up that mistake at every opportunity, to yourself? Thinking, "let me try to learn one more thing from this mistake! Let it dissuade me from what I'm about to do!"

And remembering strengthens memories.

I know in High School, when I was at the lowest of the low, depressed, suicidal, bullied, panicking, stressed all the time. One of the sticking points about how I felt was how much I could focus during school, how much work I could get done. I've mentioned to you that sometimes, I could hardly keep one sentence in my head. I'd stare at the wall for four hours until I could leave because I couldn't focus. I was obsessed with figuring out why that happened, and how bad it felt.

But I still had days I got a lot of work done. It didn't come often, but you know what? It never occurred to me to pay attention to those times, and ask, why did I succeed so much today? How did it feel to succeed, how did it feel before it happened, after it happened. During it.

I have the feeling I would have gotten a lot further that way, and not have suffered as much.

Love,
Emily

(no subject)

10/6/14 04:10 (UTC)
auxiliatrix: windranger by diredude (windranger)
Posted by [personal profile] auxiliatrix
"There is more to actual happiness than not-danger."

Well said, I wasn't thinking about it from the danger angle, but that is very true. It strikes me that, that is part of the importance of having people whom love you unconditionally and whom can be there for you, it moves more experiences away from "this concerns my safety" because you know you'll be taken care of.

Of course, hun ♥
Edited 10/6/14 04:10 (UTC)

Cool

13/6/14 22:38 (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
Hey, it's Dylan. I like your idea of recording the happy moments. You could write about them in limericks, because no one NO ONE thinks limericks are inauthentic.