Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Self Absorbed Lockdown

The past two weeks I've been fairly self absorbed in my own personal life and haven't felt like writing or doing much of anything. Thankfully this "crisis" and sudden cold snap coincided with when I was asked to house sit so I have not had to brave the single digit temperatures at night in my van. Partially because I feel guilty for using other people's resources but also because I've become used to the cold, I've left the thermostat on 64 in the house - a planet Hoth to most civilized folks. Driving to see my kids the other day I witnessed several tents under the freeways as well as a bunch of people holding hands in a circle around a pile of shit which I can only imagine were the posessions of some poor homeless folks. I have it pretty good compared to many in the world.

Not having to work this entire 9 days of house sitting, I've essentially slept on the couch and watched movies eating one meal a day. It dawned on me that this is the first time I've ever done this in my life. I've either been working or had other people around my entire life and the peace was nice. So this is what it's like huh? Ok, cool. I could get used to this from time to time.

Stumble Upon provided me with two articles related to psychology and I feel that a few points bear repeating. One article was about how false memories can be placed in our minds, take root and seem real, even traumatizing to us. That's an extremely scary proposition because our experiences shape our current behavior and can really fuck up future decisions. After being disturbed by the knowledge that my memories may be betraying me, I have come to the conclusion that it's best to live out of what I want to be, not what I think I've been. It's also important to not shut people out of your life. I've reacted to my impressions of events and pushed people away Now I'm trying to be honest with how I feel and try to clear the air. Instead of running, I have boundries that I don't feel guilty about. If they can stay within the boundries then we can have a relationship. I met up with my former mentor yesterday and had an honest talk about, life, God etc. Even though I knew the answers weren't what he wanted to hear it felt great to know that I was able to maintain a connection with a fellow human while still retaining my integrity.

The second article was related to justifying preferences. A study was done where two groups of students were given the option to select one of two posters. One group only had to choose a poster then sod off while the other group had to first explain their choice in writing. After a few months the researchers went back to see how the students felt about the posters they had selected. By a huge margin the participants who were forced to explain their choice hated the poster they selected while the other group was generally still happy with their selection. Don't ever feel the need to justify your preferences to other people. If you like something then don't change just because you can't explain it. Most true artists are considered odd, outlandish, eccentric, vulgar - a host of pejoratives. However, many who remained true to their vision are eventually celebrated as masters in their field. If you want to leave an impression on the world, just do you.

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