Occasionally I like to type in "depression" and see what stock images come up. For such an unfunny illness, there sure are a lot of humorous pictorial depictions of it. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking alone on a boardwalk in the middle of the ocean, too.
Anyway, I've been meaning to publish a post on this topic all week, but have been holding out for more inspiration to come, so I could present it in the most profound way possible. As it turns out, I'm only 21, and not very profound yet. Still, even at this tender age, I have adages, too.
Today's is about day-to-day living. In my short life span thus far, I have become convinced of two things. One: Happiness and Sadness both are fleeting, and Two: Living is a conscious act. Now, before you call mental health services on me, let me explain.
Like most people, I spend a good portion of my life pursuing happy moments (it's my God-given right, right?) And like most people, I've eventually been confronted with the fact that obtaining happiness does not guarantee retaining it permanently. Maybe it's the natural undulating quality of mankind, or maybe I haven't sought happiness in the right things quite yet. Either way, I find that as a result, I tend to cling to my happy moments like they are the last flight out of Vietnam, willing them with all my might to stay; to defy time and last forever. Consequently, happiness often has an anxious quality about it because it is underscored by the dreadful knowledge that all of this must eventually end.
Conversely, it seems that so many of my difficult moments are simply endured, and endured only because they promise better times ahead. While this is a proven survival technique, I've begun to wonder whether there isn't a more noble way to process all of this...
...and decided that, indeed, there is. It was first introduced to me in the depressive's bible, The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon. Imparting learned wisdom to his readers, Solomon encourages his fellow melancholiacs to "inhabit every moment." I think probably no other piece of advice has ever resounded with me so immediately and so completely. It makes so much sense, it feels so right to be fully present for each moment. Happiness is not spent dreading Sadness, and Sadness is not spent looking forward to Happiness. They just are, right here, right now. How can we afford to live any other way?
I feel myself waxing lame, so I'm going to expedite the rest of this epiphany. The point is, I'm officially convinced of the importance of fully living - that is, inhabiting - every moment that I experience. When I am happy, I enjoy it, and I am grateful. I roll around in it like a spot of sunshine on the carpet and try to keep from dreading its inevitable end - that horrible knowledge that all this will soon be over - because the fact is that it isn't over yet . Now is all I have to experience, and right now is happiness. And when Sadness comes, well, I try to roll around in that, too - fully feeling every pain that enters me, letting it run its course in me, coming to know it as intimitely as I know my best friend. It doesn't matter that I'm tired of knowing it, because the truth is that whether or not I am conscious of it, each day I live is another day that I have chosen to remain here, confronting these moments.
Dag nab it, I was really hoping this wouldn't become one of those "live every day to the fullest" posts. I guess that is what I'm essentially saying, but I just hate cliches so. Oh well, the damage is done.
I am grateful for pain. Not only does it make my highs more high, but it is a surefire way of maintaining meaning in my life.
Whoooaa there, bet you weren't expecting me to whip this puppy out today, were you. Next time I'll try to write about how plaid is the new pink or something.
Ripped it right out of an envelope addressed to some Kristin Gillespie who was not in our system, therefore she does not reside at BYU anymore, therefore the pen inside is mine. It says Brigham Young University on it. I could use a good pen. I've been buying a lot of duds lately. Thanks, National Pen Company.
Also, good news all you faithful followers! I feel an influx of blog posts coming on, possibly with regular frequency, because I am so mind-numbingly lonely. Blogging, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Here are some unconnected thoughts for you, from me, as of 9:32am, 7 Jan 2010:
I love my job because I am being paid to blog.
I am po'. It's my own fault. Thanks for the financial reinforcements as always, parents!
Boys make me sad.
I miss Teancum.
And my family.
I really enjoy BYU bookstore cinnamon sugar bagels with apple cinnamon cream cheese. Mmmm.
Mail-sorting ruins the flesh around my nails.
Casimir Pulaski Day by Sufjan Stevens is a great song and I am inexplicably obsessed with it.
Speaking of great songs, thanks to Bryce for letting me kife "The Resistance" (by Muse) from him. Why is that band so rockin'?
I made apple waffles on my new waffle iron yesterday and it was successful and delicious. Love it.
Campus Plaza is kind of ridiculous in its ghetto-ness. It's cool though.
Single student life is lonely. I hate it.
I'm kind of a downer, huh.
Running makes me happy.
And so does black-bottom cherry cream cheese pie.
Also, I watched Wayne's World last night, and while it is pretty much really crude and dumb, I also found it to be undoubtedly comedic. I'm glad there are some movies like that.
Yesterday in my abnormal psych class, I watched a how-to video from the 40's on performing lobotomies. Gross. And fascinating! Did you know that the Utah State Hospital is 125 years old? It is, like, a legit, creepy, old-time insane asylum. Maybe I should quit school and take a year-long tour of all the historic insane asylums of America. That sounds like a good use of my time and resources.
My boss is the sweetest, most good-humored, old man ever. He is a Vietnam vet. His hands are really dry and crackly. He gives me the rock nearly every morning. I love him. I love old men.
I have much respect for bus drivers, especially the ones who have been driving the same route for over 30 years. That is unfathomable to me. But then, I do have a lot of growing up to do.
I only have one class today. That is happy.
That bookstore bagel and cream cheese is sounding pretty applicable right about now. But then I'd have to leave this room and walk out in the cold and then walk back. Is it worth it? And when should I nap? Or should I? It's very important to schedule one's naps carefully.
Deep purple and cranberry actually go pretty well together, I think. I didn't used to think so.
Ok, I have a plan. I'm going to go buy a bagel, eat it, then take a brief nap in the B-wing bathroom, then go to class, then resume my nap until my friend (lets call her Lola) comes to pick me up and take me to Murray. Cool. Ready, break.
Am I seriously going to post this? Yes. Yes, I am.