bird poops on plum branch

buster


Buster Benson

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anchor entry... i need calmness in my life
bird poops on plum branch
buster
Unintentional Secrets

The guy who started postsecret said something really cheesy in Austin that has been sticking with me lately, "We all have a big secret that, if others knew, would break their hearts.  If we could all just treat each other knowing that there's this heartbreaking secret that we don't know about, perhaps the world would be a friendlier place to live in."

I don't think I really have a big secret or anything... I think it's more like the title of the book "The Secret Lives of People in Love" implies... we all pretty much live secret lives from one another.  The bulk of the stuff that constitutes each of our worlds is hidden from one another.  People in love may have fewer secrets between others than anyone else, but there's still that secret life within each of us merely due to the fact that information can't be perfectly transfered or articulated.

So in this vortex of secrets, mostly inadvertent or unintentional, merely a bi-product of living in different bodies and the fact that thoughts are silent, I feel like I need to relentlessly express myself... try to publicize the internal.  But there are other factors.  Information doesn't just spread through sheer will, we have to create relationships where information is desired, we have to think about the consequences of sharing, we have to remember how much is forgotten, we have to process information and learn from it, but not learn so much that we stop taking in new information.

The Normal Traumatization Process

When we were kids, we had no guard.  No reason to filter our first reaction... love, delight, disgust, etc.  But, eventually, we learn that first reactions have to be filtered.  We have to adhere to certain manners, etiquette, opinions of taste.  Saying you love bunnies, purely innocently, might be okay one day, when the next your older brother tells you that bunnies are stupid.  You become slightly traumatized by this, and next time, you don't mention that you love bunnies, and maybe next time you find you don't love bunnies anymore, and next time you tell your younger sister that bunnies are stupid when she gets excited about them.  This is the normal traumatization of our lives.

But this still occurs.  LOLCATs is really funny until someone says they're stupid, and someone else says they're stupid, and then soon you think they're stupid too.  April Fool's Day is funny until a certain number of people say it's stupid.  Rickrolling is funny, then it's not.  Getting drunk every night is a lot of fun until it's not. 

And then, at some point, we get conditioned to like something again.  Karaoke, Red Bull, Bunnies.  It's the normal traumatization process that keeps us listening to what other people think.  It's really difficult to go against consensus.  Most of the things that we proudly go against consensus with (Lindsay Lohan, Myspace, having kids) we are really only going against global consensus because we have a smaller community of people to back us up.  And consensus with the smaller group is a lot more important than consensus with the global group.  It's with the local group that what's stupid and not stupid has the most impact on us.

Self-Medication

I gave up running in October, trying to take a different approach on health that involved more strength training than endurance training.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen as much impact from the strength training as I was hoping, and I miss the mental and stress-related benefits of running.  So today I got a Nike+ hookup that will allow me to go on runs and track progress that way.  Should be fun.

Coffee and booze have not been helping lately.  I've been noticing how I basically have two-modes, one where I am purely reactive, acting out of self-preservation and defensiveness, and one where I am acting as a form of self-expression, interpreting events as a means to display kindness, respect, love, etc.  The former is bringing me down, and is fueled highly by coffee and booze.  The latter only happens when I feel healthy and rested, and have enough reserve strength to be able to give some of it away without becoming resentful.  Staying on top of my health, remaining "one-up", rather than "one-down", is going to be my focus during this next couple challenging months.

I'm not sure why I'm typing all of this out.  I'm currently "one-down" trying to catch up on taxes, business, finances, personal projects, home projects, love life, friends, and the seasons.  Not going to drink much tonight.

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not sure why I'm responding to this part...

LOLCATs is really funny until someone says they're stupid, and someone else says they're stupid, and then soon you think they're stupid too. April Fool's Day is funny until a certain number of people say it's stupid. Rickrolling is funny, then it's not. Getting drunk every night is a lot of fun until it's not.


I think that this is more about excess and abuse than normal traumatization. Many of these are funny or wonderful because they're new or fresh or clever. It's not other people saying that they're stupid that makes them get old, it's stupid overuses of them that makes them be old.

It's the normal traumatization process that keeps us listening to what other people think. It's really difficult to go against consensus.

But at some point in your development, you realize what is happening (peer pressure is driving your opinions). You realize it's OK to just like what you like - to pay attention to your own voice, and not so much to others. And you know that the people who are really your friends will accept you even if you like bunnies, or whatever. I think it's the fear of not being accepted that makes kids act in the way you describe. At some point, one loses that fear. At some age, it's not really traumatizing to be mocked for liking bunnies, anymore.

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