When I was younger, I drew a lot. Incessantly. I drew the Dragon Ball Z characters on the back of a boy’s shirt in high school, gave him the picture because I didn’t want it (it was a good likeness, but one eye in the drawing was slightly crooked and my neuroticism kicked in) and he asked me on a date the next day.
I drew so much I didn’t understand social cues like giving a boy a picture you drew from the back of his shirt might mean you “like” him. I liked him well enough, but I didn’t “like, like” him. We were a thing for about a week—until he phoned me one night with his buddies on the call to ask what kind of panties I was wearing.
I said “granny,” proudly. I was a prude.
Honestly, I would have been better off staying a bit of a prude. Being made fun of for not wearing a thong when you’re fifteen is rooted in the sentiments of women being useful to men in a purely sexual way. My lack of a desire to respond left me feeling useless in a way I didn’t know how to account for, not having identified much, at that point, with anything beyond music, sports, my wee boo interests, language, food. Ah life before the confusing introduction of the interplay between my own female self and the poor men who would become my unwitting victims.
That makes it sound like I meant to hurt them. Maybe I did. Maybe I distrusted and disliked men after hitting puberty because I was the girls who hung out with all the guys—I was sporty, strong, and pretty reserved by the standards of a lot of girls—so when puberty hit, I lost a lot of my friends. But then, it’s not men I distrusted; if I’m considering puberty the moment I stopped trusting men, it is human nature I distrusted, which explains the control issues and xenophobia, plus the eating disorder if you think about it.
Hitting puberty is like discovering an animal has been living secretly inside since birth, taken over half your brain, and must now be tamed and trained to behave or endured.
Use your intuition just not where it matters. That’s how I was trained. How backwards. I was trained to put my faith in men in such a way that they stood for the other half of me. I was raised with subconscious messages that I was half a person because I didn’t have a dick. Thanks every story about princesses and rag tag princes with tons of character from a company I cannot name because lawsuits, and from a generation that came from generations that treated women like brood mares. Read A Coal Miner’s Daughter. Actually, I think there’s a movie. You can watch it. Better yet don’t. Stay happy.
I have subconsciously been running toward my other half only to discover over and over that approaching a relationship as half a person doesn’t save me from having to find that other half. This half is the part of me that knows the action steps I must take towards becoming actualized as a fully functioning individual in society.
Were generations of women before me treated so piecemeal that none developed for herself a personality beyond the expectations of what that personality should mean? Did we develop in secret? Is this why the madness? Is the madness our gift? Hysteria reign!
Responding to my drawing in such a way that the gift of it felt like a mating exchange, in the most typical sense, is not just rooted in the “usefulness” of women. That’s my SJW talking, wanting some conviction of certainty and some finger of blame to point for hurts about this femaleness I haven’t reconciled.
Creativity is birthed from the same energy as sexual energy. I believe it’s what yogis call Shakti, the force of the divine creatoress, goddess of chaos, symbolically associated in the Jungian archetypal sense with the forces of nature, the unknown, the shadow. Gifting someone with a piece of paper upon which a likeness of something pleasing to them has been formed from the deep recesses of this energy can definitely be construed as both a mating call or a gift. Neither of us was wrong. We were just in a state of exploration of the world, but with different goals in mind.
We were on different pages.
Things like this…these missteps in communication…mark the awkwardness of all my years, not just the early ones.
We are all in a state of innocence and exploration of the world, for none of us has lived this moment, this day, this hour, before. Even if you believe in reincarnation, or multiverses, or whatever, this moment is now, now, now, and gone. Always.
After listening to the most recent interview with Elon Musk on The Joe Rogan Experience, in which Elon Musk talks about neural implants designed to fix all brain abnormalities and which may one day replace the need for verbal communication, I wonder if perhaps implants which create a universal language might be necessary in order to prevent us destroying ourselves. “What we have is a lack of communication,” Musk says (I may be paraphrasing).
But essentially the issue of language as symbolic of ideas becomes nullified as we learn to simply transmit the ideas using neural network implants.
Think of The Big Lebowski and Mod—she uses words like “coitus” and speaks Chinese, while the Dude is…well, he’s the dude. You would think he wouldn’t be able to follow Mod’s hyper intelligent, super rational monologues but he understands what’s up, he just uses a different language.
Same meaning, different dialects. How much time passes in the exchange and the interpretation? How many people judge outright and don’t bother to interpret or see on the same page at all when some patience and intelligence will show similar meaning dressed in different getups.
What awkwardness would a generation without these missteps miss out on? What’s more, what is the nature of the new awkwardnesses they must face? Would empathy even matter anymore?
With access to clear cut ideas, no room for error in communication, what speeds will we accelerate our evolution to? And to what end? Already, we have evolved beyond sustainable proportions relative to time. Perhaps it is this hyper speed we need to right the illimitable wrongs that brought us here to the sixth great extinction.
Is this just a symbolic reflection of what it feels like to turn thirty and realize it’s time to maybe start getting some semblance of an actual life together before it spirals out into a sad flushing of what might have been and what inevitably will become?
At times, I feel like Eowyn from LOTR who replies when asked what she fears, “A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”
My perception of my ego is as a cage. I feel trapped in here sometimes.
I read books. I write stories. I take solace in aloneness and creation and quiet.
This is one version of me.
To adapt, we are capable of knowing different facets of ourselves depending on the call of the situation.
To understand one another, we are able to encourage individuality by suspending disbelief, by practicing engaging fiction. The stories of others, the way people think, the secret narratives we tell ourselves about why we do what we do, are all fictional, designed to tailor unlike people into a cooperative, goal-based unit. Businesses, societies, religions, armies. Unified masses win out, historically, but to unify we sacrifice our individuality.
I wonder about this concept in terms of the modern American dream, as well as in terms of relationships.
When you’re in the right relationship, it’s not a question of you or them. You are a unit. I guess that means a good relationship requires some sacrifices of individuality. Not because of men and women but because nature.
It’s the laws of nature we distrust. It’s human nature.
This idea goes somewhat against the “Just be yourself,” euphemism in a general sense, in that the self is not a constant thing. Nor is it static.
The Self is more like a being we bring into focus based on the narrative we project onto the situation. What’s more, we have different layers of narrative capacities.
How many people do you envision yourself as?
I guarantee there are hypocrisies.
I love this.
We fight human nature. We are human beings and yet we put rules and laws and societies in place to organize against nature to perform unnatural things as testaments to skill, in a lunatic drive for comfort, rest, and ease which are states that do occur naturally, although not for controlled periods of time. Nature is a flow state.
You, your ego self, may not want to go into work today for instance. You, your superego, knows that in the long term, a day at work is going to make life much easier for everyone.
We have the ability to switch our narrative to influence willpower.
In the face of sickness or illness, it is most important to maintain a narrative of strength unless you are so afflicted because you have never allowed yourself the surrender, in which case surrender may very well facilitate the healing you seek.
Before a soccer game, I would envision the plays, the game, the players, their moves, the field.
Before work I wake up and try not to envision work until I’m there.
In a strangely backward sense, the only way I’m currently managing my superego is by tricking it into being in the moment as often as possible. Awareness of the inevitable passage of time feels like pressure or misery, neither of which I care to be in now.
This tells me that adapting to my current situation requires slowing down, taking my time.
What’s funny to me is that its in my nature to resist the circumstances in which I find myself, no matter what those circumstances are. Resistance often creates the outcome of that which is being resisted. I relate this fight with myself, a sort of constant self-sabotage, to the previously mentioned idea that human nature necessarily challenges itself through diversity, as Darwin noted about the nature of animals.
We are no different from animals if we cannot abide a human code of conduct. I’m so xenophobic lately, I’d rather identify with an animal some days.