127. personal reminders

I don’t have mood swings. A swing implies a transition from one state to another. Remember that game Asteroids? You fly this little spaceship (actually a triangle) around the screen trying to blast polygons. If you fly past one edge of the screen, you reappear on the opposite side. Well if good mood is the left side of the screen and bad mood is the right side, then my spaceship stays near the edges and warps between the two.

Anyway, I’m getting really tired of it…and that’s kind of pissing me off, which kind of contradicts what I want to write about…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

There’s this book by Dennis Prager called, Happiness Is A Serious Problem. I read about half of it before it got stolen along with the rest of my backpack (along with my treasured Etymotic Research ER4P earphones…pricey bastards, but the sound is oh so choice). Anyway, one of Prager’s arguments in the book is, “Not only do we have the right to be happy, we have an obligation to be happy. Our happiness has an effect on the lives of everyone around us—it provides them with a positive enviroment in which to thrive and to be happy themselves.” And I’ve been thinking about this last bit lately.

I used to do my best to smile and act okay even when I wasn’t okay. Even around my closest friends, I’d only let them know I was in a shitty mood if I went to them for help. I mean if they just came out and asked me, I’d usually say I was okay (fyi…in Randall’s dictionary, “okay” or “all right,” usually means “shitty.” If I’m doing well, I say, “I’m good” or “I’m fine.” If I say, “I’m doing great,” that usually means I have a date scheduled or I just won a kick ass game of chess). However, lately I’ve been just wearing my emotions on my sleeve. I didn’t make an effort to smile if I didn’t feel like it. I didn’t make witty jokes or try to disguise my bad mood with pleasant small talk. I wore my long face where everyone could see.

It wasn’t a conscious decision, I was just tired of politely pretending. I didn’t do it to elicit a response or to see what would happen, but the effect that had on my friends was striking. Just as Prager states in his quote about his book, “our [mood] has an effect on the lives of everyone around us. . .” And I don’t know if it was just my imagination, but it seemed like my bad vibes were having an effect on those around me. It seemed to make those around me uneasy, queasy, awkward. This, of course, made me feel even worse for passing my melancholy around like the flu.

Anyway, I have to say that I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I mean, it’s such bullshit. What the hell do I have the right to complain about? What an ungrateful bastard I am. Me being moody and depressed all the time makes about as much sense as a billionaire on welfare. It’s an insult to those who love and care for me and it’s spitting in the face of God who’s gifted me with talent and knowledge and good looks and a healthy serving of humility. That and an astonishingly large penis (I wish…well no, actually I don’t. Something like that would be such a pain in the ass (no pun intended) to keep stuffing in your underwear).

Back in June I had some breakthroughs and I need to go back and review what I had learned (see blog 34 and 36). There were two key things that I realized back then:

1. God really is a good and loving God.
See, up until then, I had this mistaken notion that God was plotting against me – that he was constantly setting me up for failure like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown after promising to hold it steady. But that’s not the God that’s described in the Bible and unless I’m willing to say that the Bible is wrong on this point, I had better discard this old, incorrect view of God.
Now let me qualify this just a bit, so people don’t misunderstand (like I did). God is God and can do whatever he wants. He is a good and loving God, but he’s not a sugar-daddy. Just as a real father would be cruel and inept if he blindly gave his children everything they wanted – feeding them candy breakfast, lunch, and dinner – so would our Heavenly Father be if he answered every prayer and showered us with blessings only. “May you get what you wish for,” goes the old Chinese Curse.

2. Every day is a new day, the past has passed.
I used to think I was cursed. I thought that I was genetically predisposed to turning women off. Back in blog 36 I phrased it this way: “. . .perhaps through some genetic defect, instead of releasing come-hither pheromones when attracted to a female, my body released a subtle, toxic go-yonder scent that made it impossible to hold the attention of anyone I was remotely attracted to.”
But then I came to understand that there is no curse, that every day is a new day with new possibilities.

I need to go back and review. The days, weeks, months after I wrote those blogs were some of the best times I’ve had in a very long time. And then I lost it, I forgot, I got wrapped up in (with?) my own shit and lost sight of what I had learned.

I’ll close with this quote from the great, John Milton (I have a BA in English Literature and if you don’t refer to Milton as “the great,” they ask for your degree back). The quote goes like this:

“The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.”

I need to get back to the business of making “heaven of Hell.” And my life ain’t nowhere near hell so it shouldn’t be that hard.

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