Mõtted

Ma ei taha praegu inglise keeles kirjutada, aga ma ei taha ka oma eestikeelset keskkonda sisustada. Selle jaoks on teised plaanid. Seega.

Taipasin täna, kui pehme ma olen. Kui ääretult pehme. Ma vist ei tea kedagi, kes oleks nii pehme kui mina. Mul on kahju, kui teistel kellelgi ei ole. Selles on lausa midagi ebanormaalset. Kindlasti olen ma selle tõttu oma elu tohutult raskemaks elanud, et mul on inimestest kahju.

Mul on kahju joodikutest ja prükkaritest. Kui nad minuga räägivad, siis ma räägin enam-vähem viisakalt vastu, mõnikord natuke nipsakalt ja tõrjuvalt, aga siiski viisakalt. Ükskord sai mul sellisest käitumisest kõrini. Teised naisterahvad ei tee nii. Nad käivad nina püsti mööda. Proovisin minagi siis seda nina püsti käimist. Tuli üks nooremat sorti mees ja kõnetas mind oma ängihoos, vaatasin mööda ja ei teinud kuulma. Hiljem oli mul kahju. Tal paistis päriselt halb. Lorajutt loraks, äng oli ehtne. Edaspidi ma ei ole sedasi käitunud. Kui, siis ärevusest.

Mul on kahju minu ülemusest. Ta on klassikaline ettevõtjast tikkpea. Ta valetab ja ta joob. Kõik vihkavad ja põlgavad teda. Minagi ei pea temast lugu, aga vahel on mul kahju. Ta ei paista mulle päris halb, vaid nõrk ja selgrootu inimene.

Tean meest, kes petab oma naist. Ta on saripetja ega tunne süüd. Ma põlgan tema hoiakuid, aga ta on kõige selle sees nii eksinud ja õnnetu, et mul on ka temast kahju. Ja Michael Jacksonist samuti. Ka tema oli kunagi ohver. Mis me teeme minusugustega? Ma ei tea. Saadame sordiaretustehasse praagina tagasi.

Kui inimesel on halb, siis mul on temast kahju. Ükskõik kui kehvasti ta käitunud on, kui tal on oma supi sees väga halb, siis mul pisut on.

Neist, kes uhked on ja rõõmsalt lulli löövad oma halbade tegude juures, nendest ei ole kahju. Neid tambin koos pööbliga, vahel esireaski.

Siis – näiliselt karjuvas kontrastis eelnevaga – mõtlesin veel seda, et ma olen ikka paras troll portselanipoes ega sobi ilusa hingega inimeste sekka. Neis on sarnasusi ja korraks selle sarnasuse vahel seistes, tundsin end sobimatuna. Ma ei ole nende moodi. Nemad kuuluvad kokku, aga mina olen väljaspool üksinda. Ma olen nagu Martin Eden, kes tahaks nende ilusas maailmas elada, aga ma ei kuulu sinna. Ma olen tahumatum, mul ei ole lihvi. Ma ei julge ilus olla. Selles tundes pole miskit uut ja see vaevab mind vahel, täna siis taaskord. Kõik tunduvad sarnased, ainult mina olen üksinda kusagil väljaspool, sest minus on nii habrast ilu kui tahumatut trolli.

Kui aus olla, siis ma meeldin endale sellisena. Mul on päris lõbus, mulle meeldivad minu trolliasjad, ainult selle va kuuluvusega on raske. Ma eeldan, et ilusad inimesed mu trollikülgi ei taluks. Hinges kisub siiski rohkem ilu poole, nii et võib ju püüda vähem troll olla. Ainult siis, kui kahte sellist kõrvuti näha, nagu täna, tuleb iseäranis esile, et mina olen teistmoodi ja nood seal on match made in heaven.

Trollidest rääkides on mul enda meelest hirmushea raamatupealkiri + tegelaste nimed välja mõeldud. Võib-olla ma kirjutan neile loo juurde ja lõbustan end. Nemad on ka trollid ja elavad võpsikus, aga nad pole muidugi üldse minu moodi.

This disease and other things

I miss going to the pool.

I managed the entire winter not missing it at all, not even thinking of the lack, but last two weeks I’ve felt very out of my balance point. There’s a lot of anxiety and even suicidial ideation. At the same time, it feels foreign. It is not me that thinks or feels it, but it is an imbalance, a disease outside of my identity. This makes it a little easier to handle. You can dismiss it because it has little personal source. You can think of it as a very bad viral infection that will go away by next week.

Meanwhile. I got very excited about filming a little video story. It started as I saw a scene in a music video that made me go “that’s so me!”. Then I thought I’ll restage it for a laugh. Then I thought: why just that part, I’ll do it longer. Followed by: I’ll do it as best as I possibly can and do a whole story, with costumes and everything. I don’t know how to film and edit, of course, but it’ll be fun.

It was enlightening to realise some things in relation to it. In spite of my excitement, I kept trying to veto this plan. It’s going to take a lot of resource, in time, some in money, but mostly time. I have better things to put my energy into. I have to write to get better at it. I have to read to get better at writing. I can’t be dillydallying. This is silly.

Then again. Every moment of it, from planning my outfits to camera angles, I’d be in a state of happy flow. I love doing useless things that mean nothing. That don’t lead to anything. That don’t have to be anything but what they are. Also, cosplayers spend a lot of hours on their outfits too. Why can’t I?

I have taken the lightness out of writing for myself. I see it as my only way out. The only thing that could save me that I have any control over. It has become a thing I should do. One of those adult things, responsible things. While dressing up as a footballer or Veronika Lake is childish, silly and irresponsible but really great fun. I figured I’d choose fun and try to learn from it, as it so accidentally landed on my lap.

Writing this, the very bad brain virus is doing its work. I tried to write to escape it a little, without having much to write about. It worried me a little at one point too. If a hormonal imbalance can cause me to have suicidial thoughts while not having been particularly depressed before, suppose it got worse, suppose I was badly depressed beforehand? It’s very annoying, this skinless state where every unsmooth corner hurts and only very soft things are safe. Underneath it I feel my old happy mood though. That’s what makes it feel like a disease. I know it’s a surface thing I just need to go through, not something that had roots or meaning.

 

High spirits

Where does a good mood end and hypomania begin? I’m not quite sure anybody knows but I do know I’ve been walking on that line the last two days.

Today I was thinking that perhaps it isn’t so bad to be able to do so little useful in these moods. It’s a celebration. Isn’t it after all perfectly natural that I’d want to celebrate getting a pause from depression sometimes?

I went for a starlight walk by the seaside, remnants of snow were still hanging around by the road. It’s the 16th of March. This means there’s only a month more of winter. I felt sorry for the first time in my adult life, if not for the first time in my entire life, that the winter is leaving us. It’s been my spring. I’m going to miss that time. Once in the future when all the things I now feel are within my reach have turned out to be phantoms and castles of air.

Please don’t, of course. Leave me some.

Hehe.

wahgahjaphjsph

I’ve been feeling very restless since Friday, grumpy, irritable, unable to do anything but unable to sit still. I had no idea what caused it at first, but later figured it’s an excess of my amazon energy (I’ve switched to that term over saying masculine energy because I’m about as masculine as a tomato). I haven’t had a struggle in a while and I’m somewhat used to there always being some serious unpleasantness breathing down my neck. So when there isn’t, when all I can do is sit back and be chill, some days my brain starts missing my battles.

It’s not a healthy longing but there it is. I only cheered up this morning when I remembered I could make myself a boat licence and discovered they had course material up online. Then I wrestled with that some, full of spirit and dreams, but it seemed so hard for a total outsider to enter into that world, so the excitement soon wore off and was replaced with the conclusion that a paddle board is my limit.

On a good, even great and awesome, note: I discovered I got a button to turn off anxious responses. I cannot use it, of course, but who’d have thought I even had it? It’s like this: I start thinking of something I want to do, then a cascade of anxiety drowns it out, I’m terrified and decide “I can’t do that, oh no way!”, and then, one time I glimpsed a new path, a path that completely cut the anxiety and made me feel brave and able. Just a switch of a button and the thought changes, with a parallel road opening up.

This vision has appeared to me twice recently. It’s no more than a pretty vision at this point, I cannot press that button to take that path, but it’s a new hope. I’m so very convinced that recovery has to be a bottom-up process. I could never have made any progress with my social anxiety if I didn’t build up confidence first. It was always completely ineffective, these countless times I told myself “You be brave, you talk more, don’t be a coward, don’t be shy, you go and do this hard thing”. It never worked. I tried and I failed or immediately went back to the same level after my feat of bravery. It was just operating on a fight or flight mode. It wasn’t doing anything to the source of my fear. Now when I’ve dealt with the roots of it for the past years, things are showing improvement. Not massive great improvement, of course, but it’s at least hopeful.

Also and furthermore: I haven’t been depressed since December. I remember how astonished I was last summer about getting a depression-free month. Now I’m going on my fourth month and I don’t know which is the normality any more. Is that a good thing?

Back in June I was certain I’d be losing it and pinched myself every day – mentally – not believing it is still there. Maybe I did that in December or January, but I’ve stopped by now. I still don’t dare to think it will last because I’ve been struggling with depression my entire adult life, but there are moments when this depression-free state feels like the new normality, whereas the times of depression have acquired the taste of slight alienness. Oh, I remember them well, but there’s an element of looking back sometimes.

Of course I still feel negative emotions and anxiety but that’s a different matter and much more bearable because it doesn’t last very long.

I think I just have to keep myself away from new “battles”. I’m quite certain I’d be depressed in no time if I started car school in April.

All this is awesome progress. There’s been regress too. What started out as an effective strategy of not worrying about exams or presentations in advance, by blocking them out of my mind until relevant, has turned into excessive avoidant behaviour with all things I consider potentially emotionally impactful. I simply won’t do them. I push them far far far into the future, ignore them and excuse this behaviour with whatever excuse is available “I’m too happy today to be dealing with THAT” or “I’m anxious as is, I don’t want THAT on top of things”. This sort of thing has gone too far. It’s not good I push going to buy glasses forward a year or don’t read an e-mail I fear I may not like for two weeks. I understand why this behaviour developed. It was the only way to stay sane under heavy stress, but it’s gone too far. On the other hand, it doesn’t feel like the most pressing fault, even if there’s a lot to be said in favour of getting unpleasant things over and done with quickly.

Such news to report now.

World

I’ve been reading a lot of adventure stories lately and one of the most striking things is the contrast between the flourishing wildlife and resource of the bygone eras and the pollution and shortage of the world of today.

It wasn’t that long ago when people could drink from streams without special straws, catch fish without a care about toxins, while animals, trees, birds and bees, with few exceptions, thrived. People took from nature what nature could cope with losing.

I read these parts of these novels with a mix of joy about the plentiful world that was described, but also sadness. It’s definitely been one of the biggest eye-openers – not that I needed it – so let’s say illustrations – of where we were and what we have lost.

In Robinson Crusoe, he is afraid to land in a specific part of Africa because wild beasts rule the land there. This is the single most memorable part of that book to me. It’s fascinating to contemplate a world where humans had not quite enslaved wildlife and made it cuddly.

 

 

East of Eden

Can I say I liked it, when on its last hundred pages I wanted it to end so I could go back to reading some cozy sea adventures instead?

I certainly didn’t dislike it, but I do have mixed feelings. If I had to rate it, I’d give it a 7/10.

What were my problems?

  • Characterisation is too much in the service of the idea. It’s a philosophical novel with Biblical themes of good and evil, free will and the story of Cain and Abel, but it is very in your face. I’d have preferred suggestion. One mention of it would have been enough.
  • Too much appears staged.
  • I found the ending to be weak because it sounded like a litarary ending. Like literature, not life. It felt like a Shakespearan scene. What fits on a theatre stage and in a different type of novel, just felt a little dated and off in this one.
  • It’s too male for me. I know I’m making myself vulnerable to being called sexist whether I try to explain myself or not, so I might as well say a little. It did not read to me like a story of universal human experience. It read to me like the story of a specific type of American male experience. The world does not seem that bleak and violent to me. He writes with tenderness, but it’s a brutal world he gives the reader. I also caught misogynist undertones. I found the statement, however it was meant, that a man went through (spent? quoting from memory) three wives in his lifetime, to be very jarring. There were other similar stuff. I read up on it to see if other people had found it to be so, and some did. I also came upon the usual argument that he was writing in his time. Fair enough but I’m not sure that’s a sufficient explantion. Some things can be explained with it, but I wouldn’t explain Steinbeck that way. I’ve always believed much less in time’s influence than most people. Since it is not possible to perform a psychological experiment with people from 1850, 1950 and 2020, I remain skeptical about cultural impact on sexist attitudes being as substantial as it is alleged to be. I rather believe – believe! – that human nature is the single most important factor. Meredith wrote in the 19th century but he gives me zero misogynist vibes – quite the contrary. If a person is thoughtful and sensitive, capable of putting themselves in another’s shoes, and nothing has caused them to malform in any direction, living in the 19th century does not make anyone by default more sexist than the people of today. It is rather that today it’s going to end badly for you if you express it. Culturally it probably runs too deep, so a century does little. People remain people. Mouldable superficially but quite alike through time at their cores. So yes, I cannot relate well to this type of masculinity and its way of looking at the world. And I do believe it is a male thing: stoicism, restrictive emotionality, the only emotion allowed to be fully expressed: anger. There’s a lot of that in East of Eden, a lot of frustrated unexpressed love, too little open tenderness and open kindness. Everything good is repressed, thwarted or restrained. The women in it are either marginal or evil as well, but I don’t think that is an argument for anything. Its “maleness” is in the general portrayal and attitudes.
  • I felt that the idea that there is good and evil both in people wasn’t very well lived out in the novel. None of the good characters seemed to get anywhere with themselves. For the author, being a mix of good and evil, recognising it in yourself, seems to have been the ideal state a human being could be in, whereas being like Aron, more or less fully good, made him unfit for life. I think this is an excessively negative take on humanity. When I look around, there’s people who are truly good, truly bad and mixes. I think perhaps it is important for the ones who want to be good but feel they are bad to realise that many are like them and struggle just as them and they have a choice to do good. It could have been about that. That’d have made sense. Les Miserables makes that point. But the way the ending left me feeling was that everyone is mixed. I don’t believe it. My experience of people is different.
  • I don’t think Adam is as good as the narrative seems to suggest. How could he be so blind otherwise to what he was doing to Cal? How could he refuse his gift so cruelly and not recall his own father and rivalry with Charles? No, a truly good person would be able to put themselves in Cal’s shoes and not crush him. In that scene he is a destructive patriarch just like his father. Samuel and Lee were good. Maybe I confuse wisdom and goodness? Dunno.

Overall, the experience of reading East of Eden wasn’t unlike drinking green tea or eating goji berries. I may know these foods are healthy and wholesome, and like them well enough, but I’d much rather eat apple pie.

I might read Grapes of Wrath at one point later, I always wanted to read that and it seems a bit different, but I don’t think I will read anything else by Steinbeck. He just doesn’t write for the likes of me.

I will add things I liked to balance things out a bit: loved the descriptions, the valley, some narrative techniques were good, quite gripping, there were places where I couldn’t put it down, Lee was very likeable for the most part.

It’s good as a novel. I just cannot connect to its worldview.

Flightiness

I’ve for a long time seen myself as a bit of a fickle person. Someone that can go from adoring to indifference within a short space of time. I’ve learnt not trust any of my infatuations. Being so intense, everything just burns up fast. It’s to be feared and expected.

Obviously, it’s not a trait I enjoyed having, it gives me much grief. When it isn’t books or actors, but real people, it’s a terrible trait to possess. I try my best to behave, hoping no one gets the wrong end of the stick. I have for a long time had a two-month-rule, after which an infatuation might be investigated instead of dismissed outright, but before that, I must just behave myself, goddamit. I’m not very good at this. Sometimes I feel like there’s little I was very good at except bad things.

So the other day I got thinking contrarily. Wait one millisecond here. You say you’re flighty. Right now your favourite actors might be these two, but give you a Charlton Heston movie and it’s not much different even if you’re out of the active adoration phase. Um. Hmm. Yes! I love Charlton Heston just as before. And it seems that most of the actors I once enjoyed watching on screen, I still enjoy: Marcello Mastroianni, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe. The only ones who have lost that extra something would be Leslie Howard and Lauerence Olivier. I’m not sure why, but it is so.

Music. I never thought I’d be loving Elton John’s music as long as I have. It’s given me so much pleasure and comfort. I remember the times different songs came into my life and the places, seasons or people they now take me back to. Some good, some bad. But always, always, I’ve been afraid it won’t last. I was afraid of it in September and told myself to quit listening to him until spring. I quite failed in this (I needed my top cream cake to get me through school) but it hasn’t changed the adoration. I’ve had some weeks of not listening to any music but these have been short spells. Right now I’m trying to find something else to listen to until spring again, because I really don’t want to lose it. I suppose it explains why I take five years to finish Jean-Christophe too. And other mysterious behaviour normal people don’t understand and would find eccentric.

It’s like my good moods. I’m so afraid of losing them that every day I have more of it, I’m astonished, but I have less control, so I can do nothing to make it stay longer. With books and things, I can a bit.

Coming back to flightiness. I’ve been a fan of a few other musicians besides Elton John, mostly in teens and very early adulthood. Morrissey was my last at the age of 19-22. Most of them I’m always happy to rediscover. It’s fun how one still knows all the lyrics by heart. They don’t quite hold the same power over me as they did in the old days, but some of it is still there. Right now I’m listening to one of my high school favourites, Oasis, and thinking Slide Away is so very good, now replaying it for the 10th time or thereabouts. Gone much?

And with people, it’s also often true. Some of it is usually still there. I have soft spots for most people that meant something to me and did not disillusion or disappoint me to the point of no repair. It isn’t flightiness, but rather having the feeling settle down more to normal human being levels. I can’t really say I grow indifferent, as I thought I did, it is only the extremes that go. Seems such an obvious thing really, but I hadn’t thought of it so before and was feeling quite judgemental about myself.

So it’s not so much what happens after that I should feel guilty about, but rather continue to try and govern my extremes to the best of my pathetic ability.

 

Chatter

What do I write about when complicated topics are off the table?

Maybe the films I’ve recently seen.

1. 84 Charing Cross Road – I liked it, but not very much.  I didn’t understand how and why a connection developed between these two penfriends. I was told and shown it did, but I wasn’t convinced by the words exchanged between them. Their allegedly shared sense of humour surprised me because one never really sees it. I mostly liked it for the sweet concept. It made me want to take up letter-writing again. Not for romance-purposes with a British bookseller, but rather for the charm that can be put into letters and received in return. The delightfulness of the entire process. It’s like slow-cooking on a wood stove compared to instant food. And the beauty of lasting friendship and goodwill are the best things in the world methinks.

2. How to Marry a Millionnaire – that was alright too, but not all that engaging. I only really liked Marilyn’s character’s hatred of wearing glasses because chuckle, I’m the same.

3. LA Confidential – not my usual type of movie, but I don’t pick my films for respectable reasons these days and did enjoy it quite a lot. A little too fast-paced sometimes. Liked the song in it, too (Kay Starr’s Wheel of Fortune). Potentially would rewatch it.

4. 3:10 to Yuma – nice old-style modern Western. Of course I liked it. A lot of people had difficulty with the ending, but to me it felt perfectly natural.

5. State of Play – this is very far from my usual cups of tea, and since I watched it at four o’clock in the morning, I got distracted sometimes and did other things but it was still reasonably engaging and watchable, all things considered.

 

I spent the last days of the old year and the first days of the new overthinking and watching films. The films I saw were these:

Excellent

The Bounty

Howard’s End

Very good

Master and Commander

Good

Treasure Island (1990)

Berkley Square (1933)

No, still not liking it

Lawrence of Arabia

One of the worst films I’ve ever seen

Mysterious Island (1961)

******

I cannot summarise my thoughts so neatly. Generally speaking, I was thinking of my relation to the world and the people in it but obviously also the usual programme of my everyday dilemmas. I felt much more socially insecure, my identity was adrift and I didn’t really know what to take hold of. Sometimes I was unhappy.

How does a person deal with stigma? And what is one to do if the truth about yourself would inevitably lead to stigmatisation, ostracism, and in the best of cases, pity and charity friendships?

I’m by nature a confiding and open person, sometimes even inclined to overshare, so I do suffer a great deal under having to hide a lot of myself away. Sometimes so much that I want to give up people entirely. This mood passes but sometimes with consequences of having actually effected it.

Now that my social anxiety has improved and I feel prepared to slowly re-integrate myself into society, this topic has come to weigh on me somewhat. How do I tell people some of the more unusual facts of my life and myself? Nothing positive is going to come to me for it, only the earlier-mentioned stigmatisation or pity.

The first days of my great think I felt that it was inevitable that I cannot afford myself the luxury of sharing these things until I’m quite close to the person. I was quite shattered by how hard it’s going to be though. It’s a very disintegrating experience when you cannot be fully open and true to yourself.  There’s simply too much I need to keep stumm about too, and it wants to desperately get out.

Unfortunately, I cannot imagine any argument that might convince me it is for the better. People don’t work this way. Society doesn’t. What I wrote will follow is going to follow and will bring much unhappiness to me. I considered seeing a specialist regarding this topic because they might know better how to re-integrate people with unusual and socially unacceptable life stories into society. I wanted very much for there to exist a way.

So much that at one point it stopped mattering. And then and there I decided I will put myself through that. I simply can’t handle the masquarade, not even to protect myself.

I do need advice on how to cope with what is going to follow though. All that eye rolling, rejection, incomprehension, confusion, hurtful remarks caused by any of the mentioned. The detached and scientific side of myself considers it an intriguing social experiment to be able to live through. Sadly, there is little to no hope that my hypersensitivity won’t make it a misery.

But I don’t know. At this stage I still feel optimistic that I can handle it, my Romanticism probably also helps: do your worst but it’ll reflect worse on you than me and I will be the noble outcast. That sort of stupid thinking. I cannot stress enough that my tendency to Romantic excess is really helpful in getting through bad spots :).

PS. I changed my mind. It cannot be done that way. I’m too sensitive and not ready for such social experiments. I will go the usual way. Really vulnerable things only to people who I feel reasonably safe with.

New years resolutions

  • Less important: be a little less of an Enneagram Type Four as far as writerly persona/voice goes: I admire people who have a quiet and gentle everyday style of writing, while mine is flourish-this-flourish-that and excesses of eccentricity and whackiness. Be less of a contrarian, too. How could I forget this.
  • Moderately important: be more gentle with self and not pour bucketloads of stress upon myself by thinking I’m well and capable and can handle it.
  • Most important: be more assertive where I’ve previously disastrously (truly!) lacked.

I read somewhere that writing down your plans is bad for people with problems of discipline and procrastination because it gives them a feeling of having already done something towards it. It’s a kind of pressure release that shouldn’t happen too early. The result is that it becomes even less likely that they will actually do it. Since I’m such a person, I won’t write down my other hopes and plans, unless they are such that I could put them off too, like the driving school business.

  • But this seems safe and not so related to discipline and procrastination: I’d really like to experience sea again and go on a longer cruise.