Life Hangs in the Balance

This morning R says she’s feeling “off”, as in “off her game.” Which is interesting, because yesterday was probably the first in a while in which I DIDN’T really feel off. Begets the question of whether or not we put each other off our respective games by being on our own games; put another way, does my being ‘on’ consequently make her feel ‘off’? OR does me being ‘off’ make her MORE LIKELY TO BE ‘on’? What, if anything, is the causal relationship between the balance we seem to be finding?

In the first case, of me being on making her feel off, I would go back to my post on social comparison: she’s observing me and her behavior or attitude is changed in some way by that observation, and that cause is rooted in the human fear of death. (Read here if you didn’t quite make that leap with me.)

In the second case, of one of us being ‘off’ causing the other to try a lot harder & therefore succeed at feeling or being on, I would say this is actually why we’re getting married: because we are already thinking of each other as a unit, as a family, as the same person. Individual as we may be, we have begun the inevitable process of merging our survival instincts. While I won’t speak for her, I can say that I feel I’m a better stronger version of myself when we’re both on the upswing or near the crest of the cycles (lunar, hormonal, or professional) that invariably describe our lives. Those shared peaks, while not frequent, are pretty awesome.

Whatever the cause of what appears to be a trading off between the two of us, the net effect of one of us being off, the other being on, or to stick with the cycle analogy, one of us in the trough and the other at the crest, is that we, as a unit, are balanced. That we as a unit are approaching a steady-state, that we can be secure as a unit in spite of being at opposite poles at any point in time. No matter how low or high one of us might be, we take comfort in knowing the other one is at the other side, and taken together as a unit, we’re balanced.

Imagine being on a roller-coaster that’s climbing steadily up its hill, chug-a-chug-a-chug-a, clack-clack-clack-clackclackclack-clack-clack… silence as you reach the peak and you know what’s coming next, sh-sh-sh-whoooooooooooooooooooooooooosh.

That shit is scary if you just don’t like rollercoasters or if you’re by yourself. But when you get to look in the seat next to you and see someone you know going through the EXACT same thing, that you can count on them being just as freaked as you are, there’s a sense of relief: if you die, they’re dying too & you’ll approach your respective after-lives at the same time; if you survive, you can wipe your eyes clear of tears & laugh & catch your breath together afterward and then tease about who screamed louder or who barfed first. Either way you’re not alone, but you’re part of a unit.

We’re not always choosing to wait in line for the same car, but I do feel like R and I are on the same ride, climbing the same hills, facing the same sh-whooooooooooooooooooosh, and no matter what happens, we’re both getting there together.

That’s a better feeling than surviving chug-a-chug-sh-sh-whooooooooooooooosh.

Also, competing analogies.

Learn anything yet?

NOTE: Today is National Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Drs. Poopstehn, Farts & Dingleberry

Excerpt from recent email to Shorty, which I’ve bogarted and am passing off (dastardly, but legal) as a new blog entry. DEAL.

I’m feeling more & more in line with my creative self between Improv class #2 and reading Keith Johnstone’s book. Know you have plenty on your plate, but if you get the chance to give that a one-two, I think you’ll dig it. The way that he looks at things like teaching & theater are pretty awesome. (For instance, why do people go to the theater? To see something happen that they would never willingly make happen themselves – to see routines broken, barriers broken down, expectations foiled, social norms upset. Why does that matter to artists? Because it means it does NOT fucking matter what you’re creating in the context of good and bad, because just by creating it you have fulfilled the purpose of an artist/actor. Just get in the circle and make a stupid pose and watch with fascination at the audience’s response.

Feeling LESS & LESS in line with the professional bent though. Really think I might go back to school for teaching/psych/acting. Business – I mean, I understand someone somewhere wouldn’t get ice cream if there weren’t 8,000 Dreyer’s people all around the US devoted to making it happen, but SO FAR REMOVED am I from impacting that result, I just don’t frikkin’ care. Do I care about disappointing my boss? Yes. What does he expect of me? Come to work, do the work, do some more work, ask some questions, learn the business. I can probably do all of those without caring, except the last one, because “the business” just doesn’t matter to me. Who the f cares what price is on ice cream in the Southeast and that it matters whether it went to a Warehouse or straight to the store? Just get the shit in a freezer, man! Not that I cared more about the stuff at J&J, though it was slightly easier to justify. I used the following sentence more than once: “my journal entry may not have saved lives… but… well… y’know.”

*sigh* So once again I’m in a place I can’t be in for very long. And I’ve said this to R, and she knows the feeling – we’re only 26 and we just DON’T have to have all this sh!t figured out yet. Soon, but not yet. What’s the worst that could happen? We spend ANOTHER year doing crap we don’t care about, and trying to spend as much fun time in the city as we can. She’s starting up her professional organizing business (very successful first outing, she’s way happy), and I’m doing Improv stuff to keep lively. Does it matter that we don’t like our 9-to-5s? No. Will it matter if mine turns into more of an 8-to-8? Yes. But I think I’ll be okay for a while.

I got a haircut today. Hair ALL OVER the back of my neck, back of my shirt (the red shirt, no less). @#$&ing Supercuts. B!tch didn’t even towel off my head; just let the clippings sit up there to get blown away by the next headwind. Don’t say headwind.

{sic} Going to an A’s game Fri. night, then ‘Rebel without a cause’ in Union Square on Sat. night. One month ’til the wedding. ONE MONTH.

Life is FINE. But if you put a graph of my moods over the last month, happy/grumpy on the y-axis, it would look like the teeth of a sprung bear-trap. Today is on the ascent from a recent trough. I’d bet that I was a lunar personality… except I have no fucking clue what that means.

That is all.