I find it incredibly funny, but also in keeping with everything that I know of myself, that it took a root canal procedure to finally keep me still; long enough that I was able to find words that can be strung together into my first blog in months. I mean, it would be a stretch to call this blog post coherent, but it’s something at least.
Weirdly, sitting there with my mouth propped open and a power drill too close for comfort, I had the chance to look back on the past couple of months and really think about the things that were unsettling me. I’m not any closer to finding answers to the big questions that I have only recently begun asking, hence the incoherence of this blog.
But I’m starting to believe that finding them isn’t the point. It’s the reflection, the search, the discoveries, the mistakes, and everything in between the beginning and the end that will ultimately make everything make sense. At least I hope so. Otherwise, I’d have been listening to (among other things) The Carpenters sing sha la la’s and oh oh oh’s with nothing to show for it but gibberish.
Well, you know what? I’m choosing to write about and share that gibberish anyway.
So what were my thoughts? The first thing that came to mind was that, as human beings, we tend to pre-empt things, and assume something is a foregone conclusion when nothing’s ever really set in stone. We give ourselves so much unnecessary grief and anxiety by being this way. I am a prime example of this.
To some degree, the anticipation of anything can be better or worse than the actual event. Take Christmas for example. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, its the days leading up to the 25th of December that constitutes the entire holiday celebration.
Those days are what they sing carols about, not Christmas Day itself, because Christmas Day really is lonely as fuck. Christmas Day is the fading echo of a favourite song on the radio in the days before Spotify and instant repeats. You’ll have to wait a while to hear that song again and it’s beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.
In the same way, the anticipation of pain is sometimes more painful than pain itself. Like, a root canal procedure isn’t really so bad. Maybe I was just unduly influenced by a line I read in one of my Sweet Valley books somewhere that has somehow stuck with me. One of the Wakefield twins was asked to do something she found particularly unpleasant, and she said she would rather have her teeth drilled.
Again, random, and I’m sorry to digress. But the point I’m trying to make here is that despite some aching in my jaw, and even though I am in some degree of pain, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
Like I said, I do this a lot, anticipate things I mean. Sometimes I hold entire conversations with another person in my head, imagining the things I think they’ll say and responding to them. Sometimes I find myself preparing for rebuttals to arguments that haven’t even been made, and getting upset for no other reason than I am conditioned by past experiences to prepare for people to be unreasonable.
Actually, people tend to be quite reasonable when approached the right way. They might not always agree with you, but disagreement doesn’t equal unpleasant. People who disagree with you are not stupid (not always anyway), neither are they bad people. They just happen to have different opinions.
Besides, there’s value in arguments. It means people care enough about what you do to have an opinion about it. The opposite of love is indifference after all. It’s like those celebrities who revel in bad press, because just being in the press at all gives them some measure of assurance that they’re somehow still relevant.
You don’t have to be perfect or right all the time. Besides, you can insist until you’re blue in the face that you’re right about something, and you might even find 100 hundred people who will agree with you. But there will always be that one person who thinks you’re wrong. And that’s okay.
There’s value in being wrong, in making mistakes. It means there’s so much more room for you to grow.
Finally, just because we’re on the subject of things that are of value, I need to remind myself every now and again that there’s value in sitting still. Because even if its during an hour and a half of having your teeth drilled while sat on a dental chair, stopping for a while gives you time to reflect on life.
It makes you feel human, rather than just a trained performing monkey spinning endlessly on precarious wheels.