The thing about birthdays is that they usually start off so well and then abruptly go downhill. Often, they speed up again, which is what makes them worth celebrating. But that slump in the middle bears scrutiny. Methinx I just hate having to be a certain way or feel a certain way because ‘I’m supposed to’! It just gets to me when people are weighing me down with the huge burden of expectations. I’m not one of those people who thrives under pressure, but under misunderstanding and underestimation rather. The thought that everyone’s expecting me to be cheery, happy, ebullient…usually has the reverse effect on me. Does that ever happen to you?
Everyone’s calling and wishing you, even people who normally don’t give you a second glance think they should talk to you and shake your hand. And suddenly you just want to throw the heavy bouquets and cards and gifts up in the air and just bolt.
Oh, leave me alone!!!!
is a feeling that hits me at least once in every birthday, every party, every single celebratory occasion. Is that an anti-social strain in me, I wonder and probe furthur. Then I discover that loathe parties too. Which comes as a surprise to most people who know me as a friendly, lively person. Oh but really…there’s a difference between a laugh and a smile. I love sunshine and all things bright, I love colour and music, I enjoy laughing and making people laugh, I love feeling good. But it weighs me down to have to paint my face and personality to compete with others, to have to don a facade of ‘how much fun I’m having’, to spill jokes and wit with the ease of a conjurer. Let’s say I’m delighted if you find entertainment in my words, among other things in life, but I don’t want to be an entertainer.
Most curiously, I’ve realised that I’m happiest when no one expects me to be happy. I’ve been at absolute blissful peace each moment I’ve had alone in the past few months. I often smile to myself when I’m sitting alone at a restaurant or just standing stock-still in the middle of one of my solitary jaunts (which is when I usually take the pictures that appear here). I smile because I’m happy. I’m joyous to be alive, to be me. I’m smiling because I am truly in love…with life and it is holding me by the hand as sweet and romantic as the best lover.
Not to say that I don’t like people. Far from it, I think I love people, their foibles most of all. I make fun of them…but then I make fun of myself too, don’t I? I only reserve my comments on those I feel most detached from. A person is like a many-hued monochromed pallate of colours. The trouble appears in forced social settings like parties or celebrations. That’s like a macabre mish-mash of all sorts of clashing colours and conflicting hues…not pretty in the least but shocking enough to knock you out sometimes. While these things are good on paper….after all it is good to celebrate….most people seem to go through the rituals of life rather than living itself…and celebrating is just another one of those.
I can never understand how one can schedule ‘fun’ and ‘happiness’ or any other emotion. How ever is it possible to start ‘having fun’ after 1930 hrs on a Friday night? And stop abruptly at midnight Sunday? I’ve been enormously, gleefully thrilled in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon at work. And hopelessly morose on a Saturday evening in a hip and happening nightspot. That’s the other thing….I always associate feeling good with brightness and smiling and clarity. How ever is one supposed to feel good in an environment of smoke, darkness, jarring sounds, blinding lights? It always makes me think that people are trying to lose themselves, trying to forget themselves in there. Of course I sound like an old prude….but well, I do enjoy my drink. Not to the point of being dead drunk out of my wits…I mean what is the point if you can’t actually feel what you’re feeling and don’t remember it later? If the chemical makes you able to step out of the boundaries a bit…just enough to find your wings but not so much to cut off the circulation to your legs…I think that’s ideal.
Well, but what do I know? I sometimes tell people that I’m intoxicated on life. Intoxication sends you on all kinds of trips…lows and highs. Of course people look at me like I’m drunk. Yes, perhaps I am. Cheers!