I've been able to make a few observations about people, and life in general, since I spoke about the thing about Sad.
For starters, telling people you are sad makes them really uncomfortable. When I make people uncomfortable I tend to make stupid jokes to lighten the mood. Take this scene with an acquaintance, for example:
'Hey, B, how are you?'
'Feeling a little sad, actually.'
'Oh. Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.' (said while taking 2-3 steps backwards)
'Oh... it's OK. And don't worry; it isn't contagious. At least I don't think so. Damn it, I must have forgotten to use my mood sanitizer last time I handled a cart at the grocery store!'
(awkward laugh, followed by equally awkward silence.)
'Well... see you around!'
And it occurred to me; people just do not want others to be sad. And I do not mean that from an 'aw, they care and don't want to see me sad' perspective. I mean it from an 'aw, my expression of real emotions makes them uncomfortable, they would rather me fake a conversation about the weather than talk about my feelings' perspective.
But here is the thing...
If you are in my life, be it is just a friendly exchange when we run into each other out and about or someone who could walk into my house uninvited and I would be OK with it... if you are in my life, I care about how you feel. And I really think that should be universal to all humans. We, as a community, should be responsible for one another. Don't give me fake; give me real.
Warts and all.
If you are sad, TELL ME. I'll slather myself with mood sanitizer and listen to your sad story. I know I can not expect every 'friend' I have to feel the same way about responsibility for each other. And maybe I am naive to think we, as a community, are capable of caring that much. But we should try. This last battle with my Sad Stray Cat really showed me that I want to try harder. To be there for the people that I surround myself with.
Because, when you are Sad, sometimes all you want to hear is 'What can I do?'. And hearing that is enough.
Also, I found peace with my Sad Stray Cat. He is playing video games.
I suppose I should mention that I actually know very little about gaming or anything tech-y, really. I think I am using a computer to write this here blog, but that is about as savvy as I get.
This analogy here came to me while watching a movie with my kids.
'Wreck it Ralph'. Pure genius.
There is a scene where one of the characters, Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch) gets upset and angry about something. Another character says something along the lines of '... it's not her fault; she's programed with the most tragic backstory ever...'
(Before we move one, can we all agree to start using the phrase 'jeepers' more regularly?)
As a normal human watching a movie about characters in a video game, I thought 'Well, that's ridiculous. That is just her 'code'. It didn't really happen; why should she let that effect her in the present?'
And it was like a proverbial light was turned on.
Us regular humans, we have written our own program. Our past codes our present which codes our future. But, what if we were like a video game character or computer program? What if our experiences from the past are simply 'code' and 'backstory'? How are we ever supposed to change our programing if we keep thinking about our backstory? The only code that creates is more of the same. What if we look at our life in a linear fashion; code that was once written is now gone. Far too often I find myself holding on to my past experience, seeing them more like a character trait than an event that happened. How many times do you describe yourself as something that has happened?
'So, tell me about yourself?'
'Well, I got married when I was 23...'
You get my point. Our character and our SELF is not defined by the events that happen in our life. We need to stop holding on to past experiences, collecting them like little trophies, as if they are a part of us.
The things that happen, happen. Live it, learn it, write a new code for the better. Then let it go.
I'm not sure how the analogy of memory works into this; computers have memory and so de we. We aren't likely going to figure out a way to erase our memories (a la Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind... man, movies really can help you figure out your LIFE, man!). I am not suggesting we forget the things from our past that have helped shaped who we are today. But we should put more emphasis on the TODAY part. Today. Who we are, what we are, and what is happening TODAY.
So, basically, my Sad Stray Cat has been busy playing Tetris and I am writing new code for today. Yes, I have a backstory and it could be considered tragic. But today does not have to be a tragedy.
However, if the Sad Stray Cat gets stuck on level 9 and comes scratching at my door again, it would be nice to hear a friend say 'What can I do to help?'