It might seem a little over-zealous to be so excited about such a matter, but I finally have curtains. Yes, indeed, you read that correctly. After a month of living with sheets hung over the poles to protect my privacy and decency, I finally saved enough money in the bank to purchase a pair of curtains. Although my bedroom consists of two windows, they are each the size of half a regular window, so one curtain per window, and I save 50% expenses. Having to buy everyday home essentials is another chore which feels grown-up, which, as established in previous blogs, I didn’t sign up for, but it’s a nice kind of adult chore. I got to ponder price to style ratio, and while my funds were limited, I was pleased with the results of my frugal saving, and my responsible decision making when it came to what I wanted over what I could realistically afford.
I just wrote an entire paragraph about the purchase of curtains. If you’re still reading you either share in my weird little joy, or you’re curious as to where I’m going with this. On your behalf I’m going to move onto another, probably more meaningful subject (until I finally get a rug or something at least). This next bit is the long, detailed writing bit.
Despite my elation at finally having material to draw closed at night, that is only the second (or maybe … fourth) best thing to happen this weekend. The first comes in the form of those often annoying, brain itching things known as emotions, or feelings as the kids say. You know what I mean? They’re difficult to control, curtail or deliberately create, but they are the constituents of what it is to be human. There are different types, of course; there are emotions which appear at the surface of our minds and tend to arise based on experience, and there are ‘gut feelings’, deeper, more solid emotions which happen almost instantaneously and are related to instincts. Some people have honed instincts, others relay more on their experience.
Here’s how I see it, and how it tends to work for me. Team Instinct and Team Emotion tend to battle from two different fronts. As I said, instinct is quick and solid, but emotion is steady and malleable. If the two don’t see eye-to-eye, making decisions and trusting moral choices can be tough. Instinct comes from a core understanding of subtle elements. It reads situations on a biological level, taking things like body language and environmental details, and processing them against what you understand. From an evolutionary standpoint this probably stopped you from eating rotting apples and playing with snakes. It’s like a computer which analyses available data and prints out a single conclusion, and that’s it. It’s a one time process which sticks. Once instinct has taken his test, emotion steps up to bat. Emotion is relatively open, and tends to continuously process information as it comes in. This includes deeper everyday matters like conversation and past experience. When we were hanging out in caves with clubs, emotion allowed us to connect with people and still be able to anticipate deceit. Emotion gives us a chance to react or respond, and can alter quickly based on the presentation of new information.
Instinct and I have been pals for a long time. I’m able to hear my inner voice pretty well, and while it’s not always right, most of the time I can depend on it. Often I know whether I’ll connect with a person or not within just a few minutes of them talking, and generally that feeling sticks. I guess this is a wildly complicated way of describing ‘first impressions’. My first impressions of people colour my reactions to them; it’s not a great way to behave when faced with other people, but it’s just how I’ve come to understand how I connect to others. I have a sticker history with my emotions; they like to play havoc with my brain. Nowadays I can curb most the troublesome ones pretty well; anger and jealousy hardly ever bother me, and I can cope with sadness. The common trip up in my case is fear, and mostly fear of history repeating itself. When emotion introduces fear to instinct, it’s go time in the thunder dome.
Fear, in my case, takes the shape of my previous experiences, especially those where my instinct has been thrown into doubt. Instinct doesn’t like to be reminded of its past mistakes, while emotion doesn’t like to be bruised by sudden judgement. If they don’t agree, they won’t agree, leaving a fight for your favour. Do you go with your heart or your head? This is often where logic steps in with good intentions to further stir the pot in your head, and logic is generally what causes the crazy to continue long past it should. It’s up to you to resolve the right the thing to do in a situation, which team to ultimately trust, and sometimes there’s no way to logic yourself to a satisfactory resolution. I find it’s best to just pick one quickly and learn to deal with the possible consequences and regrets of your actions. Not easy, but I find it to be the sanest way of dealing with things. It’s best to have a balance, but it’s also important not to let the too sides duel it out too long.
This weekend I had feelings; lots of them. My Instinct was quick to inform me of comfort and trust, and emotion is dragging past experiences into the fray and warning caution and maintaining distance. Fear is churning the possible benefits and enjoyment with thoughts of trusting too soon and getting too attached. In this case, I think I’m just going with the one I want to be true, because I don’t fancy living in a world where I’m too afraid to trust on the bases that pain is possible. Pain is part of life, and sometimes trust is misplaced, but it’s never worth it not to trust at all. In the end you just have to find away to do what you untimely believe to be right, take the pain and backlashes as they come, and enjoy the mistake if that is what you’re making. Because the truth is, often you don’t know a mistake until long after you’ve made it.
At least that’s what Instinct is arguing. Instinct had better be right in this case. I really want instinct to be right.
This is much more complicated than I was aiming for. Maybe I should’ve continued talking about the curtains. They’re purple, just by the way.