Observing Your Crazy Emotions
Something kind of rad has been happening lately - I've seemed to have entered this parallel universe where I observe myself and all the feelings bursting out of me all the time. I'm a super sensitive person, and I have this theory that I kind of feel the feelings times a million and this often leads to things like over-dramaticism, ultimatums, impatience, giving up, good songwriting, and just straight up uncalled for manic behavior. About a year ago I wrote a study on manic behavior in artists and while I was writing this thing I realized so much about my own erratic emotional behavior, though the thought never traveled much further than that and I went on being a crazy bitch.
I watched this video a couple months ago and then everything changed. I challenge you to watch it and after, close your laptop screen or turn away from your computer, put your phone on silent (not vibrate), sit in your chair in a comfortable position, with no music, and just be still and observe your thoughts. Do it for... twenty minutes. I challenge you.
THIS IS REALLY HARD TO DO. Have you noticed this? Or is it just me?! Let me tell you about the first time I tried to meditate. I can't even call this meditating, really it's just SITTING and BEING. I sat back, I closed my eyes... and it was like wild, caged animals were breaking free and destroying my brain, running a muck of the whole place. My thoughts scattered into every direction, I grew anxious, and I eventually opened my eyes after ten minutes because I became convinced I was wasting precious time and I had that really important thing that needed to be done and then all the other things to do after that and I don't have time to mofucking sit here and just be. How naive I was.
I never realized until more recently that just being and observing my thoughts was one of the best things I could ever do for myself. I hardly ever listen to myself. And here's a huge indication of how I know this - I have the craziest dreams. About all sorts of shit. But there's always a slightly realistic element to them... almost like my thoughts or my ideas surrounding a situation in my life is directly pushing itself into the forefront of my mind, literally forcing itself as a story in a dream. Not to get all therapy-session here, but I dream about losing friends, being cheated on, cheating on people, being trapped, being pregnant... all sorts of really, really crazy stuff. The most shocking thing about the dreams is not really the content of the dreams, because for example, I am not afraid that I am pregnant, but it's about the completely overwhelming feeling that is attached to said dream. I can almost always pinpoint the feeling that is surrounding the crazy soap-operaesque story in my dream, and that's the thing I absolutely need to address. Pregnant = I feel overwhelming responsibility, cheating = I think I'm treating someone I love badly or that I'm being dishonest, trapped in a house and can't find the door = I'm unhappy in a circumstance in my life and want a way out. Etc.
So here's the key. This is what's important, and I apologize that it took me several paragraphs to get here. Observing your emotions and feeling them are two very different things.
I've been so nuts lately. I wrote in a prior post that I cried out of several hours of frustration because I couldn't get the right piano tone in a piece I was working on and in another post how I cried about some other shit while eating the best Chinese food of my life which lead to me laughing while crying and eating because I just couldn't handle how ridiculous I was being. I started listening again to the I Heart Huckabees Soundtrack on my way to work on the train, and on the way back back to Brooklyn. Jon Brion's lyrics are so quirky and tongue-in-cheek that I start smiling whenever I hear them. In one line he says "things began, things decay, and you've gotta find a way to be okay. But if you wanna spend the day wondering what it's all about - go and knock yourself out" and "think your troubles are so serious? Well one day you'll be so long gone, 'cause nothing ever lasts. It all gets torn to shreds. If something's ever lasting, it's over our heads". Don't worry, I'm not about to go into a philosophy lesson in existentialism here but for some reason, these were just the words I needed to hear as of late. Stop. Being. So. Dramatic. Chill out.
So I sit in the train, with my eyes closed, and I listen to this soundtrack and all of a sudden I'm observing my emotions. I'm even joking with myself and relaxing. I think "oh man, I've been so bent out of shape about this guy and it's been making me all clingy and teary-eyed and anxious and pathetic... he's just a guy! Ya, a really hot guy who's also a great guitarist and smart and reads books and stuff but holy shit If you likes me, he'll stick around, if he doesn't, life goes on". It's that simple. I can't change it. Just. Let. Go.
I wish I could say more on this, but really I'm in the thick of it right now and I guess we'll see where this goes. But lately I've been able to observe myself very closely, and most importantly, I even catch myself before I go into a "hole". When I speak about a "hole" I'm referring to a destructive emotional spiral that a lot of people get into... some kind of frenzy, where you convince yourself of terrible things and then next thing you know you've eaten an entire pint of Milk & Cookies Ben and Jerry's and watched half a season of Gossip Girl. Avoid the hole. Listen to yourself from the beginning. Keep calm and carry on. And you know what? Sometimes you just need to laugh at yourself because we're all so goddamn serious all the time, and most of us are really just ridiculous people. But that's okay, be your beautiful ridiculous self, but do yourself a huge favor and laugh it off sometimes. 'Cause I know I need all you ridiculous and eccentric people to write your screenplays and albums and design clothing and paint pictures and put your crazy thoughts and feelings into physical manifestations in this world. That's how I got the I Heart Huckabees soundtrack in my ears - from some people with a lot of feels about some stuff. If you're your own worst enemy all the time, then I'm never gonna get to experience your art.
So that's all for now. I'm smiling because it's 6:15 am and I've been up all night writing music and writing this. I currently have the I Heart Huckabees soundtrack in my ears and I just watched the sunrise for like the 3rd day in a row. Life is quirky and strange and wonderful and all the shitiness of it is just all one big comedic True Hollywood Story to me lately.
Good... morning? Be safe and be well.