Am I a tough crowd? Or a robot?

So this was written late at night while I was exhausted. At the time I thought it was terrible. In retrospect, I still think it’s terrible.

In an attempt to be relevant with at least one show that’s current, I started on BoJack Horseman season three. You know what? I don’t actually find the show to be funny. It’s a weird stance, but I recognise there’s humour in it, it’s just not humour that gets a rise out of me. It’s bizarre, because on paper a cartoon filled with anthropomorphic characters and puns seems like it’d drill straight into my funny bone. It practically leaks pop culture references. It’s also crammed with a ludicrous amount of talent. Seriously, just look at this list. Absurd, right? Now I’m not saying I don’t enjoy the show, just that the humour doesn’t appeal to me. I feel like a ton of it either falls flat in my eyes or feels random for random’s sake. I’m quite sure that hordes of people think it’s hilarious and I’m not here to argue with them. Each to their own and all that.

So why is it that I enjoy the show? Oddly enough, for a comedy, it’s the drama that reels me in. That doesn’t quite do it justice. The show is very well written. It builds its characters out and gives them heaps of developmental moments or chances for redemption. See, half the cast of characters are varying degrees of terrible people (animals, mostly). They’re flawed and broken, bringing out both the worst and best in one another. Between the levity (even if not in my case), there are deep lines that land with gravity. The oft quoted “You know, it’s funny; when you look at someone through rose-coloured glasses, all the red flags just look like flags” line rings poignant. There’s a weight to that and other lines of its ilk that carry an undeniable truth. Even when the show takes absurd turns, it doesn’t retreat from them. Actions have consequences and in this world, they’re all too real. Hell, two characters in a ludicrous marriage are actually following through with therapy, dealing with their inability to communicate their needs in a vulnerable fashion. It’d be all too easy for the show to make them break up, then move on, but it refuses to.

Obviously, I’m gonna keep watching. As someone who’s still not even into the heart of this season yet, I feel like there’s still rock bottom left to explore. How would that not sound enticing?

Proving that yes, it is possible to feel this way dressed in a Snorlax kigurumi.

December and January were big months for activity. Holidays meant parties and festivities oozing out of every spare evening. Food and drink revolved around the “use sparingly” portion of the food pyramid. Consequently joy was everywhere. It was a great time to alive, to celebrate and surround yourself with loved ones both romantic and platonic. I did. Oh, did I ever? Yes. OH yes.

February on the other hand has heralded a crash back down to terra firma for me. I’ve cut alcohol in an attempt to reorder my food pyramid and in general let my body breathe. I’m not getting preachy, you do you. I’m just here doing me. I’ve done the teetotaller thing before many times and it’s very doable. In all honesty though, it’s never fun. In some cases the downward trend of “never fun” keeps drilling down until my mood feels six feet under. If I’m not careful I get riddled with all sorts of self-loathing, negativity and withdraw into myself. Is it just a subconscious attempt to keep the URL of this page relevant? My inner social media specialist slamming putting the brand awareness pedal to the floor?

Example time.

I had a party to go to last night. A house warming party of some good friends. The kind of place crammed wall to wall with the kind of people I love being around. Neither my girlfriend nor I were drinking, but that’s fine. I’m a social guy and I like shooting the shit with friends or strangers. I got there and glommed onto some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. There was a truth or dare-ish game going on in the lounge, but I kept my distance. There’s nothing wrong with the game, but it’s not something I can handle sober. Truth or dare grabs all of my insecurities tied to self-confidence and cranks them up to 11. I feel like I have to perform in a certain fashion and no matter how I do I always feel a kind of tension, as if people are waiting for me to fuck up so they can laugh at rather than with me. If anything flirtatious comes up, I withdraw or deflect. It brings me right back to my teenage years of feeling unwanted and clumsy. Playing the fool to compensate for the fact that nobody had any real romantic or sexual interest. I mean, it’s easy to see how much of it was self-fulfilling prophecy. I didn’t see myself as an entity deserving of desire, so I acted in a congruent manner. If I didn’t believe it, I wouldn’t let anyone else either. I wish that I could say all of that has vanished into the path and I’ve owned feelings of self-worth and sexual capital, but I prefer honesty. At the age of 29, I can handle this kind of thing with tipsy relaxation. Last night though? I stayed away, my girlfriend jumped in and I kept to the fringes of the room seeking quiet conversation.

The place was crowded, it was noisy and I was having trouble concentrating. Without alcohol to dull my senses, I was listening to multiple conversations simultaneously, which left me paralytic. It was an effort to string together coherent sentences and everything I said felt stupid or lame. I couldn’t keep up with friends on that amped wavelength whose attention spans spurned conversations longer than several minutes. I felt so small and my body language reflected this. I now see that I continually sought out tiny spaces to cram myself into. The corner of a kitchen bench, the small alcove in front of the rubbish bin next to the filing cabinet, the railing next to the stairs. Places that would give me a wide outlook so I could prepare for anyone entering my personal space. It was a subconscious defensive move and I didn’t realise what I was doing until I’d left.

The front of the room got rowdier as the game picked up. Lots of nudity, body shots, flirtatious behaviour. I’m not shitting on anything that happened, it was all in good fun. In my state at the time though, it only served to make me feel more alienated, distanced. A mixture of jealousy and helplessness at my inability to let go and relax, to have fun in a space intended for just that purpose. My muscles tightened and I found myself speaking less and less. I was upset, but found myself incapable of saying anything. Something inside of me said it was unfair to make my problems anyone else’s. It wasn’t fair to inhibit anyone’s fun because I was feeling shitty. What right did I have to bring others down with me? Of course I couldn’t act or speak out in a shared public space, this was my issue and I had to solve it. At the time, I didn’t have the wherewithal, so negative thoughts coalesced into a dense, deep mass around my brain. I felt worse and worse, compounded by the overwhelmingly happy crowd surrounding me. If everyone else was fine, what was wrong with me that I couldn’t get on their level?

I needed to leave, but my girlfriend was having a great time. Who was I to get in her way? The happier she was, the more of a divide I felt. Logically, of course she couldn’t have known how I was feeling. Emotion doesn’t play by those same rules though, so instead I felt isolated. The smart thing would’ve been to tap her on the shoulder, to have a word and explain how I was feeling. Instead of using my brain, I stewed in everything and felt deflated, void of anything useful. Instead of making my needs known, I waited for perhaps another hour and a half while I felt utterly miserable. I wanted to either be somewhere else, alone, or just not “be” at all. At some point I couldn’t take any more. I apologised for interrupting my girlfriend’s conversation and quietly told her that I needed to get out of there quickly. I called an Uber and pulled a French exit, incapable of mustering up the fake enthusiasm I’d need for farewells. We got the fuck out of there barely saying a word.

We got home and I unpacked a bunch, describing how and why the night had took a turn. This morning I unpacked a bunch more. She listened, helped me through as much as we could and I felt a little better. In the wake of now though the emptiness has returned. Putting my feelings on a page hasn’t helped. The logical part of my brain knows exactly what happened, but that does little to help. I still feel miserable and no matter what I watch, play or read my mood isn’t shifting. I just want to find whatever light exists at the end of this, which is my mind seeking some kind of escapism. It makes me want to drink, or find an alternate way to get out of my head. I want release that puts me out of myself, that lets me relax and pretend I’m somebody that seems so far from where I’m at. My mind is looking for something to treat the symptoms and forget the disease exists.

You know what? Drinking would work. 100%. I’d find enthusiasm for things outside of myself and actually want to be around people. I’d have a great fucking time and be able to put this shit behind me until it reared its head some time in the future. I’d have to wrest with the recognition that I said I’d do something (not drink for a month) and failed to deliver, but we humans have this amazing ability to justify anything we do if it made us feel better. Hell, drinking would’ve made last night fine, but how am I supposed to feel about that? How do I deal with my inability to connect in an active social space sans liquor? Alcohol is not some fantastic elixir I can use medically. Conversely, stewing in negativity does nothing for me either. I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know how to finish this paragraph. I might as well lean into this resurgence of teen angst and listen to No Children on repeat with the lights off.

Disseminating wrong in Formation.

Right wing pundits trawling for traffic by claiming that Beyonce’s Superbowl half time performance was racist are absurd. No, I’m not gonna link to them and give them traffic. Googling “Beyonce Superbowl racist” will give you everything you need. I’m not doing their dirty work for them. It’s amazing that they managed to bring up the lack of racial diversity (e.g. no white women) in her homage to the Black Panther movement. Sorry dickheads, but your attempt at finding reverse racism is fucking ridiculous and you should feel bad about yourselves. You’re tools, taking advantage of people who don’t understand insidious societal concepts like privilege and inequality. It’s not their fault, they’re hard concepts to grasp. Being in a position of influence, perhaps you should think twice before committing so strongly to cheap tactics. Are you really so unsure of your dominant foundations that you have to shit on attempts to reignite progressive cultural discussion? You are a joke and it saddens me that people are gullible enough to listen to you.

Me? I know that nobody really listens to me. Or at least I’d hope they wouldn’t after the many times I’ve described my bowel movements. Any influence I have should be limited to my topics of expertise, which is basically only myself. I’m an authority on me, but little else. I should be. I’ve spent the most time around me out of anyone in the world. I’m not gonna claim to know everything about myself, but most things. Actually, one of my favourite things is when I’m trying to figure out where Past Me would’ve put something or what kind of password Past Me would’ve set. I think to myself how would I have responded to this situation? Then I proceed to do the thing I would’ve likely done in the situation! It sounds ridiculous, but being able to work out how I function really does make me feel positively about myself.

I mean, think of the alternative. If I tried to put myself into Past Me’s frame of mind and failed, would I really know myself? What if I tried time and time again, but just couldn’t work out my mental process? I’d start to feel weird, absent from myself. I’d feel displaced, as if I was losing track of who I was. Of course we all change, but to evolve so much as to become unrecognisable to yourself? That’s a chilling thought. Honestly, that kind of mental divergence terrifies me to my core. At the end of each day the one thing I’m assured of is that I am me. I take comfort in being able to trust my own thoughts and sense of logic. If that disappeared, my confidence would be shattered.

It’s why I’m so sympathetic to mental illness of all kinds. Through no personal fault, without even having oppressive societal structures to blame, so many of us have reason to doubt ourselves. Because of internal chemistry. Because of traumatic experiences. Because of tragic biological incompatibilities. It’s distressing that this is something that could be within us already, something that people around us suffer from and we never even know their struggles. For all I know it’s waiting in my future. It could even be a part of my life now without realising it. It’s almost paralysing to think of the huge effect it has and how little we can do to mitigate it, how little we still know. It’s awful, but it’s real. For many of us it’s a huge part of our reality. If there’s anything that could make you feel helpless, not having faith in your mind is right up there.

Still, if you think Beyonce’s Superbowl half time performance was racist, you’ve got no excuse.

Desperately seeking om-niscience.

If you’ve read at least one of these entries, you’d agree that my mind has trouble staying rooted in one place. I could start a paragraph with some vague exposition and, by the time that closing full stop rolls around, end it arguing with the moral compass of puppets. I’m aware that this has become a defining character trait, my mind creating strange associations almost as a sport. That doesn’t mean it’s always a handy habit to have. While it can be useful at times to approach situations with a different perspective (honed by vast introspective travel), it’s not useful when I’m trying to knuckle down and focus. Ever wondered why I write about something new every day? Why I settle for half an hour of stream of consciousness? Partly it’s fear. I’m afraid that if I push myself to keep my mind in a steady groove I’ll lose the ability to freely associate. I’m afraid I’ll be reneging on something that I feel is a fundamental part of the way I operate. I’m afraid that by standing strong and rebelling against my natural instinct to scatter, putting effort into work will result in low quality material that will disappoint me. If I put effort into something and it’s terrible, then by association I’m terrible. On the contrary, if I never try to focus I’ll never fail, because I never will have tried very hard in the first place. I’m sure Yoda would tell me to do or do not, to shove try waaaaay up my sphincter, but Yoda is a) a puppet and b) a fictional character. As such, he happened to be written and puppeteered with the gumption and conviction I lack.

Maybe the grammarily liberal puppet is right though. Perhaps I need to approach this issue with force. Or at least, The Force. In order to harness the light inside of me, I need to focus and find a place of calm. A place where I’m untainted by the world around me and the pop-cultural maelstrom in my brain.

I guess I could’ve skipped all the preamble and just said I tried meditating yesterday, but we’re taking baby steps here.

After finally clicking send on the email that’d spent months in incubation, I was a little bit wound up. Not getting a response made my head spin. The reasonable, logical part of my brain was compiling a list of valid reasons why he hadn’t replied, while my emotional core was puking over the side of a mental tilt-a-whirl. I got home, wrote and rapidly got tired of my own shit. For ages now friends have told me that despite the inherent woo woo connotations, meditation had helped them hugely. It’s something I’ve been wanting to try, but I think of the calm cognitive serenity it entails and run screaming. No word of a lie, the idea of relaxing makes me tense. This is coming from a person who hates sleeping because it feels like a waste of time that could be spent doing something active. I’m afraid of being alone with my thoughts without some kind of conduit to put them into. I need a distraction, be it something to watch, read or listen to. I stress myself out.

I looked into meditation. How does one meditate? What are the optimal conditions? Hints and tips for success? Is there a way to game the system and jump straight to enlightenment? Does IDDQD work in this game? By the time I was ready to start learning how to do nothing, I realised I had 14 tabs open all rife with instruction. This is the problem, I thought, how am I supposed to calm down if I’m trying so hard to get everything perfect?

I closed the tabs. I opened Youtube, searched “meditation 20 minutes” and clicked on the first link.

I sat upright, legs folded and closed my eyes. I began to breathe with a certain rhythm. I inhaled slowly, held it for a second and exhaled gradually. I tried to feel each part of my body, starting from my toes. I rushed, at first, then chastised myself for speeding through things. I had 20 minutes after all. I started to think about other things I could do with 20 minutes. I could’ve been watching Brooklyn 99 or refreshed my Facebook wall 86 times. Stop thinking about things I told myself you’re meant to be thinking about not thinking. Wait, don’t think about that!

It was relentless. I must’ve thought about bagels at least 12 times. I lay on my back in case that would help. I started from my toes again, feeling their inactivity. With each inhalation I’d think about my area of focus, then as I exhaled, felt that area. I moved up the body and stopped fighting wherever my mind would go. It was noisy, but it was background noise. It would barge into my consciousness and slowly leave. This went on for a while and each time I tried my best to keep breathing, to go deeper.

I noticed that while I had some success with accessing a blank, muted space, I was still conscious of where I was. In the forefront of my mind I saw very little, while ghosted images of myself lying atop my bed scrolled like a screensaver though the background. Hey brain, I whispered into the aether, do you realise it takes more effort to imagine what I look like while I’m lying doing nothing than it does to not imagine anything?

[A pause]

I held onto that pause. Waited. Soaked in the radio silence. Chimes sounded. The clip was ending. My 20 minutes were done.

I’m not gonna claim I found any greater meaning. I can’t move objects with my mind while doing a one handed handstand. I have no doubts (refreshing, given the site name) however that I was in a calmer mood. For my first time meditating, things weren’t calamitous. My brain didn’t implode and it certainly didn’t cease functioning. I haven’t changed and Earth is still revolving on its axis.

Whatever my goal, whatever Yoda says, this is a try in my books.

My mind just whispered his name.

My friend was talking about a movie the other day. It was a heist or crime movie her partner had shown her. “It had that musician guy acting in it.” She said. That musician guy? Which musician guy? My mind immediately had an answer.. “Was it Harry Connick Jr?” I asked. Of course it wouldn’t be Harry Connick Jr. Why in fuck’s name would it be Harry Connick Jr? First off, he’s not a notable enough name to be memorable. Secondly he’s been in very few movies (scratch that, way more than I thought). Unless she had misconstrued The Iron Giant as a crime/heist movie, the chances of Harry Connick Jr being involved were slim to none. Still, my mind has an aptitude for making pretty strong pop cultural synaptic connections. Was it really so off base to imagine that this random 80s crime/heist film would just so happen to feature potential son of Harry Connick Sr, Harry Connick Jr in a notable, if not prominent role? “What? No. Who the fuck is Harry Connick Jr?” She responded.

Turns out it wasn’t Harry Connick Jr, folks. My brain was fucking with me. It does that from time to time and it feels kind of pointed. Intentional. Like it’s getting back at me for all the mindless white noise I make it sit through. The endless internet browsing, pointing, clicking for unblinking hours. My mind craves puzzles and challenges in order to work its mind muscles and I give it naught.

I feel shitty about how little I read. I feel even shittier about how little I read when it reflects in poor Scrabble games. So I had a friend over a few weeks back and she was literally beating me in her sleep. Scenario: She’d brought her Travel Scrabble and laid it out on the bed. Things started out lively enough. She got 30 or so points off her first word. I countered by claiming a triple letter score off a Q to get a decent 35 points or so. She turned my word “Quest” into “Quests” horizontally and “Rusting” vertically off a double word score. Strike up a cool 80 points from her. From that point I begun to take things a little more seriously. Watched out for potential ins where she could hang word. I played defensively and the more effort I took cultivating my board position, the longer my turns took. Soon enough 5 minute turns took 10, 20 minutes. It was late, so she just snoozed between rounds. I’d take 20 minutes to find a mediocre word while she slept, then I’d rustle her. She’d come to, gaze at her tiles then place a few down in a mere minute. She’d consistently double my previous round’s score with one or two tiles, then go back to sleep. My mind was lagging. I had a turn take 40 minutes out of fear of turning in a sub par word. I ended up throwing in the towel, giving up and joining her in bed. She was the master, she was the Harry Connick Sr.

I was merely the Harry Connick Jr.

Is this all some next generation Old El Paso ad?

I don’t know where I am. Forgive me if this lapses into bourgeoisie existentialism, but I feel a bit marooned right now. There’s been no great crisis happening in my life, this isn’t a cataclysmic event that’s holding my head under the river of despair. If it was, I’d know where I was. I’m not there. Perhaps this feeling or limbo state has to do with the fact that there isn’t a great crisis happening in my life. Things are stable, comfortable. Still, something’s off. I feel lost while cushioned with safe surroundings. There’s tangible physical evidence of my position, but safe harbour still leaves me wanting for direction and purpose. I see signs of life and time all around me. Growth blossoms while leaves fall brown and brittle to rest on the earth.

Forget it, I’m not poetic enough a writer to wear such blatant melancholy. It feels loose and untethered, my form can’t hold it with any solemnity. I feel like a boy in his father’s coat, tails dragging across the ground. To put it in my own characteristic verbose bluntness, I’m in a strange place and I don’t know what that lingering smell is. Things have been happening around me that’ve brought questions to my mind, but little in the way of answers. Geez, that makes it sound like this stuff revolves around me, it doesn’t. Things happen without me and for some reason my view feels better if I feel like they have anything much to do with me. Things are fine, they’ve worked out without my help or input, and that’s fantastic. There’s this odd thing that happens when so much of your life is half a world away. The memories you always thought you’d have instead become these vague scenes your subconsciousness creates having seen photos after the fact. If you’re imbued with whatever brand of narcissism that I am, you’ll look for ways to place yourself there, as if it wasn’t important if it wasn’t somehow about you.

So what ifs arise like koans. Hypothetical but ultimately meaningless beyond forcing you to question yourself. Should I be there? How would it change things? Do they need this? Do I? Would I could I with a fox? You hear something and your mind responds, then you question how those thoughts emerged. Potential bad news arises and before the sentence is finished you’re half way through a eulogy. Prepping for the worst before knowing anything substantive. Thinking about how things will play out, damage control for a myriad of situations. Questioning why things may work out in ways you don’t want is pointless when you’re drifting without aim. Swagger and confidence are all too helpful in convincing others you have any idea, occasionally you even fool yourself. Have you ever given an extended monologue to inspire hope, with no idea where it came from? Peeling back the layers you realise you just repackaged people’s words and served them pack with a nice ribbon. No wonder they liked the way it sounded. Fear and assurance intertwined when thinking about the future. Things will be fine, but who will I be? Was I better? Am I better? Or am I always just me in whatever form that takes? A notion that everything’s fucked when nothing’s going wrong. Where does that come from? Am I afraid of true happiness or afraid that only Sith deal in absolutes? Fooling myself into thinking that finding small pockets and taking them as whole is enough to compensate for ever-present intrusive thought? Everything’s transient. Is that terrifying or comforting? Por que no los dos?

Maybe I’m just hungry.

Therapies. There, appeased?

How could therapy not be my favourite thing? Since finding a therapist that works harmoniously with my many isms and conversational style, things have been flowing marvellously. In its essence, the sessions have become a combination of my favourite topic (me. Be honest, who isn’t their own favourite topic?), a puzzle (me) and how the two of us can best examine how the puzzle pieces fit together based on any evidence I can dredge up. I’m in a good place right now in terms of body confidence and self-assuredness, which she said is the best time to bring up difficult issues of self. If you’re feeling low, there’s a higher chance that wading into those dark waters can pull you down into the murky depths. If you’re buoyant and don your scuba gear, it’s considerably easier to float back up to the top. So we both pool our knowledge and come up with the best explanations of how to fit what we know into a reasonable order. She’s astute and skilled at finding hints of connections, drawing inferences between clues. This helps me recall other ways in which I act that support or dismiss her ideas. Sometimes she’ll say something and it’ll jog a memory hidden deep or link to a previously unconnected thought pattern. We’ll flick through ideas and bring them all together, giving a greater understanding of how I tick. It’s magic being there, but it’s hard to put into words. Let’s try.

We were talking about my understandings of value, self-worth and how I apply them to myself when I get pulled into a spiral. I’d given her a piece of writing I wrote after a panic attack and this part stuck out for her:

“In the moment of my birth, my mother only saw love. She saw a symbol of the time, patience and hard work that brought me into existence. She saw her love for my father, the children she already had. She wanted a life for me where I was safe to follow my bliss, to grow up and spread love. To find everything she had spent so long cultivating, everything that made her life and the time, patience and hard work worth it. She loved me unconditionally and only wanted everything for me that I ever desired. When I’m in that state, I don’t feel like I can give my mother all she ever wanted for me. Consequently I don’t feel worthy.

In that dark emotional state, I don’t feel worthy of my mother’s love.”

Do you not believe in unconditional love? I replied that I’d always had a remote fear that if for some reason I bred a monster, I wouldn’t know what to do. Say I’d tried my hardest, tried to pass on good values, instill love and compassion into that child. Try to lead by example, to care and give all that I could. How would I feel if the kid was consistently terrible. Like, what would happen if this kid became Josef Fritzl II? What would it take for me to give up on the kid? If I kept trying to help and nothing would take? What would my line be? At some point would I stop loving this human that came from my genetic material? If I was a terrible person, I wouldn’t expect to have people around me. If your actions don’t give back to the people in your life, why would they love you? You don’t just get love for existing, you have to be someone worth loving for people to want to love you.

Many people would disagree. But why would people owe you love? You have to do something in order to earn it. If I passed a random stranger walking down the street would they owe me love of any kind? Love is something that builds over time in minuscule increments. You say things, do things, act in ways which cumulatively prove your value. You connect, communicate, form friendships, relationships. Nothing comes to you “just cause”, the world doesn’t owe you shit just because you’re in it. You have no right to anything purely for existing. You earn the life around you. It sucks that some people start from debilitating conditions and I wish that wasn’t a thing, but things don’t go your way just because you breathe. I don’t have a right to a roof over my head and food in my belly. I’d never expect the world to give me those things. Love is no different. You can’t have love just because you want it without giving anything back. Relationships don’t just start and continue ad infinitum. You need to continue to work on them and justify your value, even in infinitesimal increments.

So where is your stability? It sounds like you’re constantly on shaky foundations. If this is how you feel, when would you ever let yourself turn off? I paused. I guess that’s why I don’t. I don’t feel comfortable stopping, because there are always things to tend to. Everything I do is a transaction of some kind. Take a relationship, a friendship. Everyone has some kind of value, push and pull, and we’re all constantly auditing. Let’s use currency as an example, because quantities are easy to grasp. Say I’ve got annoying habits. I might chew with my mouth open or something. That has negative value. It might cost me 1c, 2c, 10c. It could increase or multiply with frequency. My value decreases. Then say I said something nice. Or I listened and offered considerate insightful feedback. I did something kind without being asked. Maybe that would add $10 to my value, $1000, $10,000. Everything you do has value and it’s constant subliminal accounting. Relationships, work, health, socialising, consumption.

The imagery that’s playing out in my head is a nigh infinite vertical column, almost like a bar graph. Each row has a different element of your life, but in place of a bar would be tug of war. Left/right would be positive/negative respectively. Like a tug of war, ground is gained when you’ve got momentum. If one side gets close to the centre, it’s really tough for the other side to get back into the black. If I’m attaching value onto these rows, then say one of them is body image. My body image gets into the red and it’s hard to pull myself back into the black. Then that starts pulling on the bar, it warps the other rows and inhibits my ability to keep things balanced. So say my body image slides all the way into the red, that’ll most likely drag my self-worth with it. That’ll pull on rows pertaining to my perceptions of my relationships. Hence how negative body image can eventually make me question what I’m worth to others.

If we zip back to the example of unconditional love and this hypothetical terrible child, what would beating up another kid do to their value in my eyes? What about murder? Rape? If my kid became a total sociopath, at what point would the rope go so far over the line it was irretrievable? Surely though there would be a multitude of factors leading to this? A child doesn’t just become a monster in isolation. You’re right. Of course you’re right and I agree completely. Glancing over, the clock read 2.56pm. But there’s no way we’re gonna solve nature vs nurture in 4 minutes.

… Wait, am I paying someone $170 an hour just to facilitate my ranting?