Introspection or The Art of Remembering

I’ve talked many times before about wanting to rediscover my creativity. That necessarily implies I need to go back and find where I left it.  For me, that seems to back in my childhood, back to the younger Judi.  One of my biggest laments, as a person with depression, is the tendency to forget.  A dark cloud descends, blanketing the mind and dulling the senses.  I can literally forget what I thought or wanted yesterday because all that exists today is the dark cloud.  Using my metaphor,Winston, all I can sense is him, nipping at my heels or sitting on my chest.  When the cloud lifts, a little bit remains, casting a hazy veil over whatever happened before. The past becomes indistinct, unfocused.

This haziness causes time to become vaguely disjointed, not consciously, but subsconsciously. That doesn’t mean I have memory gaps.  When goaded, I can generally describe what I did yesterday or  last week, but I have difficulty tracking the flow of subconsious thoughts: what are my goals, how do I feel about X, what do I like to do, what do I want for myself, what drives me – all of these questions with answers that lie right below conscious thought and propel our actions.  I imagine, Dear Reader, when you are questioned, you pause to collect your thoughts and call to the surface conclusions you decided yesterday, or last week, or last year.  For me, it’s as if I’m hearing the questions for the first time, every time.  Whenever, I’m asked one of these questions, I feel like a deer caught in the headlights, my mind frozen into a perfect blank and I reflexively think:  “I don’t know.”  Of course my mind goes into overdrive, reminding me I *do* know, like I knew and should have known when asked before and the time before that.  My mind leaps into the breach to stitch my thoughts back together into something plausible.  Then the moment passes and I’m left with that sinking feeling of having forgotten myself.  Again.

So each time I must ask myself the same questions so I can hopefully remember the same answers.  Some sessions are not as clear as others and all the navel gazing and introspection doesn’t help.  Then I take medication to keep Winston at bay and another drug induced wall rises.  I emailed a friend complaining of my woes and an inability to penetrate my blogger’s block.  She suggested, “write about what drives you.”  Over thousands of virtual miles, that question nailed me.  “I don’t know.”  I’d forgotten.   I have exchanged the dark cloud for a wall of placid blankness.  It’s simply a different haziness.

But lately, just before I drift off to sleep at night, memories come, unbidden. My mind plays it’s own home movies.   Here you are holding your squeaky giraffe as you grin up at your brother, waiting for him to take your picture.  He’s in his ROTC uniform.  You are four years old.  See, you do remember being small.  Here you are watching as you your family stands around a figure lying peaceful on the sofa.  You are two.  See, you do  remember your grandmother.  Images move across the placid blankness of my mind like movie shorts from an old projector.  I’m older, then younger, then older.  Some memories are sad, some are happy.

At first I resented this insistence in dredging up old memories, but now I suspect there is a purpose.  This is me, remembering, piecing half-forgotten memories back together, looking for myself.  I hope one day to actually find the younger Judi, the creative one, the authentic me and hold onto her tight.  She can help me remember myself.  Then I will be able to answer those questions.


Why RA?: Part 6 – Why Crush?

So my last fandom lay in tatters, a ghost of its former self.  But it continued to limp along while I continued a growing disinterest.  I had a few brushes with potential crushes but no fandom in which I could actively participate.  Writing those words make me wonder: what is the purpose of any of these crushes?

Could it be as a boyfriend substitute? I don’t think of them as fantasy boyfriends and many fans have partners in their lives.  Could it be freedom from boredom?  A crush certainly creates a heightened level of interest in discovering the person and his work and a thrill in the newness of it all, but I can still become bored.  (Yes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  Blasphemy, I know).  I don’t know about you, Dear Reader, but I can’t enthuse endlessly, any more than I can read or draw or write constantly.  It takes away some of the novelty.

Could it be to fill something missing in ourselves?  This could very well be in some fans, especially those who take their zeal to the disturbing stage.  I suspect if everything possible filled my life, I would still have room for fandoms, mainly because I enjoy the surrounding community so much.  With each group I’ve made friends (or learned how not to make friends) who have lasted over the years.  I’ve also gotten invaluable insight into human nature and diverse experiences I otherwise wouldn’t have encountered.  By the way, it’s ironic that if an object is the interest, it’s approved as a hobby; but if a person is the interest, it’s called a crush and treated warily.   It’s okay to love the Chicago Bears but it’s odd to adore Mr. or Ms. Crush.   When you think about it, everybody has some sort of interest or hobby, whether a sport, or craft, or show. This demarcation is a bit unfair.

Is it a culmination of experiences, perceptions, brain chemistry that is sparked by the crush’s appearance, voice, mannerisms and personality?  I suspect this is more the case.  There are actors who I like that just don’t do it for me.  Then there are those I’m at a loss to explain, especially in hindsight.  “There was just something about him at the time!” I look back on my former crushes and scratch my head.  Obviously there was something about them that worked for me at that point in time.  Sometimes I wonder if my crushes aren’t an evolving ideal of what I would like in a real life man, something like a safe virtual Ken doll who I can dress in different combinations of qualities.  Hopefully, my taste is getting better, not worse.

But I digress.  Flash forward a few years.  I’m watching a television show with two buddies.  The New Guy appears onscreen. (You all know who he is, but I’ll keep him incognito for continuity sake).   “Isn’t he cute?’ gushes one friend.  “He’s repulsive,” shudders the other.  “Meh,” I say.  I didn’t like him.  I continued to dislike him for several episodes right up to the minute he got a cute shot, and another, and another, and “oh, could he possible be cute?,” and then “oh, this guy can act!,” and then – I was a fledgling fan of Mr Crush #3.