This is the first of many woefully misleading bears to appear in this blog.
I am a peaceful person at heart. The kinder, softer aspect of my personality is the part of me that makes me proud of myself. I like to compliment people and I like to make them laugh. I hate to see someone in pain and I feel very protective towards people who seem vulnerable to me. I like these things about myself.
If I could hug the whole world, I totally would. For serials.
I hear they have cookies, too.
My cure for feeling overwhelmed by the world has always been to withdraw from it, to shrink my presence down to the point where I'm the only one aware of it on a daily basis, at least in real life. To feed my need for human contact, I usually go eyeballs-deep into the internet, hunkered down like a quiet spider in the center of the worldwide web and sending the occasional tremors down the line just to reassure myself that I still have company of sorts. I get the feeling that this may not be a healthy coping mechanism. Nonetheless, it's tried and true, so it's how I do things.
"Step into my chat room," said the spider to the fly.
At least, in this scenario, I still have my inner goo intact. This poor soul wasn't so lucky.
What I always end up realizing during this process, while always still struggling in the background to discourage the less admirable aspects of my nature, is that surprise is my worst enemy. I tend to not see badness headed in my direction. There are probably clues, hints of trouble on the horizon that I miss in my daydreamy state, but the point is, I don't notice them. I often don't realize people are upset or angry with me until it comes to unpleasant words pouring from their mouths. I don't necessarily think the same way that other people do and I don't get bothered by the same things, so I usually have a Sheldon-esque moment of, "wait, was I supposed to know that?" while I'm in the midst of being dressed down for some perceived slight or indiscretion. The difference between me and our friend Sheldon Cooper (aside from him being a fictional genius and such) is that I actually care. I don't like upsetting people. I seldom actually meant to in the first place. But it is really difficult, when I'm startled or hurt by a rain of unexpected badness I never saw coming, to drum up any of those premeditated little charms that keep me from responding in a way I can't feel good about later. It's kind of like a turtle reflexively ducking back into his shell or a porcupine stiffening his quills. I feel like I need to protect myself, to deflect, to fight back, or seek aid. And I never feel good about anything I do when in defensive mode.
It should probably worry me that this is one of my role models.
At the end of the day, I end up taking to heart both everything that hurt me about the other person being angry for the thing I didn't realize I was doing and everything I actually know I did wrong in response. I realize that this is fairly unremarkable, because I'm pretty sure just about everyone feels this way and those who don't are either lying to themselves or are sociopaths. Where I feel like I go the extra mile is in my utter inability to let things go. I just do not bounce back that well, choosing instead to stew over every negative encounter in this determined effort to figure out how it happened, where I went wrong, and what I can do to avoid it happening or at least see it coming the next time. But being oblivious is far too much a part of my nature, so no answer I've ever come up with has been able to help me avoid the storm of suck that keeps happening, or at least be properly braced for it.
Obviously, this is my daydream, so I have the elven ability to walk on snow like I have invisible snow shoes on.
Once comfortably ensconced in a battered leather armchair, wrapped up in a warm knit blanket and surrounded by these few precious items, I'd be overjoyed, for a while, to hole up in peace and quiet and create things that make me happy. I'd draw things that made me laugh, and pictures of people who I admire and characters I made up in my head, and tape them all over the inside of my cabin walls. Between fits of immersing myself in the pages of a good book, I'd also take to my laptop and sculpt my own intricate worlds to play with. And this would soothe me, and restore the kind, peaceful parts of me back to being fully functioning again, and all would seem right with the world. At least until I got myself eaten by a bear. Or until I realized that there's no reliable internet connection in the middle of nowhere and died of Twitter-withdrawal. But, man, up until then, it would be a blast.
Somehow, I feel misled by Hanna-Barbera's suggestion that all a bear really wants is your "pic-a-nic basket."
Original image here.
Ah, there we are. Catharsis.
Author's Note: Hopefully, you recognize the soothing mantra of the title as a bastardization of the exchange in "Wayne's World." The actual exchange went like this:
WAYNE: OK, you're in a forest. GARTH: Forest?
WAYNE: With Heather Locklear. GARTH: With Heather? WAYNE: And you're very warm. Very... GARTH: ...warm? WAYNE: Warm.
Original image found here.
For more "Wayne's World" nostalgia, check out this on-line version of the script.Or, uh, watch it or something. I think it's on DVD by now, right?