Thursday

on happiness

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know. - Ernest Hemingway


When I saw this on my dash, I reblogged it immediately onto my tumblr. It rang true because the bitch of a friend  was the one who first proposed this idea to me. I wouldn't necessarily call her intelligent (might be biased) but yes she was clever in certain ways and her douchebag of a boyfriend had his moments. Every idiot has their moments of clarity. 


This time I saw it appear on my dash again I thought it was unfair. "Stupid" people can be unhappy. We're at 7 billion people now or something? I would bet great deal of money that no one is happy and everyone is intelligent in their way. Although, my ex-boyfriend, he was not exactly very intelligent (in terms of academics) and a happy content fellow so exceptions exist of course. Perhaps it is not so much that you are intelligent but if you tend to over-think, over-analyse and dwell on past events (but really who doesn't) then you have a harder time processing the sadness and "be happy."


The first link that popped up when I googled the quote was this


"Intelligence is a gift allowing us to see with clarity and understanding, enabling the ability to solve problems quickly. The other side of that blade is knowing all the potential resolutions to a problem including the negative ones. It's being able to see the negative and realize the potential for failure that allows us to become our own worst enemies."



This leads to another reason why happiness among the intelligent is so rare. The more intelligent you are, the fewer people there are in the world who you can talk to as equals. The majority of a people are of a certain intellect that allows them to be content with the world around them, unquestioning and accepting of who and what they are and why they are here. 

The minority who is blessed and cursed with intelligence sees a potential beyond simply getting up in the morning, going to work, and raising a family. They also wonder why they can't be happy and content with what makes everybody else happy and content. Everybody else chatters happily about television shows and what they are going to do over the holidays, but to him or her it all sounds like meaningless noise."

Thank god for other people's writing because they can put the ideas in my head in writing more eloquently than my scattered brain can at any given moment. 


And the line about potential. That really kills me. What could have happened. I am pro at playing the what-if game and being disappointed in people. 

Bless the internet. All those who wish to find a way to express their sadness can go there and feel less alone. So many of the tumblrs I follow seem to carry the same grief as me in some way or another. I wish I could draw, I wish I could take photographs, I wish I could paint, I wish I could write lyrics and sing but since I have none of those talents I'd rather just tumble away and use other people's talents to express myself. I could find a hobby, I could throw myself into learning computer science and programming, I could start running again or just focus on my studies but that's not how depression works. I simply have no motivation to do anything, let alone leave my bed. My computer and the internet is my one lifeline, one link to the world and reminder to look beyond my immediate situation because there is always more. Always. 



On one hand this helps me deal with the sadness but on the other hand I basically become a potato. On the outside I look like a catatonic hobo on my bed in front of a glowing screen (no sleep schedule whatsoever but this appears to be a norm for the jobless and the people on the internet) and not eating/sleeping/functioning like any "normal" person. And I shout at anyone saying "Maybe.... you should try getting off the computer?" Leave me alone, I'm happy, this makes me feel better, I need this, this is the one thing that makes me sane, I can't deal with people, just leave me alone, this is something I can actually do, nobody is judging me, I feel less lonely because all these people think like me. 


All these people seem to think like me?


Now that's an odd concept. 
What no?! I am misunderstood! Forever alone! No one understands me!


There is a declaration throughout tumblr that the people around them infuriate them and they hate people. But somehow, those people on tumblr, they get you. Is the internet just where the intelligent people hang? No it's because the internet is big enough, diverse enough that you can find like-minded individuals, people who disagree with, people who agree with you and just find your place that makes sense. You find yourself in that you figure out what you like and what you don't like. Also no stupid passing thought is stupid on the internet. Turns out, other people have thought about it too. If your incessant commentary on life is considered annoying by people in real life, it is embraced on the internet. I mean there are the apathetic grumpy people in your average class and then really enthusiastic happy people on tumblr who will complain with you about how people are dull and stupid.


Or is it because the internet edits your thoughts? It sifts through the awkward delivery of real life and people can't judge you on your "good looks" and clothing and you feel less pressured? You can also write them off easily since well, who cares, they're some idiot behind a screen that you'll never know. Just another idiot among the idiots you come across with daily. Not to mention the internet is where all the AWESOME things happen. Any 5 minutes on the internet will be more spectacular than any given 5 minutes of your real life. I will most likely be studying. That's boring. Go on the internet and there's gifs of Harry Potter and silly webcomics galore. 
  
And well, the internet doesn't really have consequences, at least on tumblr (I hope) People can reaaaalllly "be themselves" and just post endless things that make them happy and express themselves.  And it's just so weird that through a simple meme, people can find something common in an instant. Can that happen in real life more often?


But why aren't we all friends? Why can't the people around us be those people on tumblr? There was a cute post going around along the lines of Facebook is like the friends you went to high school with whereas tumblr is the friends you WISH you went to high school with. 


Well turns out common sense is rare. I have no idea why so many people are stupid. I have no idea why it's not the other way around. 


There's only a small percentage of people on tumblr that exist in your immediate surroundings and a lot of filler people. Turns out....no...despite the overwhelming majority of tumblr-ers who seem to be your soulmate, the actuality is they are the minority of the world. And perhaps, they only exist on their computers and they are a muted version of their online selves in real life. And maybe I'm looking at them through the rose-coloured glasses (pixelated screens I think there's a funny analogy in there somewhere) and seeing the person they aspire to be. I aspire to be many things and I guess tumblr is where I find the examples.  Not to mention, well tumblr has a lot of young (under 16 I'd say and this is total generalization) females who just post a shitload of fashion stuff (models and expensive bags and bloggers wearing ripped denim) and want to be famous /popular/powerful for some reason. My hope is they mature and you know, grow out of it. (it's a phase, please just let it be a phase for all of them) 


Tumblr does the magical task of sifting through the billions and finding the hundred that are like-minded and who "get" you. 


I feel like I belong in this world on tumblr that I throw my fist in the air and go "Yes! People like me! I am not alone! I CAN HAVE FRIENDS! MANY FRIENDS" I mean look at all the notes on this picture or quote!!! But they aren't here...physically and can't actual hug me, can't actually drag me out of bed. They have the exact same problem as me and they deal with it in the same way I do. Also, the whole To Catch a Predator thing makes people iffy about becoming friends via the internet. Don't blame them. If you are on tumblr, most of the time you're lurking and like to creep other people's lives without revealing anything about yourself. And then you find out they're creeping you and you go gah they know all these intimate details and the innermost thoughts of the people I know! Don't find me in real life!


There is always the hope you run into someone IRL who has common sense and who isn't a douche and is awesome as the people you come across on tumblr. Until then I am on the tumblr in my happy place. Maybe one day I will make a real human connection on tumblr and gasp meet in real life?  I prefer avoiding reality and just lurking (no chance of being disappointed) 


P.S. This will get edited gradually as brain function improves. Editing is good people.
I keep thinking naively that everyone goes on the internet! Therefore people on internet exist in real life. Therefore, they must be near me. Go forth and find! And then I remember I'm a hermit and only come in contact with people only online. 

1 comment:

Joy said...

Wow this was a powerful post. I've always wanted to come here and reply by but never really fully got the chance and don't want to give you a half-assed response. I don't think I'm all that intelligent but I went through severe depression earlier this year because of how disappointed I was at college. I thought by now, at an "elite" liberal arts college I would have friends who are more intellectual, with more depth, perspective and insight. Sadly it's still more or less the same people in high school but in some ways worse, because they like to bullshit to prove their point w/o effort and everything is fueled by a nasty mix of alcohol and drugs. My parents speak fondly of their days in college and had hoped my experience would be a great one. Because generally students don't have too much to worry about except their studies really, I thought it would be an intellectual paradise like the Roman forums back in the day or the cafés of La Belle Époque, or the salons of the Age of Enlightenment for the philosophs. I am still trying to see through the bullshit and know there a few like-minded individuals that do exist out there, but I refuse to settle and give in and just "deal with it". Frankly I think life is too short to not give a damn, despite how overwhelmingly helpless it can feel when you're alone as an individual. I think setting up a blog is the best way possible to first remedy this and it's most definitely a reason why I have a blog at all. Sorry for this crazy long comment that might not even turn to be half coherent but feel free to email if you want someone to chill/tlk with (I promise I'm not a 40yr old pedo-creeper) LOL.