Saturday, 17 July 2010

unstructured rant

I've realised* recently that there are discrepancies between our perceptions of life and the lives we actually live. (*I think I need to define realise - I don't mean realise as in notice for the first time, I mean it as in making something real. as in I was aware there were discrepancies before 'recently', but only recently did I actually apply the knowledge to my own life. if that makes sense.)

I touched on the subject (albeit accidentally) in my last post, where I stated that on a "pleasant Summer's evening, shared with good drink, good food, and good company, [where] absolutely nothing untoward happened", I still "had a completely inexplicable feeling of sadness afterwards".

this struck me as unfair - why the hell should I be susceptible to being let down by my own deranged fantasies of how life should be?

I then thought that maybe, although these discrepancies are inevitable (otherwise everyone would have to have the same, unaltering, true view of life which is impossibly unrealistic), we can control the effect they have on us.

for example, some people get angry when their expectations are not met. they lash out, pass blame and ignore the actuality (however good or bad) of the situation. this is (from what I can tell) a fairly common reaction. my old RE teacher told our class a story once wherein a child was taken out for a day to a theme park, rode all the rides, was brought expensive souvenirs, ate his favourite food for lunch, and nothing went wrong until, in the car park before heading home, he saw an ice cream van and demanded an ice cream. his grandparents (or parents, whoever he was with) refused, citing that they had treated him all day and had run out of money, and that it would make him feel sick on the journey home. he could not understand this, and threw a tantrum, ending the day on a bad note, tainting it forever in his (and their) memories.

quite a tragic outcome in my opinion.

and although the above was only a story told to highlight a moral, too many times have I seen something similar occur in real life. I've experienced it many times myself, but beyond that I won't mention names, places, times, events or anything remotely incriminating because there's no point, but I think it's something we're all guilty of doing.

another reaction is to deny that discrepancies exist, and continue living a life with which you are not satisfied, for fear of having to confront the fact that nothing is going how you expected (and maybe wanted) it to. this is more tragic than the last, and probably much less easy to reverse (or even notice) once it's started happening. the thought of ending up in such a mindset in life genuinely scares me - I have visions of myself drudging away at something I hate to feed myself and keep myself alive merely for the purpose of continuing the drudgery.

then I realise that it's a lifestyle that only exists in films, TV shows and songs to make consumers feel better about themselves because they're not trapped in such a life (Photosynthesis by Frank Turner jumps to mind).

then I realise that it's a lifestyle that many people around the world are confined to. drudging away at menial tasks to earn barely enough money to keep their family alive.

then I realise that this lifestyle is shown to us regularly, along with pleas for donations and promises of bettering peoples' lives who are stuck in such a position. and that this just acts to make consumers feel better about themselves because they're not trapped in such a life.

then I feel guilty for being scared of drudgery when I have so many opportunities that millions of people across the world will never have, and even if I were to waste ALL of these, I wouldn't be in as bad a place as some of them.

then I realise I'm rambling, and that it's 1:56am, and that the six espressos I drank today are wearing off, and that I need to go to bed.


  1. I'm easily pleased but it's hard to keep feeling satisfied. So I think I will be one of those people who move a lot, have lots of different jobs, and float in and out of contact with new and old people.
    The last thing I want is drudgery.

  2. that sounds like a good plan - I want to do something similar!

  3. Can I add that this was a very structured rant, contrary to what the title implied?

  4. yeah you can.

    can I say "drat" and complain that I suck at titling my posts?

  5. Yes. I'm disappointed. I was hoping you were going to be crazy unorganised for once haha.

  6. I'll try and have a properly unstructured rant soom

  7. yeah cos a perfect rant has to have lots of long sentences conveying little information with very limited punctuation if it is even used at all and so it can be hard to follow them as when they tend to start going off track you end up wondering what the point of it was in the first place

  8. jeez that sentence was so hard to read havent you ever heard of punctuation its not that hard really you just have to read the sentence aloud to yourself in your head as you write it and by the way i know how to rant but thanks for the advice ill see what i can do regarding an unstructured rant post soon but i fear i may have to include punctuation for my sanitys sake