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More self-indulgent lyrics posts - Sally's Journal
September 26th, 2005
03:00 pm

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More self-indulgent lyrics posts
I promise I'll grow out of these soon...

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
could it be worse?


Now, I've found those lyrics beautiful and poignent (and a great reminder that everyone goes through bad stuff and I'm not as special and unique as I like to think I am) over the last few weeks, but the music? I don't like it at all!

So much I want to talk about, so little time to talk about it, and so few people I could talk about it all to anyway.

The music in Smiths this morning was Head Over Feet, by Alanis Morrissette, and it took me right back to being 17 and falling in love with ilanin. And so much of me hates me for not having changed at all, and the other half hates me for having changed.

"I couldn't help it"... "I had no choice" The truth, or convenient fictions to let us do the things we want to do? To be free of blame, following the grooves of a predestined life*... isn't this just the same part of me that wants to hide in a bread shop away from risk and responsibility? Even if it is all predestined we have to believe that it isn't. Even if there is no point we have to believe that there is.

On the flip side, how *do* you control your feelings? My mothers great advice on how not to be lying cheating scum was just to not be in a situation where anything could happen. But, assuming that the people I care for most are, well, the people I care for most, forbidding myself from spending any time alone with them is too big a price to pay. I think I prefer the "just make sure you have your priorities the right way round and be honest about what's going on" argument... although I'm scared I'm using it as an excuse to get what I want.

robhu said something I found remarkably eyeopening, and somewhat embarressing, about me when I was in York. He pointed out that I had everything he wanted, that I had a great degree, from a great university, and a wonderful fiance who I love very much, and a great social life with brillient friends, and yet I still wanted more. In fact, he called me greedy***, and that struck home, because greedy is a bad word associated with small children cramming so many sweets into their mouths that they make themselves sick. And because I think it's true. And a combination of being greedy, and being "blessed"** with getting what you want in life, is not a good one.

Greedy. Finding myself in a world full of wonderful people and wonderful things, and feeling my heart break because I cannot be or do everything I want to. I should learn to be contented with my lot, for I am much blessed. But is it not this same longing for everything that drives people to go to greater heights and deeper depths, to push themself to the limit, to learn, and live, and love?

I feel so young, and so old.

And so procrastinating doing any work. Today was the day I promised I would start.

Thought for the day:
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" - Ghandi

*and I'd like five million parallel universes with that, and a side order of moon onna stick

** cynical laugh

*** not in a nasty way at all, just in an observant way. I am worried I am a bad role model for him.

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From:mobbsy
Date:September 26th, 2005 02:32 pm (UTC)
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There seems to me to be a fair correlation with Oxbridge and a constant desire to do better, go further, be more. The selection procedure seems to favour those personality types, and possibly for good reason, though it does lead to a community of people unsatisfied with their objectively enviable lot.
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From:filecoreinuse
Date:September 26th, 2005 02:42 pm (UTC)
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Ah, I knew I shouldn't be here :). All I want is enough money to survive and a chair to die in[1].

[1] Of course this is a particular chair and tends to require a large number of things to happen before this happens.
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From:filecoreinuse
Date:September 26th, 2005 02:32 pm (UTC)
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On the flip side, how *do* you control your feelings?

I don't. OTOH I don't feel particularly controlled by them either. Shit happens, deal with it when it does is my general approach to life. Over-analysing never helps anyone.
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From:ilanin
Date:September 26th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC)
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*shocked*

You called me ilanin. You never do that!

Yeah, today was the day I was going to start work too. Hasn't happened yet.

*entirely gratuitous hugs*

Hmm. Greedy. Gah, I've now got yet another thing to write something long about on adarisa. Short version - that isn't a flaw, that is being human.
(Deleted comment)
From:stephdairy
Date:September 26th, 2005 03:06 pm (UTC)
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On the flip side, how *do* you control your feelings?

You don't, or at least I don't. I can control some of what I do about them, and I can just about do the cognitive-therapy-style of noticing a thought I oughtn't to have and hitting it with mental hammers. (I have only vague ideas of where pleasant fantasy daydreams stop and Bad Thoughts start, mind.)

I wonder whether life is easier for me since these feelings are nearly always just in the mind with rarely any opportunity (or courage, perhaps) to do anything about them.

(S)
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From:hmmm_tea
Date:September 26th, 2005 06:21 pm (UTC)
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Just read that as metal hamsters...

...very bizarre image...
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From:captain_aj
Date:September 26th, 2005 03:06 pm (UTC)
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"On the flip side, how *do* you control your feelings?"

I've spent a long time figuring out that one. The answer is, you don't and can't, but instead control actions that can arise from those feelings where it's necessary. It's much easier ... in comparison.
From:rmc28
Date:September 26th, 2005 05:49 pm (UTC)
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Pretty much how I approach things. If I know a certain situation is likely to make me behave "badly", I avoid it and may even set up artifical barriers to enforce the avoidance.

To take a non-controversial example, I have just been insured on Kate's car. I know that the last time I could drive a housemate's car, I got very lazy and would drive trivial distances rather than walk or cycle. So, I've told Kate about this, and asked her not to let me have the keys if it's for a trip that I could walk or cycle (or take the train). This means I will feel very awkward asking Kate for the keys if I don't really need the car, and so I won't ask.
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From:ixwin
Date:September 26th, 2005 03:15 pm (UTC)

Greed

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There's a line from a song by the Lightning Seeds that struck at the heart of that question for me a few years ago "What if now, after all, what if everything you've got means you want more? What if now, after all, you're still not sure?.

There are two reasons why being greedy is a bad thing. One is when there's only a limited amount of whatever it is that you desire - you want 'more than your fair share'. Happiness/having a good life isn't like that - if anything, being happy makes you more able to make other people happier too.

The other reason it's a bad thing is when it makes you dissatisfied with what you do have, and even more dangerously, when it leads to you damaging or destroying what you do have, because of yearning/striving so hard for something else.

As to controlling feelings (and assuming you mean broadly 'inappropriate romantic feelings'), it's a hard one - particularly when you both want and don't want to carry on feeling that way. I basically go with a policy something like "never do the things you know are unwise, try to avoid saying the things you know are unwise (but accept they may sometimes slip out), avoid thinking the things you know are unwise when you're strong enough to do so" and things settle eventually, though they may take time.
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From:atreic
Date:September 26th, 2005 03:21 pm (UTC)

Re: Greed

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Thankyou for that. Having other people saying good true things that I didn't want to hear but secretly knew already is a great help.
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From:vitriol_
Date:September 26th, 2005 03:18 pm (UTC)
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Greedy. Finding myself in a world full of wonderful people and wonderful things, and feeling my heart break because I cannot be or do everything I want to. I should learn to be contented with my lot, for I am much blessed.

Bah. The more you care about something, the more you should try to improve and enhance it, and that includes your life in general. The supply of Happy(tm) in the world isn't fixed; increasing your happiness doesn't deplete other peoples (in fact, it generally increases the happiness of those around you). In no way should you feel bad about trying to improve a life that's already better (by one measure or another) than the average person's.

A man's reach should exceed his grasp. Or what's a heaven for?
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From:ewx
Date:September 26th, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC)
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Needs are often considered hierarchical, "higher" needs (emotional and intellectual ones) becoming more strongly felt as lower (survival-related) ones are satisfied. Of course this could be a modern western spin on the (pretty normal in this society) failure to ever be satisfied merely with what one has.
From:nlj21
Date:September 26th, 2005 03:29 pm (UTC)
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To be free of blame, following the grooves of a predestined life*

Pet rant: a predestined life doesn't imply freedom from blame. In claiming it does you are making an unnecessary metaphysical assumption about human accountability.

As for how to control your feelings, I think the best thing is to have alternatives. If you desire something you think you shouldn't, then figure out what you think you should desire and focus on that rather than trying not to desire the things you shouldn't. (Thinking about green giraffes is a lot easier than not thinking about purple elephants).
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From:atreic
Date:September 26th, 2005 03:46 pm (UTC)
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Hmm. If there was nothing I could do to stop something from happening, I feel it wasn't my fault that it happened. If life is predestined, there is nothing I can do to stop something from happening.

Or at least, that is my (probably oversimplified) model. So I don't understand your pet rant - do enlighten me!
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From:mobbsy
Date:September 26th, 2005 03:40 pm (UTC)
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Oh, and the phrase "The music in Smiths this morning was Head Over Feet, by Alanis Morrissette" gives me strange images of a Morrissey/Morissette collaboration.
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From:ilanin
Date:September 26th, 2005 04:09 pm (UTC)
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I got that far shortly before my brain shut down to prevent overheating.
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From:naath
Date:September 26th, 2005 04:04 pm (UTC)
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Feelings: you can't really controll what you feel, you can however controll what you show of it and what you *do* about it. Obv. you want to do differently to me in the case I assume that you are meaning... but in generall I stamp on feelings I don't want to have untill they *go away*, sometimes making them go away is hastened by crying and/or throwing (non breakable) objects at (non breakable) things and/or people and yelling about how life is Not Fair etc. etc. this does have the effect of working, allthough really persistant feelings can be very hard to kick in the arse. In respect to object of feelings, staying away from them does not in my experience *help*, rather it hinders because you (I) develop Romanticised Ideal of $person rather than seeing what they are actually like.
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From:atreic
Date:September 26th, 2005 04:15 pm (UTC)
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Gosh, what case do you assume I am meaning? It's always good to know what the gossip is. Answers on an email to sac48, as if you are right I don't want you telling my fiends list ;)

Still, I like the argument that I should spend as much time with them as possible, but I fear that following it would be more motivated by bad reasons than actually thinking it was the solution...
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From:arnhem
Date:September 26th, 2005 05:34 pm (UTC)
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how *do* you control your feelings?

One very small aspect of this, is that alcohol tends to make this significantly more difficult to do; that's not the same as impossible, but learning to control feelings (and actions upon them) when non-sober is considerably harder than learning to do so sober.

That's not to say alcohol's necessarily bad/evil/wrong, just that this is an effect to be aware of.

And it isn't a true/false thing, but a matter of continuous degree.

Taking a more general view; in a sense this is why people create religions or philosophies; not because they're right, but because it gives you a simpler framework to hold onto - in situations that would be a hideous morass of imperfect solutions and competing equally-valid bases for optimisation for a free-thinker, the adherent to religion is told "this action is bad because".

When under pressure, such a simpler framework of rules may make it easier to adhere to and justify a controlled response to challenging circumstances. It's not always possible (or indeed polite) to react to a situation by going away and thinking about it for an hour.
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From:hmmm_tea
Date:September 26th, 2005 09:22 pm (UTC)
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That's not to say alcohol's necessarily bad/evil/wrong

Oh good, otherwise I'd been doomed already...
From:ex_robhu
Date:September 26th, 2005 06:29 pm (UTC)
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robhu said something I found remarkably eyeopening, and somewhat embarressing, about me when I was in York.
I'm going to assume that's a good thing.

He pointed out that I had everything he wanted, that I had a great degree, from a great university, and a wonderful fiance who I love very much, and a great social life with brillient friends
I suppose it's quite stark for me as I more or less don't have any of those things - and in fact you have much more now than I've ever had, more than I've ever hoped or dreamed to have, and yet you still desire more.

I don't think I was saying that's a bad thing - or at least that's not how it was meant to come across, but it made me wonder if you'd ever be happy with what you have.

In fact, he called me greedy
Ooops did I?


and that struck home, because greedy is a bad word associated with small children cramming so many sweets into their mouths that they make themselves sick.
I think there is some truth in that... I don't know, my experience of life is limited - but I get the impression that you're partly insulated from the consequences of the eating all the sweets because:
a) You aren't eating all the sweets, you just like the idea
b) People are protecting you or at least not reacting as they normally would
c) Something else..

And because I think it's true. And a combination of being greedy, and being "blessed" with getting what you want in life, is not a good one.
Why not? It sounds wonderful!

But is it not this same longing for everything that drives people to go to greater heights and deeper depths, to push themself to the limit, to learn, and live, and love?
But is there not a point at which that longing is never satisfied and can become destructive? Maybe I'm wrong but I think you're really lucky not to have experienced that so far.

I feel so young, and so old.
Mmm... I've been talking to a number of people about all of this, and the general conclusion is that people go through a stage in their life somewhere between childhood and adulthood where their life is full of love and joy and moonbeams, and running barefoot on the beach under the stars, and you can long for and maybe have everything you want and desire... and then people stop experiencing that*... but you've stayed there and those desires have grown and become how you live and experience (or at least desire) life.

I am worried I am a bad role model for him.
Probably a supremely bad influence! Before I met you I was quietly unsatisfied with my life, but I thought it likely that one day I would meet a girl who loved me and I would love her and we'd settle down and I'd be happy forever and that would be that. Now I don't know if I'll ever be happy with anything - the world feels almost like this place of infinite opportunity where nothing will ever fill my desires.

I went through a bad(ish) transformation type experience on the saturday about this... I don't know, a lot of me is still fighting this way of thinking - but one way or another its seeping in...



* Conversely I don't think I've ever gone through this experience - my life has been almost uniformly bad. In fact the only time I've truly felt lasting joy has been when I was with my ex, Tiggy.
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From:meirion
Date:September 27th, 2005 11:22 am (UTC)
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Now I don't know if I'll ever be happy with anything - the world feels almost like this place of infinite opportunity where nothing will ever fill my desires.

[...]

people go through a stage in their life somewhere between childhood and adulthood where their life is full of love and joy and moonbeams, and running barefoot on the beach under the stars, and you can long for and maybe have everything you want and desire... and then people stop experiencing that*... but you've stayed there and those desires have grown and become how you live and experience (or at least desire) life.

these are meant to be bad things? i think, actually, that these charges should be levelled at me more than at atreic as i am much worse (if it's bad to be like this) than she is, and i'm also older enough to know better.

but to settle, to accept that i can never be who and what i want, and i should just be thankful for what i have and chop off my square corners so i can fit into that round hole? no thanks. i'd rather be dead.

-m-
From:ex_robhu
Date:September 26th, 2005 06:32 pm (UTC)
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On the flip side, how *do* you control your feelings? My mothers great advice on how not to be lying cheating scum was just to not be in a situation where anything could happen.
It does work - but as you say, the cost is high.

But, assuming that the people I care for most are, well, the people I care for most, forbidding myself from spending any time alone with them is too big a price to pay.
Mmmm... Talking from my own experience I've felt attracted to girls I've known but have not thought it would be a GoodThing to go down that road so I've avoided them temporarily until it's blown over... then again our level of contentment with what we have in life seems to differ, so maybe that wouldn't work for you.
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