“OH gosh, I don’t know, it’s pretty weird, I don’t know if you want to hear about it….”
“Really? No, please tell me.”
“OK here goes…[describes weird situation or circumstance].”
“Oh wow that IS weird! I can’t even believe it! I’m so freaked out!”
– an exchange between another, and myself, that virtually never transpires.
It’s gotta be some hybrid of a multicultural early childhood development, a solid decade+ of internet use, and my battle with / subsequent recovery from alcohol abuse that makes me near-immune to that which is often described as ‘weird’ or ‘shocking.’ Actually I’m sure there are several more complicated, underlying factors…but so rarely do I find myself aghast in the face of something deemed gasp-worthy by another. Not to say that it doesn’t happen, but majority share of my reactions to the strange go something like, “Hm. Yeah. Well, y’know, c’est la vie.”
And when I am shocked by something said or done by another person, it is usually because I know that individual well, and what they just said or did was strikingly out-of-character for what I know to be their normative behavior. Less put off by the fact that a thing did happen; moreso by who was or was not involved in said thing.
I’ve touched on the concept of “weird” and its colloquial use as a contemporary (and quite possibly overused) adjective before. I also don’t believe that I’m ‘desensitized’ to external stimuli in the class of weird; I just have less-extreme, more-grounded reactions to them. Emotional management has been such a massive part of my recovery program, and I’m seeing the benefits of internal assessment go far beyond the scope of substance abuse issues. It’s a strive towards a more Taoist lifestyle, too: simply be. When practicing the art of being “in the moment,” remembering that given a different & prior life path, you were on your way to having no moments to be in…can be a striking reminder that nothing in front of your eyes should be taken advantage of. I never know what’s coming next, but so long as I concordantly never forget what came before…everything will be alright.
“By the time I put on my shoes / Already have the groove / Benediction in the morning time / Everybody riding on, and on“