One of our usual dinner conversations morphed into something a bit more elaborate. This is the result.
Ben: We are happy about our lives!
YT: Are we? Everything in our lives?
Ben: ... no... not everything in our lives. But it's kinda like that. There are always gonna be ups and down. Basically nothing is ever perfect.
YT: I mean we are content with what we’ve got and there’s no need to go dig for complaints. We have learnt to adapt and appreciate what surrounds us and that’s what matters.
Ben: It reminds me of this: Jon Richardson Live at The Apollo from 7:31
“My view on happiness is kinda like this ( draws wave with hand ) There’s ups and downs and it’s wavy. The happier you are the sadder you will be, it always evens out. And if you are impulsive, there are days where everything is perfect and it’s an amazing day but you have days where everything goes bad. And your waves fluctuate like that (arms making drastic up and down waves). See I can’t handle that so I keep my waves fairly shallow. Ooo that was a nice KitKat Ooo bloody hell.. "
So that got us thinking - What would our curves look like?
- less frequent
- each dips and climbs are far apart / very gradual
- ultimately more mindful of things
That's why I tend to brace and prepare myself before going to movies or starting a series, not with reading a book though, cause books tend to build things up gradually, and that explains why I like reading. With movies, series and cartoons, I actually need to set aside ‘mind-space’ before I dive in.
I used to be able to binge watch a whole season of Korean/Taiwanese/Japanese drama (c.2007 - c.2010) going through the whole emotional ride within a day or two. It could have been the nature of the form of entertainment it provides, I cried and laughed multiple times in those 48 hours because they poked a certain button. Then, they are completely outta my mind.
Compared to movies like The Revenant, Her, Interstellar etc. which took me more or less a whole week to recover from, due to their strong gravitational pull. That’s why I am often intrigued by trailers but hesitant to actually go see the movies in cinema. And when I do so, I start making room for potential emotional overflow from the moment I booked my tickets.
It’s kinda like laying down a sea of pillows before skydiving.
Despite the preparation, it sometimes still takes me a long time to get over a certain spikes of emotion; sort of like recovering from trauma/excitement. Examples: 1.) Took me two weeks to recover from my feminist pride being hurt at work when explaining to drunk customers how blue cheeses are meant to be. 2.) I am still stoked about my birthday present from last year. It's been a very slow decline of hype. With traits as such, I tend to run through everything in my head, usually in great details, over a long period of time. Not always a good thing, but it also means I am able to savour some tasty moments over and over again.
- quite frequent/ it comes and goes very quickly
- fast recuperation, heightened experience
On the other hand, I find watching a tv series or going through several movies a week quite effortless. It's not that I'm not emotionally attached; on the contrary! Being heavily invested in the current medium filling up my brain space, I enjoy immersing myself in it. With books, comics or graphic novels that are primarily fiction, I often struggle to put it down towards the last conclusive chapter; desperately turning the pages and trying to finish the climactic, profound ending in one sitting. Then on to whatever's next!
Writing this, I realise that the impact of these experiences might seem fleeting, or that I can come across as absent-minded. The latter is somewhat true. However, I still absolutely enjoy whatever I pick up to watch or read and can rant on it for hours when asked about it or even when not. Sometimes I revisit the top picks, the favourites, as everyone should, in hopes of better understanding it. Few titles from that increasingly long list are the Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman, The Bourne Trilogy and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
Using media is probably the easiest way to illustrate these 'curves' but they show up in daily life numerous times just maybe in a more subtle way. It's basically experiencing life bit by bit and being affected by whatever it throws at you. Waking up Monday morning - small curve of disappointment; using public transport - big spike of 'Get out of my way!'; coming home to see my wife - curves are through the roof with joy. And I haven't even mentioned food!
While I'm tempted to look at YT's graph with envy, preferring her level-headednessess (sic) to my emotional rollercoaster ride; I delight in the perks and pros my curves have to offer. Such is the nature of my work that being pissed off, and gleefully jumping around can interchange with 30 minute intervals.
Well... that's about it.