I’ve been experiencing a bit of a rough patch lately, and I think I finally narrowed down the reasons why.
Humans are drawn to all things negative. It’s our nature. It’s how we’ve evolved. “Look out, Ug! Dangerous things afoot! Must survive! Be alert for danger! Ug!” If something bad is happening to someone else, or something negative happens in our society, we’re drawn to it like moths to a flame. We bathe in it, and half the time we don’t even know we’re in that bath. It’s crazy.
What’s even crazier is how easy it is to fall into that trap. Why do you think news platforms are so profitable? They’ve captured our human nature in a bottle and they sell it right back to us; hook, line, and sinker.
We also can’t forget about our good friends social media and social networking! They’ve laid a foundation of easy-to-fall-in traps that can consume our existence, and we have to aggressively go out of our way to curate our feeds so that we don’t hate everything, including ourselves.
As much potential as I see with social media and social networking, once those companies start pulling in billions and/or go public, that’s typically when the worst of our nature takes over. “Must make money, no matter the cost!” Social media, as it stands right now, is the new black plague, and we must be better.
So yeah. I… just can’t. Not anymore. I want to make so many things (music, video games, art, animation), and it’s so difficult to feel creative when the world is on fire, both literally and figuratively. I fell right back into it, becoming increasingly angry and frustrated over things I can’t control, listening to people I have nothing to do with tell me, “Everything sucks! You’re fucked! We’re all fucked!”
I realize social media and their platforms are not all doom and gloom. Cute animal photos? Hell yes. Sharing your art with the world? Let’s fucking go. Keeping in touch with friends while lifting each other up? Sign me right up.
I do mute and block those who whine and complain all the time, but either I don’t do that enough, or there’s some sort of algorithm that still pushed negative crap through anyway.
I think for now I’m going to treat social media as a “write only” sort of thing. If I have something to say, I’mma say it and put it out there. Will I read responses? Maybe. I just can’t get lost in it anymore. Gimme the good stuff.
What really brought this to my attention is that show, “Ted Lasso.” Weird, right? A show. But that’s how art works. When it hits, it hits HARD.
I had heard about the show when it launched, and people were raving about how good it was. I brushed it off. I mean, time is so finite, right?
Yesterday I had a bit of a rough day. I mean, “rough” for me is a probably a picnic for others, but I digress; I wasn’t feeling great. I also probably ate some food I shouldn’t have, which is almost certain to have contributed to my mood. I attempted to write some stuff, but I was fighting an interface for a plugin that wasn’t cooperating, and I threw my hands up and said, “Fuck this, I’m out.”
So, I grabbed some chips, salsa, and sat in front of the TV, longing for a bit of an escape. I flipped through some things, nothing was grabbing me. I was suddenly drawn to the Ted Lasso series, and decided to give it a whirl. I needed something different. Based on what I’ve heard, this might be the medicine that my troubled presence needed.
Boy was I right.
Just calling the show, “wholesome” isn’t enough. I’m several episodes in, and it’s gut-punched me in the way I needed.
For example, there’s a specific scene that flew right by that affected me so much I had to pause and reflect.
The Keely Jones character (whom I didn’t like at first) pulled Ted aside and had this exchange (similar; not verbatim):
Keely, “Ted, I would avoid Twitter if I were you, you’re trending.”
Keely, “Avoid hashtags like wanker, piss off…” (she mentioned a few others I can’t recall)
Ted, “Alright, I’ll just have to take your word for it.”
And he smiled and continued on.
Why did that hit me so hard? He just didn’t care. AT ALL. He didn’t hop on Twitter and drown himself in misery, like most would. He ignored the press’s comments and everyone’s cynicism. People hating on him are out of his control, and he knows it, and he went to focusing on winning over his team and things he could influence directly.
It’s such a simple concept, but so very against our nature. And look, I know it’s just a fictional show, but I think when people can realize this very fundamental part of living, they start to REALLY live. This lesson can’t be learned enough.
At the end of the day, I feel that the following are good guidelines. At least for me.
- Read more books. Good ones. Ones that inspire and educate.
- Focus on you and loved ones who support you. That part is key.
- Focus on things you can control.
- Don’t ignore the world around you, but don’t let the world control you. You can influence (by inspiring others or by creating things that others feel inspiration from), but you can’t control everything.
- Breathe and allow things to pass.
- Get some exercise and eat things that have vitamins and nutrients.
- Things can take time to come together, probably more time that you realize, and that’s okay.
- Consume art and expression that truly speaks to you.
There’s probably a few more tidbits I could add to that list, but you get the idea.
I’ve got more things I need to reflect on, but for the first time in a long while, I feel far more hopeful.
Thanks for reading my “Ted-type.” Get it? Instead of “Ted Talk?” Oh, there’s a Ted Lasso joke in there somewhere, but I’ve probably massaged those cringe muscles enough as it is.