bitter sweet

11/06/2010 § Leave a comment

Every morning, when I leave my front door in search of my next caffeine high, all I smell is chocolate. Being two blocks away from the Cadbury chocolate factory means that my day begins with a velvety aroma in the air, it tickles my nose and makes me want to breathe more of it in. Somehow, I can never seem to totally smell it.

Sometimes, I wish I could swim in it, just to see if I could smell it then.

It’s funny how some forget to appreciate the little things that surround them. Sometimes, we live away from where our bodies are, forgetting to to look around and experience the things right in front of us. I may be that person. I know others who are not like this. It takes all types to make up this world.

I remember reading a book — raving about it, too — called “The Holographic Universe”, by Michael Talbot. Although it delved into the fundamentals of supernatural activity, the main point of the book was to inform people about the basics of perception. Apparently, it’s all in your head.

Although we are sentient creatures, perception is put together by different parts of the brain, essentially, holistically,  synthesizing an experience or what we see. The most interesting thing was that old adage, out of sight, out of mind. According to Talbot’s theory, this is true.

As Talbot points out, if someone puts his hands in front of his face, how do you know if his face actually does exist? What proof do you have? It’s the rhetorical tree-falling in-the-woods.

Apparently, what happens outside of your view, even outside of your peripheries, does not exist. Tiny tots experience this phenomenon when playing peek-a-boo with parents and overzealous strangers. When you hide your face behind your hands, the wee babe cannot rationalize the process and literally perceives that your face has disappeared.

As the baby gets older (louder and messier), it begins to logically comprehend that the hands are just hiding your face. She will look at you with an expression of disgust — in the face of your inferior intellect, not making this realization for yourself.

This is also the point in a human’s life where the battle between the brain and being alive begins. As this logical side develops, so does the human ability to analyze. Analyzing is good for problem solving smarty-pants. It allows humans to progress in all facets of life, from art to science to religion and everything in between. It’s what makes us different from the wild things.

Yet, with every gift, there is a curse.

Humans, for the most part, tend to live outside of their natural selves because they over-analyze, almost, everything. For example, I like walking to put my thoughts together. If I have an idea, if something is on the verge of becoming, the slow, methodical patter allows me to organize my thoughts and synthesize one idea.

Bike rides are reserved for emotional decompression.

However, in both cases, I tend to be analyzing things outside of my immediate sphere. I stop paying attention to my surroundings and focus on the things I can’t even see. I actually conjure scenarios in my mind, romanticize them, and forget that I can still appreciate everything that I have in front of me, like a beautiful, multicultural city that smells like chocolate.

For the past few months, which has actually been a couple of few-months, there was so much chaos going on inside that I didn’t want to stare it in the face. It felt as though all branches of my life were changing directions, choosing darker, scarier paths that, all my life, I had been so unsure about.

To protect my soul, my mind floated away. The thing is, I see it in so many people: Friends, family, strangers, people on the streets.

We are so afraid of pain, to look at its face, that we push it out of sight, hide it behind someone’s hands, and then comes the curse: we over-analyze it. By over-analyzing it, we make it bigger than it really is. In the end, we have no idea how to deal with the boulder burden when it finally shows up in front of your face.

So, how do you deal?

By living outside the opinion of others.

Such was my thought when riding my bike with L. We sat in a park and talked about many things that we needed to talk about for a while. It’s nice. There is no judgment between us, knowing each other pretty well despite our small time we hung out together. So, I was thinking to myself,

too many times have I cared what others thought about me. I am always thinking of ways in which to come across as something I am not.

I live in the opinions of others.

I am not as strong as they think I am.

For the past 24 years, I have lived outside myself, always putting my needs and wants on hold. Scared that if I did not have the things that most people have, I would be an outcast from my beloved social circle.

It was at that moment that I let go, I did not care anymore. I took down the brick wall façade that protected my gooey core and cried, something most friends don’t get to see.

That’s right. It was real. I could not believe it, but there they were, right before my eyes, my hands holding pools of tears.

This morning was truly the first morning that I really smelled the chocolate.


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