So, how was your Christmas?
I spent mine with family. Well, the few members that are still around, that is. Insert all the applicable clichés about over-indulgence here. Oh, apart from the drinking-too-much one. Obviously. Pay attention! Hahaha. If I were a car, I would have been swimming in a small pool of petrol (the overindulgence bit), and my engine would have seized up (should give you some idea of my levels of activity). Now, for some, that’s a dream come true. For me, unfortunately, it’s actually rather dangerous. While the brave amongst you are hitting the gym frantically during 2015 (until the end of January, anyway), I honestly have to get back into some very, very good habits pronto or there’ll be trouble…!
One thing I really did enjoy though was the time I spent with my family, even if it was just chatting, passing around damnably tasty (but deadly to me) chocolates, and watching films. And for us, there was one film that brought us together as much as it divided opinion… You know the one. The one with that song. One of the little anklebiters running around kept yelling “Le’ i’ ‘o, le’ i’ ‘o!!” at every given opportunity. Bless him. He’s only two…
Hmm. A princess with strange, potentially dangerous powers who is misunderstood by society and overly protected by her family who don’t understand her either – let’s face it, who can’t relate to that?!
The thing is, Society has lots of ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s. Actually, scratch that. It’s more like ‘do’s’, ‘don’t’s and ‘depends-what-mood-I’m-in’…s. Some of them aren’t even proper rules. I mean, will the world really implode if I wear black tights with white shoes? Probably not, but am I going to be the one to take the risk?
The problem then is this: with some of these rules (some of which aren’t even real), comes a lot of conflict. There are some rules that make perfect sense to follow – like “don’t jump off an eight storey building into a cup of water.” That one never ends well. Don’t kill; don’t steal: those ones are not just for the protection of others, but for us too. So, for instance, as long as somebody else is following the ‘don’t kill’ rule, you’re going to be pretty safe. Just to reassure you: I’m a big fan of that particular one.
But then you have the situation where Society decides to take it upon itself to decide what’s good and bad, outside of the common sense rules. Yes, there are some things that probably belong in the rules anyway; other things seem quite arbitrary.
Generally, when Society chooses an arbitrary thing and says ‘this thing is bad, evil, wicked, wrong’, an individual may well look at it and say: “Hang on a minute… I am that thing, but I’m not bad, or wicked or evil’, and that’s where the cognitive dissonance steps in. Suddenly, all these rules that you’ve been listening to all your life turn on you and bite you. And then gradually, you begin to accept that you must be one of these bad things that Society hates. So all those years spent following Society like an eager puppy, “Yes, Society. No, Society. Three bags full, Society.” – total waste.
And that’s when something happens. Snap. Now, it can go a number of ways… I can think of three off the top of my head. But the two biggest ways of dealing with being the thing you’re told is wrong are:
1) Your personality breaks up and bursts to form other little bubble-ish balloons, prettily floating off into the sky, dangling long ribbons as they mostly disappear from your grasp. Your personality kind of splits so that you have one which is the ‘good’ side, and one which is the ‘naughty’ side and one which is the ‘I’d-never-get-away-with-this-otherwise’ side. Maybe there’ll be a few more sides in the mix…
2) Your personality decides to bury you alive. That part of your brain that has listened to Society for so long, turns around and says “Do you know what? Society’s right. You are bad. You are wicked. You need to be punished. Okay. Get the shovels, folks! We’re gonna have us a burial!” And it digs you a hole. And it pushes you in there. And it leaves you in there, as it walks off singing a merry little tune.
So, on the one side you have “I’m-going-to-be-all-of-those-things”, but then on the other, you’re in that hole. Your brain shuts down. It’s decided you’re not going to be any of those things. You must stop being any and all of those things. You must stop being. And that’s dangerous.
That’s when you need to be lovingly pulled out of the hole. For someone to show you how to dust yourself down. For someone to show you the good parts and rebuild on those. To help you realise why the annoying little parts are there, so they don’t clamour for attention any more. So when the harpy voice of Society starts singing its theme tune, you can happily stick your fingers in your ears and go ‘Lalalalala’.
Or, if you took the other path, it’s for someone with compassionate hands to stretch up and catch all the best balloons and tie those ribbons together in one colourful knot. Tie them to your wrist, and set you off again, armed with the knowledge that you’ve kept all the best parts of your previous self; that you’re free from all the previous dross that Society gave you, pretending it was a gift.
Anyway, I’m off back to my ice castle now.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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