I was going to practice my ukulele when I came home from work today. I watched four episodes of Modern Family instead. I’ve never watched Modern Family before.
I was going to go to my room so that i could write a blog post. I scrolled through Facebook instead. It was the awful kind of scrolling too, the kind where you can feel your brain shutting off. You’re not even reading words, you’re just letting images cycle past your eyes in an endless numbing, yet sickening stream.
Why do I do this to myself? I could have Angels We Have Heard on High memorized by now. I could be comfortable enough with the chords to do something other than simple strumming. Or my writing, not just a blog post but actual writing. I could be putting something meaningful down. I could figure out what’s wrong with that one scene that’s tripping me up. Instead I do useless things that proves Orwell was wrong. We don’t have to worry about the government watching our every step. What we have to worry about is becoming the fat blobs of Wall-E, expanding to maximum uselessness.
Sometimes I have this fear that I’m getting dumber. I feel like I don’t say anything smart anymore and that I might not be smart anymore. At work I either have to kiss ass or be ready with a punch line. I don’t have to say anything worthwhile. I don’t have to have opinions. The closest I come to opinions is feeling like people want me to have their opinions, but that doesn’t make me need to think either.
Use it or lose it. That’s my worst enemy. I feel like I’m losing definitions of words. I’m losing my energy and desire to think about things that don’t matter in the moment but matter in life. I feel like I never get to talk about literature, books, or movies in depth. I feel like the most I’m ever asked is to repeat funny lines and know who’s hot. That’s what my life has been reduced to.
No one cares that I hate that Christine Daae went with Raoul. And if anyone cares to listen, I hate that they think it’s because I find Gerard Butler attractive. I mean. He is attractive:
I’m angry though (and this opinion ties directly back into arguments I make about Kate Chopin’s The Awakening) that women are funneled into the standard, safe option. Do what people think you should do. It’s not even about getting married and have kids. It’s about listening to people when they say that they know what’s right for you. It’s about how, for me, the Phantom represents this crazy passionate talent that Christine could have followed and cultivated. It wasn’t safe and it didn’t follow the standard rules of living, but she was good at it, so why didn’t she take that leap? Why did she turn her back on it?
I want to delve into those questions. I want to argue about whether I’m right or I’m wrong. But, I’m not in school anymore. No one at my work has ever shown an interest in talking at that level. I could talk about it with myself, but I have no sounding board. I just agree with myself while spiraling downward into crazier and crazier arguments that will never be tested or challenged.
And then I stop caring. I stop caring that I have ideas like that because it’s not like they effect my life at all. And then I start vegging out. I spend all day on Pinterest and Facebook and little by little my intelligence slips away until me calling myself an idiot is less of a joke and more of a worry. I’m starving for intelligent conversations. I feel like my diet is all Big Macs and fries, but what I really want is Texas Roadhouse Steak.
Maybe this is what’s wrong with adulthood. We get duller because people let us. We don’t have anyone challenging us to think harder or be smarter. Instead of wanting the best from each other, we want each other to shut up and have our opinions because that’s easier all around. At very least, this is why I find adulthood less than satisfying. I was spoiled in school. I was spoiled by how truly amazing my teachers were. I think that any moment spent learning and growing will always be considered the best time of my life.
I need to start fighting harder against the dumb. I think that will make me happier.