The Wilderness Downtown

The Wilderness Downtown

It’s genius. Oh my God, it’s genius. And beautiful. And heart-wrenching. I love 2011. And the art that people make with technology.

Careful, though. You might cry buckets. I definitely did. It was more like slow infrequent tears until this part:

Write a postcard of advice to the younger you that lived there then.

Letters to a young poet.

The Iguazu Falls were streaming from my face at that point. Then there’s the end with the running kid and the trees. Plus, the whole Arcade Fire thing.

We used to waste hours just walkin’ around
We used to wait
All those wasted lives in the wilderness downtown

Holy crap, Chris Milk. Whoever you are.

I’m too sensitive when it comes to anything related to the past. Or home. Or growing up. True story: there are two people on my street who have the exact same cars as my brother and sister. Like same models/colors. It’s weird.  So every day I come home and I see those cars and I immediately get a little heartsick from missing them. Ugh. Grow a pair, Liz.

Moving on… I love Chrome Experiments. Especially the Ok Go video. Seriously, how do they freakin outdo themselves every damn time? Also, the song is so POSITRON. I can’t help but think of this every time I watch it though :/

White Knuckles might forever be my favorite though. Dogs, obvi.

Also, old Ok Go. Lame video, great song. My amygdala dedicates it to the evil ex every time it shuffles up on my iPod. Can’t wait he gets over it. Then I can hang out with my friends again. I’m so damn tired of having to be the bigger person. I’m tense and anxious from lack of socialization. I’m trying to be ok but it’s hard. It really just makes me hate him more than miss him. Hate is unhealthy. I hate feeling this way. The hate also makes me hate myself for doing this to myself. Then I have like 10 “WTF was I doing?” moments every day. I had to change so much to fit into the shape of what I needed to be to make that relationship work that the unhappiness was chronic. Why did I stay for so long? Why did we always keep going back?

Here’s my deepest, darkest secret: I’ve seen all the episodes of Jersey Shore. I’m only bringing it up because there was one shining instance of worthwhileness in this weeks episode that happens to be kind of really relevant to this post.

In a rare moment of being human instead of batshit crazy, Snooki delivered this emotionally agonizing line in a weirdly sincere (although sobby) way…

I’m not happy. I’m not happy with him. But I love him. So it sucks.

Granted, her boyfriend left because she was being a crazy trashy whore in the club… but he’s not really a winner either. And if you’re gonna date Snooki, you have to know that’s gonna happen. Regardless as to the backstory behind her sadness, that sentiment is legit. We’ve all been there. LAST 22 MONTHS OF MY LIFE. How can you be unhappy with someone but love them at the same time? Another instance of emotions NOT MAKING SENSE.

Anyway, I kind of watch Jersey Shore and think to myself that these people are just like us, they’re just more extreme versions. I mean, they get paid to be obnoxious but it’s true that there’s all kinds of outrageous drama in real life too. TV is just edited in a way so that you’re hit over the head with days worth of drama in 60 minutes so it seems like a lot.

But getting to the point that ties all these things together, when I recall the unhappiness and compare that to my life today, it’s easier to cope with the lack of social events in my life. I’m happier now than I was then (even with limited friend interactions) and this is just part of the sucky aftermath that I have to deal with. For the first time ever, I would not go back to that relationship if you paid me $1 million. I really just broke it off, walked away, and was done. Of course there were a few nights of residual missing him here and there but it was never like “oh, what have I done?” regret about breaking up or anything like that.

Sing it, girl. Walk Away.

I am the maker of my own destiny.


But since you been gone,
I can breathe for the first time
I’m so moving on
Thanks to you,
now I get what I want

That whole song is weirdly our whole relationship and the aftermath exactly in every way.

Anyway, you can blame Rainer Maria Rilke for why I have this stuff on the brain. I’m so hooked on Letters to a Young Poet right now.

It is true that many young people who love falsely, i.e., simply surrendering themselves and giving up their solitude (the average person will of course always go on doing that–), feel oppressed by their failure and want to make the situation they have landed in livable and fruitful in their own, personal way–. For their nature tells them that the questions of love, even more than everything else that is important, cannot be resolved publicly and according to this or that agreement; that they are questions, intimate questions from one human being to another, which in any case require a new, special, wholly personal answer–. But how can they, who have already flung themselves together and can no longer tell whose outlines are whose, who thus no longer possess anything of their own, how can they find a way out of themselves, out of the depths of their already buried solitude?

Mistakes are staring me in the face and haunting my dreams. Oh, what did I do? Ehh, I guess just learned the hard way. Nothing that catastrophic. And at least now it’s a lesson that I will never forget. I weirdly thought that because the only thing that really has ever mattered and ever will matter is love, that it was worth pursuing above all else. WRONG. I mean, that’s true to an extent because I still believe that about love. Like I would not even hesitate to drop my own stuff to raise kids even if it meant putting my career goals on hold. I would have no problem working at a high paying job I hated if something happened to my significant other and I had to support us. I would move across the country in a heartbeat if my serious boyfriend landed his dream job and had to go and we decided that there was a decent chance we had a future together. But on some level, you have to know that they would do exactly the same thing for you. And you make decisions together when your dreams conflict. The worthwhile type of love is the one where you encourage your significant other to maximize their personal potential and self-worth. Basically, self-actualize. And they do that for you. And you both become better and more successful versions of yourselves because of it. Because you have that support and comfort and love.

There’s a fine line between the selfless devotion of love and losing your whole self. Basically, they key point is knowing that they would do for you what you do for them and acknowledge which choices maximize the benefits for both of you. Min/max optimization calc problem. Easy.

They’re your partner in crime. You’re still intact as single entities and you want each other to be exactly who you are as individuals because you love them for their whole and true selves.

Love is like a good high-five. You go 50, I go 50. In a bad high-five, someone doesn’t pull their weight and it’s not a solid success with a good smack in the middle but rather a weird slip or an entire miss or one hand pushes the other one back instead of them both just stopping after the hit.

This advance (at first very much against the will of outdistanced men) will transform the love experience, which is now filled with error, will change it from the ground up, and reshape it into a relationship that is meant to be between one human being and another, no longer one that flows from man to woman. And this more human love (which will fulfill itself with infinite consideration and gentleness, and kindness and clarity in binding and releasing) will resemble what we are now preparing painfully and with great struggle; the love that consists in this: that two solitudes protect and border and greet each other.

I love the last part. Especially the border part. You’re still just two people. But you take care of each other and interact with each other in a way that you can’t do with anyone else. You are autonomous humans but coexist next to each other in life with a spiritual understanding that flows between.

I cannot wait to experience this type of love. The post-breakup healing is going amazingly well and soon enough I’ll be whole again and able to put some emotional resources toward a relationship.

I’m gonna write a letter to my true love
I’m gonna sign my name
Like a patient on a table
I wanna walk again
Gonna move through the pain

And obviously I’m making this sound way easier than it actually is. And honestly, what the hell do I even know about this type of love since I’ve never experienced it? I might just be a blithering idealist. But at least Rainer Maria Rilke and I can be blithering idealists together.

Now I’m going to quote a viewpoint which undermines and contradicts everything I just wrote up there… but I can’t help but find this to be incredibly fairytale-ish yet appealing.

In his dialogue The Symposium, Plato has Aristophanes present a story about soulmates. Aristophanes states that humans originally had four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces, but Zeus feared their power and split them all in half, condemning them to spend their lives searching for the other half to complete them.
– Wiki, on the topic of soulmates 

I kind of just love the idea of two people completing each other. I can’t help it. Especially in a destiny sense. Where you need the other person in order to be finished and perfect.

Sigh. Hopeless contradictions of everything in my brain every day. Doomed to make more mistakes. Forever.

Nope. Never mind. Fuck that sentiment. This is on the front page of Reddit right now and it brought me back to my senses. I’m on a metaphysical journey to find MYSELF and not a soulmate who completes me.

I don’t know when I’ll be back.


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