Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Time That Is Given Us



I have two moods which have followed each other for as far back as I can remember that sort of thing. The one is manipulative, mistrustful, clever, vain, fearful, secretive, and good at it. The other is normal. Not that there’s any such thing as normal but just that everyone seems to have some sort of stable region of moodiness and the second is mine. I’ve never been able to decide fully between the two. The first one sounds mean, but I know there’s both good and bad in each of them. The adjectives I used mean more here than they do with their usual definitions, but I don’t know how to describe them now.

There are different types of people and each type has their own way of dealing with things. There’re qualities in the types shared between them, but I think there’s one particular quality that stands out for each way. I’ve never been the sort of person who deals with stuff by going and talking to other people. Of course I do to some extent, but rarely. I just go off and think it out or work it out. And the way I think it out, often enough, is by talking to the characters in my head. This probably sounds odd to some of you, but I think some of you can relate.

I’m not good at talking about my feelings and thoughts. For two reasons: One mood tells me to not say anything, to keep it to myself; and the other tells me to speak up. I think it’s good - part of being human - to talk about thoughts and feelings with other people, but there are some things that are private, personal. And perhaps that number of ‘private’ things is greater for some types of people and lesser for others. But the first reason that I’m not good at talking about my thoughts and feelings is that I’m not used to it, and I’ve little or no sense of proportion. Which things are ‘right and good’ to share and which things do I want to keep private? I have a sort of fear of people using the things I tell them about myself against me, which quickly leads into that first mood and causes me to think I should keep the whole thing quiet and secretive. But fear is a bad help in thinking. The other reason is that I’m not used to it, and there was a long time - the remnants of which still hang around my speech - when, not sure whether or not to say what I thought or felt, I’d say it in such a complected and indiscernible manner that it could be taken either way and no one would ever be able to find the meaning of it. So it’s a struggle to speak honestly now, even though I want to. I really want to. Enough to try hard. I love honesty, I’ve realized that lately, it’s so simple and clear - the same sort of beauty math has.

There’s good and bad in both moods and I want to find the good and apply that.

Does anyone else’s brain ever feel like a speedway where the cars are all going too fast and there’re too many of them and it's so very hard to slow any of them down or stop them? I think there’s a time for everyone when the questions come. One suddenly becomes aware of all the things they’d been assuming, wonders at the surety they had not so long ago. There’s the whole set of feels: the longing, the wanderlust, the discontent, the excitement, the fear, the sudden wonder of it all. And there’re the questions. What’s the point of anything? How do I know? What do I believe, and why? And then, What the heck am I here for? 
As I said, I’m not one to talk about feelings a lot. And I’ve gotten so good at hiding them that half the time no one notices. And it’s not their fault, in a rather ironic way I’m rather proud of my acting abilities. But sometimes when I want to talk but don’t know how my mom notices. She asks me what’s wrong, I say “nothing.” Typical me, folks. But sometimes I don’t. A few nights ago I replied nothing, but then decided I wanted to talk. But I didn’t know quite how, so I wrote it all down and made a list. The surprising thing though - I’d made numerous lists previously, but never had the guts - is that I showed it to my mom. And that was hard. But, God bless the mothers, she talked it through with me. She didn’t have the answers to most of the things but I think everyone’s got to find those out for themselves. But the wonderful thing is when she said everyone goes through this phase of questions, and then described it in a way that proved she knows exactly what it feels like.

Being a teenager is not the easiest or most fun thing under the sun. It’s a pain. But a good pain, or at least, it’s there for a good cause. And it’s worth it.

Sometimes I wish I had more time. I wish that a lot, actually. There are so many things I want to learn, so many things I want to do. And it all goes so fast. We don’t get a whole lot of time, but I guess the point is that we get enough. That makes me think of Gandalf. Do you remember that scene in The Fellowship of the Ring (movie) when Frodo is standing on the shores of Nen Hithoel facing the choice he knows he must make: to go into Mordor alone to destroy the ring, the heaviest burden in Middle Earth? And you hear the voice-over of Gandalf, saying, "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." And you see it in Frodo's eyes that he’s decided; and he jumps into the Elvin boat and sets out.


I worry too much. I over-think. But neither is necessary. I wonder overmuch 'if it’s worth it,' 'what if it fails,' 'what’s the point'; but none of those worries help, the point is to decide what to do with the time that’s been given me.

That first mood puts me somewhere dark, that second is too neutral. Neither is the spirit I want to live with. There’s another mood - though really, perhaps ‘mood’ was never the right word - that flashes by now and then: the clever, joyful one, that has more to it than meets the eye, because it’s not my mood, it’s just my spilling-over of something much greater. It’s in those little flashes that I begin to “misunderstand less,” as Lewis said. xx

image credits: via, via via 

35 comments:

  1. I feel the same like having two sides..one is evil and sarcastic while other is good and nice to people..I portray them using a cupid and a devil in my comics :P
    LOTR reference!Love it :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reminds me of this quote from a book called The Lion in the Gateway: "In every man, there are two men. One bass, one noble. And we shape our lives as we choose between them. The easy choice looks cheap, but the man defeated pays as long as lives. While he who chooses to be brave and risk the price of it will live with honor or die with glory, seeing his sons inherit freedom and bow to man but the gods. And this, is our choice today." More or less on topic, but I like that quote. :)

      I love LOTR. :)

      xx

      Delete
  2. ...
    ...

    *Opens mouth to speak, quickly shuts it again*

    Wow, that was too great to reply to...

    -Max

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post, thanks for sharing. :) I think everyone has a similar situation in their own way -- I know I do! And I seriously doubt that I'll have it all figured out at 25! Gandalf's advice is very helpful and encouraging. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sarah. It's comforting/reassuring that it's not just me, so thanks. :) And, yeah, I doubt I will either. I guess it's just that 25 has been idealized or something, but the older I get the more I realize it's not very old. Gandalf has some great quotes. :)

      xx

      Delete
  4. I struggle with the same things sometimes. I love how you said "One mood tells me to not say anything, to keep it to myself; and the other tells me to speak up."
    There's so much internal conflict sometimes XD
    This is a great post, and I followed your blog by the way!
    -Lauren
    lovingourcreator.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha Yes, "so much internal conflict." And thank you, it's reassuring that it's not just me. Thank you for following, Lauren. :)

      xx

      Delete
  5. I'll be 35 in a few months, and I still hit those highs, lows, and flat spaces. It's part of life. However, the older I get, the less extreme the highs and lows get, and the more I'm on an even keel of positiveness, and that is an encouraging thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely encouraging to hear those swings get less extreme. Positivity is something I need + want to work on, it makes such a difference.

      xx

      Delete
    2. I'm rereading Jane Austen's Persuasion right now, and at the beginning of it, when Anne Elliot is attending her sister Mary, who is always convinced she's ill, Austen writes, "A little further perseverance in patience and forced cheerfulness on Anne's side produced nearly a cure on Mary's." I found that line so significant, this time through -- that Anne didn't feel like being patient or cheerful, she had to persevere in being those, force herself to be them, but by doing so, she raised Mary's spirits and her own. I'm reminded of the book The Happiness Project, where the author learned that acting as if you're happy, by smiling or singing or whistling or doing something else you associate with being happy, will actually lift your mood.

      So... try acting positively even when you don't feel positive, and maybe it will help you feel more positive :-)

      Delete
    3. I read Persuasion! It's the only Austen book that I've read to completion but it makes me happy I've read the one you're quoting. :) I love characters who don't act based on feeling (or at least don't act solely on feeling), who act purposefully and consciously, who're aware of themselves use self-control. It makes me respect them. I like that quote and its significance.

      It's funny how acting sad or happy will eventually cause you to feel that way. But it's useful, too. I've been trying to act more positive, as in forcefully think that way, but I just simply forget a lot of the time. But I remember more the more I act on it when I remember. Thanks for the thoughts, Hamlette! :)

      xox

      Delete
    4. It's my favorite Austen book. While there are other very grounded, non-emotional Austen characters (Elinor Dashwood in particular), I like Anne best :-)

      Delete
    5. Elinor Dashwood is from Sense and Sensibility, right? Would you recommend that one? I want to read some more Austen, I read an essay about Pride and Prejudice for school yesterday that talked a lot about her and how her books stand out as non-romanticist in a time when Romanticism was flourishing and what that meant and all, and it made me interested in her books.

      xx

      Delete
    6. Yup, she's from S&S. Would I recommend that one? Yeah, I would. The only Austen I would not recommend is Mansfield Park, and that's purely because I don't like it myself, just because I don't like the characters very much.

      S&S is probably closer to Persuasion in tone than the others -- more serious, not so much wit and vivacity. It's also one of the longest, though. I don't know how you feel about watching movie versions before reading books, but if you aren't adverse to doing so, maybe try watching the adaptation first to see if you like the story? It's almost more of a character study than a "romance," and definitely comes down on the side of "letting your feelings run away with you is a bad idea."

      Pride and Prejudice ties for my 2nd-favorite Austen book because it's a delight to read, full of witticisms and of course a non-mushy-but-still-tingly love story. Northanger Abbey is my other 2nd-favorite. It's the shortest of her complete novels, and also the funniest, as the whole thing pokes fun at "gothic romance" novels (think Jane Eyre or Dracula). And Henry Tilney is amazing.

      Then Emma and S&S tie for my 4th favorites, as I like them, but I don't love them. Emma is much lighter than S&S, but it's also quite long.

      And Mansfield Park is very nice and very well written and has a great message. I just don't happen to like it :-o

      Delete
    7. haha No, I'm not adverse to doing so. :) I think sometimes it's better to watch a film adaption first, just to give you a picture of the world or better understanding of the story in general. Like Shakespeare, except Shakespeare wrote plays so maybe that doesn't count.

      I actually saw the 1995 movie of S&S, but that was a long while ago and I just remember a couple of scenes. Well, I think I'll read P&P or S&S then. Probably S&S, just because I'm so very familiar with the story of P&P, but I don't know. Thank you for your detailed response! :)

      xx

      Delete
    8. You're welcome! I hope you enjoy whichever one you choose :-)

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Thank you, Amy! I'm glad you understand. :)

      xx

      Delete
  7. This was a lovely truthful post and it's all too relatable. I love that image saying, "sometimes I wish I were 25 with my life all figured out, and sometimes I wish I were 5 with my whole life ahead of me." We all have different moods, and sometimes I wish there were more time too. I want to do so much more with myself, but is there enough time? Our brains really are going to explode.

    -M
    The Life of Little Me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's so much out there to do and learn, and the thought that I might not have time to do it all is rather frightening...but I think the point is that God has a purpose for each of us and so our job is to discover it and work at it, so we don't need to worry about the future and time running out, 'cause it's God's work and He'll take care of the time. Thank you, M. ♥

      xx

      Delete
  8. Thank you for penning down your thoughts in such a beautiful, and amazing manner. I overthink things ALL the time, and I always have those days where I'm stuck in that speedway-brain-situation thing you mentioned. Somehow I'm the only one moving in slow-motion when everything around me is racing racing racing. Time flies, and I'm suddenly standing in this muddle of things that is supposed to show I'm eighteen. Most of the time, I have no idea what's going to happen in the next month or next, and somehow that is terrifying and comforting at the same time. I love that quote about wanting to be 25 and wanting to be 5 at the same time, because I really understand how that feels.

    This was absolutely lovely. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Terrifying and comforting at the same time,' odd how that is. :/ I'm glad you understand about the speedway situation thing, it gets crazy. And yes about the feeling of being the only one moving in slow motion - how do I do everything I need to do in time?! I need to learn to trust God more and spend the present time wisely. Urgh, so many things.

      Thank you. You're absolutely lovely. xox

      Delete
  9. I feel like I have different moods, too. There's an onset of me which is cold, stoic, and who speaks little words, and that's often what people in school (just the student body) percieve me as. But when I am with my friends, I'm more outgoing, bubbly, acting a bit more sassy and snarky, but only in a joking matter. Being a teenager does stink, but well, this is also where they taught us in health class last year, "This is the part of the chart where people, as they endure and go through the adolescence stage, where they ask themselves about their self-identity, and, in some cases, go through drastic changes in order to reach self-actualization." It's a horrible way to put it, but that's how it was. Gosh, I can't wait until I'm 25, but by then, it will still be really difficult, that period of life, finding a job and going into relationships and what not.

    xoxo Morning

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, exactly! My parents are actually both health-people so I've heard a lot about that...it's nice to know that this is natural/normal, that it's not just me. "It's a horrible way to put it, but that's how it was." haha I guess that sentence was forced through a lot of compartmentalization and had a rough time of it. Yeah, 25 looks easier, till I start to really think about it, and then a ton of new problems come to mind. ugh. :)

      xox

      Delete
  10. That was a beautiful post, Sarah. Sometimes I feel that way as well. And aren't mothers great? I'm awful at talking to people, especially when I need to talk, but mothers are great listeners when you do make yourself talk. I also agree about wanting to be 5 and 25 at the same time. I honestly don't know which I'd rather be right now.
    And great LOTR quotes. Tolkien seems to have a great quote for every occasion. (-:
    BTW, sorry I haven't commented in a while, life has been busy, and I just want to let you know, your blog is great, and this post especially made me smile.
    ~Lizzy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lizzy. ♥ "Mothers are great listeners when you do make yourself talk": yes, exactly. I'd go with five, personally. ;) Except I don't really want to go back, it was awesome but I did that - you know?

      He sure does! I love his works. :)

      Oh! Thank you so much, that made me so happy! I totally get about life being busy, that happens. ;)

      xx

      Delete
  11. SO MUCH TRUTH. I applaud you for writing this, thank you!

    I spent most of my teenage years wearing a mask, too, and dealing with many selves that I didn't always understand or like, so I can completely relate! It's so hard to be vulnerable sometimes, but I've found that it does get easier with practice--at least, if you are speaking to a safe person who will love you no matter what.

    Love you, girl!

    ~Jamie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's hard being vulnerable...I've never really been sure if making myself so is worth it, or what the point of it is. But people talk about it being good or even necessary, so I've tried now and then and I've found that it makes me braver, not so much because doing it takes braves as that knowing afterward that I have done it gives me confidence. And confidence is an area I lack a lot in, and something I want to grow. I'm just trying to figure it out still. :) Thank you for being such a kind, generous, wise, awesome, blogger friend, Jamie. I appreciate it so much. ♥ ♥

      xx

      Delete
  12. Wow, I can honestly relate to this post so much, Sarah. It really speaks. I sometimes find myself in two very opposite moods sometimes. It's rather frustrating at times, and sometimes I wonder if I'm doing the right thing. Am I being too quiet, or am I too loud? Am I not being "me" enough, or am I being too introverted? Really, fear is a very sad thing in thinking. But, life is made up of both, I suppose. The other day I felt cheery and lighthearted, a mood I haven't been in in a while. It is truly perfect when you feel like that. ♥
    Also, how did I not know about this blog before?? :)

    Autumn
    http://autumnreadsandwritesallday.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you can relate. :) It is frustrating, and hard to choose between or choose the right thing. Gosh, yes, fear gets in the way of so many things and distorts clear, good thinking. Such a bother. :/ But it's better to be aware of it than not. What do you mean 'life is made up of both'? I'm just not sure what you mean by both. "Cheery and lighthearted," yes, that's such a lovely gift of a feeling. :) haha, thank you, Autumn. :) And thanks for leaving your link, I'll be sure to check it out. ♥

      xox

      Delete
  13. Wow.. I am speechless. I can so relate to this! Thank you for writing this. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Cindy. ♥ I'm glad you can relate.

      xx

      Delete