Today: Apr 23, 2024

Everyday fulfillments are really overlooked dependencies

JESSICA GIANNONE Opinions Editor

What is it about living that makes us so prone to self-destruction? We carry on with innocent intentions, favoring the idea of a fool-proof world for ourselves, trying ever-so-hard to construct our lifestyles in the closest way possible to an ideal life. Yet, we tend to create these predicaments for ourselves.
We know something may not be good for us, but we do it anyway. Like addictions—not necessarily drugs, alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine but also certain feelings. Maybe we’re drawn to someone, so we cling on to a quality in that person and convince ourselves we need that to fulfill our lives for the time being. Or maybe we fall into habits that consume our time in the least constructive ways, but they serve as a comfort fulfillment.
A journalist I interviewed who is based in Africa, covering the frontline of the Libyan war, claims she is drawn not to danger but to people’s fresh emotions surfacing at the scene of downfall. Keep in mind, she was captured under Gadhafi forces and held for a month in a Tripoli prison a year ago. But I get the sense it was all worth it to her, despite her fears, because she got what she wanted. She is drawn and dedicated to reactions from people. So she’s back.
Whatever our actions may be, dangerous or common, they exist. We want to have something to believe in; something to attribute ourselves to. So we attach ourselves to little obsessions, which seem harmless, only to sabotage our well-being in the end because nothing else can fill these voids we call desire.
It’s almost as if we’re indifferent to misfortune, so we go ahead and do the damage ourselves without realizing it. We’re afraid. We’re afraid to get screwed over by life, people and circumstances, so we challenge this.
It’s like a defense mechanism, except we’re hindering, not avoiding. We set ourselves up. We prepare ourselves. We save the universe the trouble and do the dirty work ourselves.
Of course we don’t do this on purpose. This is all subconscious. It’s a bizarre matter to even take notice of. Of course no one has to even agree—just question. No one wants to believe he or she is somehow unknowingly screwing his or herself. But it happens.
My question is, why?
How does one fall into substance abuse, for example? Why do girls go for the bad guys? Why do people stay in crushing relationships? Is it for love? Is it easy? Is it familiar?
Even when we can’t get over that ex, we can’t let go of him/her. How hard is it, really, to be OK? Apparently quite difficult, after we theoretically “imprint” on these phases of our lives.
There are so many habits we get into. So many tendencies and attractions we have that aren’t exactly beneficial to us. But they happen every day. That coffee you’re addicted to every morning—what’s the big deal? It doesn’t do any harm, really. So many people rely on this drug to go on with their day. But can you live without it?
If you can’t, oh well. You’ll continue to cling to this standard of life (if I’m not already dramatic as it is) to base your functions on.
Whether it’s coffee, laziness, friends or a significant other—we allow ourselves to depend on whatever is fulfilling us in some way or another. They may not be big, life-changing things, but they mold us nevertheless. We fall into things that define our lifestyles. They define our motives and our weaknesses.
Who knows if it is a longing to have routine or just a longing to have some kind of feeling, some intoxicating perceived control or indifference. I think of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” lyrics when I dwell on crazy curiosities like this: “Streetlights, people, living just to find emotion.” Maybe that’s it.
Good or bad, we’re always looking for something. Anything.

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