Being clearly obscure

Today I had a read over my old blog (linyu.wordpress.com), and it kind of  feels like returning to my childhood (though I was 23-ish). When I started travelling, inspiring social encounters were relatively new to me when presented on such a short term basis. They exhilarated me, for the first time I felt comfortable in my own skin, for the first time I sang in public, for the first time I kissed a boy without being scared about how I would look to him. I wanted to document all those endorphin-filled moments, and a weblog was what all the cool kids did so why not pretend to be equally awesome. Good times.

When I wrote most of these posts, I hadn’t yet lost a parent, or battled with various illnesses. Romantically I feel like I was innocent and slightly naive back then. But I wasn’t, I removed posts from this blog a while ago, unpretty and upset posts. I think this is sometimes how we look at kids and teenagers (and even our younger selves). Feeling that ‘they don’t even know how hard life can be’. But no, I know sometimes they do. Sometimes they even know a whole lot better than people twice their age. Life isn’t very age discriminative, and life isn’t comparable.

Oh psychology, why not. I know nothing, yet everything about you. It’s sometimes presented as a language you have to learn to be able to find your way in the absolute mega mess that is the human psyche. However, if we actually grew our very own brain (and taught ourselves how to perceive the colour green for example) then wouldn’t we be the ones that grew up hearing this language? In a way it is interesting how we can get completely lost in our own psyche and need someone else to tell us what’s going on with us, and why we’re doing this thing to us, using us to taunt us. Very confusing…

The title of this blog ‘Be obscure clearly’ is a quote by E.B. White (1899-1985) whom I’ve read nothing by. I don’t really know what he meant by it, yet I can entertain myself for quite a while to find my own meaning behind it, and trying to understand why I chose it.

Here goes: Maybe a lot of elements in the human life, the choices we make, the things that happen to our bodies and the habits we fall into, are quite obscure. It’s not really clear WHY we do these things (smoke, get drunk, work in an office, gamble, cheat, have meaningless sex, get fat etc. etc.) and yet we are pushed by society to give a good reason for these things anyway. Why do you smoke? Because it relieves my nerves and gives me something to do when I feel socially awkward. Yes, maybe. Partly probably. But in a way maybe there is no good reason for smoking other than you just feel like it and you’re a grown-up. But, bear with me as this is leaking out of my flu-ed up brain as we speak, maybe we feel we need to do an obscure thing (smoking) but can only do it if we have a clear reason for it (nerves, social awkwardness), otherwise we seem just a wee bit too insane or selfish. Hmmm.

I feel that a similar thing happens to a lot of people with a weight issue. It is generally understood by science that most of this has to do with hormonal imbalance and a failure to properly metabolise sugars into energy, and instead store it as fat. Generally understood. And still we think of the overweight person as just eating too much. There is a reason behind eating too much, it’s called craving, and that craving exists because the body is too confused and too busy storing all the energy.

That’s a completely simplified version of how I understand obesity, BUT (coming back to the blog title) it’s almost like people feel the need to be obscure clearly. When they eat more than they burn off, it is put down as eating out of frustration or emotional pain or self hate. It is put down as a mental problem, it explains the obscurity to others in quite clear words. Well done.

What if you just feel like eating a massive meal and some biscuits to follow? No wait, that’s not a good reason at all, you must be depressed.

Argh.

I think in some cases this is either wrong, or a self-created reason.  I think the obscure thing (over eating) is caused by the obscure workings of your body (which kind of lifts the obscurity) When you are out of control when it comes to your cravings and food intake, very often this is because your metabolism is out of control. You cannot ‘fix’ this by trying to be in control of yourself a bit more, by standing in front of the mirror more often and looking at your love handles. It doesn’t come from punishing yourself by looking at other people with lean, fit bodies and thinking of them as people that are in control of themselves. I think that it should come from trying to attend to the actual problem, the biological reason behind your body thinking it needs to store so much energy as fat, leaving you with none and making you crave more. Does that make sense?

I’m not a scientist, but an understandist, this is what I understand of what I’ve learned, but in no way does in necessarily have to be how you understand it. I feel  a lot of things in every-damn-day-life is obscure, but in a very clear way.

I think we should try and not explain obscurity clearly, I think we should try and make the thing that is happening clear. If you can’t find a good reason behind why something is happening, maybe you’re just not looking in the right direction. I’d like to think that that is how it works, as obscurity is literally like a nightmare, you can try to describe and try to explain it all you want, still doesn’t make any bloody sense.

Jude

 

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