I spent Saturday in a movie theater watching all 3 “Lord of the Rings” films back to back to back.
Okay, not all Saturday. But from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., my friend Megan and I planted ourselves in LA Live and marathoned the entire “Lord of the Rings” trilogy with about maybe 20 other people, max. And, as these things are wont to make me do,
(Sidebar: Is it “wont” or “want”? I always use “wont” in this particular scenario, mainly because I don’t get the “this is incorrect!” squiggly red line under “wont,” and I guess I could just look the correct usage up, but I’m not going to.)
Anyway, as these things are wont/want to make me do,
I’m thinking, and no, when I write “I’m thinking,” I don’t mean “Durr, my brain has just started producing intangible internal narrative-mimicking monologues,” but rather that I’m pondering,
so I guess I should just use “I’m pondering” but that sounds awfully pretentious/stuffy/obtuse
so “I’m thinking” works
and I’m totally overthinking (which apparently isn’t a word?!) all of this
because now I’ve lost that intangible internal narrative-mimicking monologue and I’m stuck wondering about parallel universes and simulation modeling and the fundamentally different paths a life can take hinged upon key decision-making points
but then what defines those decision-making points, when basically every action in life, down to breathing, is a decision, whether conscious or not
which brings me to “Lord of the Rings.”
The impossibilities of every plot point’s occurrence is hammered home when you watch the movies back to back to back. Like, if Gollum hadn’t survived EVERYTHING (seriously, is he Rasputin) (yes) (I guess Grima is a better parallel to Rasputin though?) (speaking of which I never remember the exact matches of Middle Earth/WW parallels) (EDIT: of which there aren’t any… whoops), Middle Earth would be under Sauron’s rule, or what if someone had killed that Uruk Hai archer and Boromir hadn’t died or what if Denethor (I kept trying to write “Dementor” or “Demeter”) hadn’t died and what if
Which makes me think.
What are my “decision moments”? What about my life would be the same, or not, or whatever, if I had chosen to do or say or be something/someone else. Like, what if I had never went to Art Walk with Kegs and Rosie and subsequently met some of my best friends at school or what if I had stayed on the East Coast for college or what if my would’ve-been housing group for this year had worked out and I wasn’t rooming with my current roommates or what if
what if what if what if whatif whatif whatif whatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhat
What if I had never joined band.
That one is particularly relevant because we just had our end-of-season band banquet on Friday and I, per usual, dropped the ball when it was tossed to me and now I don’t know what I want to do now that I know the ball’s on the ground. This is a tortured metaphor, but whatever, besides that momentary deer-in-the-headlights feeling, banquet was a good time, and I wish I could spend more time cuddling with the ladiez and talking about our feeeeelings and having spoon trains and literally kicking off my shoes to dance and celebrating everything that’s happened and everything that is set in place to happen
and instead I’m worrying about my final projects and papers and tests and of course, that’s not at all what I’m thinking about.
As Megs and I were coming home last night, she paraphrased a Douglas Adams quote about how in every culture (granted, this is from “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe”), no matter how far removed in time and space, there exists a drink that is an iteration of “gin and tonic,” and the names are spelled differently and the compositions are very different but the phonetic pronunciation remains, through time and space, and that’s kind of crazy that as far apart these worlds are, there exists gin and tonic, or however you want to spell it.
Of course, this is a fictional story, but the idea persists. What if, even if at any given decision making point in your life, you had chosen the other way instead of the way you did, there exist certain tentpole moments of your life that would’ve remained. Of course, this is barring anybody else’s choices in this rundown simulation scenario, but it’s just you, and it’s just your lifetime (which isn’t set) and your decisions (which are the independent variables in this model). What would be different if you hadn’t missed that bus, if you hadn’t stood up for yourself, if you hadn’t taken that job offer, if you had turned in that assignment, if you had told the truth, or lied, or ignored the question.
What if your indecision ends up festering into regret.
And so I want to spur myself into being more proactive about, well, everything, and in many ways, I’m more proactive about my life’s decisions than most of my friends are, except I’m not, because I’m still stuck in a quandary of my own making when it comes to certain things (okay, one), but I know I can swallow up my pride and potential embarrassment and do things based on what I think is right or necessary, because I do them all the time, but it’s always been “I don’t care what other people think,”
but in this case, I do care what other people think, and that caring is freaking me out, and this entry has evolved a lot since I started writing this morning at 3 a.m.
I know, in my heart of hearts, that everyone struggles with at least one form of insecurity, and the scale for feelings is so subjective, but it’s like I’m actively shackling myself to my insecurities, and the only time these metaphorical shackles come off is so I can run away from whatever it is that scares me or upsets me or makes me question what it is that I want, or what I deserve (but who is to say that I do deserve anything at all), and so I run run run run run.
But “flight or flight” (not a typo) is no way to live a life and I’ve totally made decisions based on nothing more than the feelings in the core of my gut and I can’t keep ignoring whatever intuition I may or may not have and I can’t keep pretending that I have no time or energy to think about things because ALL I EVER DO is think about those things and about how I’ll feel so much better, or at least feel less worse, when everything’s all said and done
because I have done all this before
and the reason I have that Samuel Beckett poem tattooed on my back is because I know that I’m easily frightened, and it’s up to me to decide what to do about this fear
but I can’t keep running around with the static cling of terror hanging onto my words and actions every time I want to come up from the depths of my indecision to breathe.