It has been 7 years since I’ve started this blog. It’s essentially a diary of sorts but it doesn’t document my life. Each post represents a thought I had that was either self-regarded as noteworthy or emotionally impactful for me at that time. This domain ‘failatcollege’ was originally a cathartic way for me to document my struggles during college. I’d like to believe the younger me was never so naive as to believe my failures would all end at college but I’d be lying if I said a part of me didn’t hope so.
Going through life feels like nothing more than a carrot-chasing exercise where the carrot holding mechanism fails just enough to keep me from starving. These carrots might be enough for others but for me it’s barely enough to avoid contracting scurvy. Or maybe I just need different food sources from the average individual.
One of my biggest issues is not understanding, or relating to, many other people. My predilections differ from others and I’m incapable of deriving pleasure from most everyday things. Despite this I try my best to go through the motions of these activities to connect with others and hope that I can add one of their activities to my own favorable-activity repertoire. I try really hard at this and a common theme throughout my life is seeking to understand other people so that I can one day be understood myself.
I’d argue most other people want the same thing. Some people state their mission statement as loving others and being loved themselves but I believe there’s some ambiguity with that statement. What does it mean to love others and be loved, and what qualifies as an expression of love?
I believe a pre-requisite to (and maybe even a form of) love is understanding. How can one be loved if they can’t be understood? I think that’s why I work so hard to understand others because if I don’t, how could I love them? Most expressions of love I see are close enough to give verisimilitude to the feeling of being loved but they will never get there until the person being loved is loved for who they are.
There are many facets to an identity but they are typically not equally weighted. A busty girl could be loved for her big boobs for example, but very rarely does she want to be loved only because of them. Being understood means having someone value the only thing that sets us apart from all the other creatures on this Earth — our minds. That’s not to say everyone wouldn’t like to be loved for all aspects of their being but a love that can’t comprehend another’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions will ultimately feel empty in my opinion. But understanding is just the start of being able to love as it’s only one expression of it.
The desire to use one’s understanding of another to make them happy is what makes up the rest of the difference. Ironically, one of the things that made me come to this realization was a movie I watched a while back, ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’. It’s a common theme in Batman to heed the relationship between Batman and the Joker as one based on understanding. Some say the Joker wouldn’t exist without Batman being there to analyze and thwart his every crime. Part of the reason he commits all these heinous crimes is because that’s one of the ways he can be understood. Batman typically figures out what the Joker is plotting which sets him in a reaffirming loop.
They can even be seen laughing together in the movie when the Joker tells Batman a joke about how ridiculous it would be for Batman to try and rehabilitate the Joker. Their relationship is undeniable and in the end the Joker’s ultimate goal is to let Batman feel understood by forcing Batman’s hand in making decisions the Joker believes will free Batman of his stress. The last scene of the movie shows Batman and Joker fighting in a lover’s cave in a last-ditch attempt to free Batman of his moral burdens. The Joker does this by pushing Batman to the point where he almost kills the Joker, giving the Joker the satisfaction of seeing Batman lose control and assume what the Joker believes to be his true self. It ends with the Joker essentially committing suicide as his dying act of love as his death would debase the moral pedestal the public puts on Batman and give him the freedom to act as he pleases.
This post may be seen as having a shade of romance to it but really it came from a resentful place. Resentment towards this world, my place in it, and the powers that be. This world is absurd and somehow I feel like the only one who is slowly morphing into a being of hate from the absurdity. But this post is lengthy enough so I’ll finish my musings in a follow-up post and expand on what it has to do with my status report.