Friday, April 10, 2015

joy and chaos

When I was younger, I used to believe in such things as order, fate, justice, and the like. I used to believe that hard work would inevitably lead to success. I used to think that there was such a thing as right and wrong. Karma, just desserts, whatever you want to call it...while I didn't think of it on the level of dogma, I did believe there was some kind of general structure at work in the universe.

Over the years, this certainty burnt away, and I realized that there was no structure to speak of, that the world was essentially random. I knew this on some deep level, but it took a while for this awareness to reach my consciousness...and when it did (the great mental breakdown of 2011), it leveled it to me. Typical existential depression, yes, but one never expects it when it happens.

It took ages to find my way through the worst of the depression. I never found the structure again or the certainty...and I'm certain it never existed in the first place. Dealing with it was never about reconnecting with the order, though. What I instead had to do was just come to terms with the chaos, embrace it.

So how does one embrace chaos? I used to think the drinking helped, but I found out when I quit , my ability to cope only increased. The music helps. The best thing, though, is finding and latching onto any burst of joy, particularly those outside of any expectations.

Luckily, I have a secret weapon: my child. She constantly exceeds any expectations I might seems she's constantly coming at the world from an odd angle. This would make me wonder, if she didn't have such joy...and if she didn't spread that joy so easily. She's the perfect embrace of joy and chaos.

Case in point? Earlier this week, she was running through the house, and she tripped. I asked her if she was okay, and she said, "yeah,...I tripped when my unicorn tail got tangled up in bubble wrap." She then got up, smiled, and went back to running.

How can one be depressed when in the presence of that?

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