Down on the Beaver and a Deeper Shade of Blue
“People think I’m insane because I am frowning all the time” – Black Sabbath, Paranoid, 1970
The quickest way to get between North Vancouver and downtown Vancouver is the seabus, which takes about 15 minutes. We have two boats: the Burrard Beaver and the Burrard Otter. They crisscross the Burrard inlet, passing in the middle, every 15 minutes from 6 AM to midnight. When I go to work on the 6 AM boat it’s always glassy smooth and the same 40 or so people are on the boat; when I come home (anywhere between 3 PM and 6 PM) the water’s a little rougher, the boat is packed and it’s always different people. I got onto the Burrard Beaver the other day for my trip home from work. It had been a fairly long day and it was the 4:30 sailing, so it was packed. The names of the boats always make me smile; the beaver is a rodent and the otter is a member of the weasel family. So I think they’re rodents too. I’m no biologist tho.
Generally the trip home on the seabus is full of excited tourists; the Asians all taking pictures and the Euro’s all pointing and the North Americans ooo-ing and ahh-ing at the mountains. People tend to be smiling and happy and in a good mood. Not this day tho. Every single person I could see had a frown on their face. The whole ride. It was a little bit creepy actually. There were no tourists on the boat, but that kind of made sense it being a grey day, midweek and outside of holiday season. But still…EVERY single person was frowning. Now, I’m a smiley person usually…whether I’m up or down, I try and keep the smile on cuz if you’re up it’s infectious and if your down it can bring you back up. But man…people looked just disgusted with the fact that someone could actually be smiling at 4:30 on a Tuesday on a gray day. So I thru on my ear goggles and got lost in a little Tool, keeping the smile on and waiting to see one of the grumpy’s crack. It never happened.
It struck me as odd how 3 and a half decades after Ozzy wrote the lyric above is so ass-backwards from reality; there has been a complete shift in society’s view of what’s a normal expression. Or maybe the Ozz was just wrong…I was 3 when the album came out so what do I know of society back then? What I do know is that nowadays people are more likely to think your crazy (or at least a bit creepy) if you’re smiling all the time, and if you frown you’re just an average working stiff. It seems so wrong to me. Cheer up people, dammit!! If you don’t like your job, get a new one. If you don’t like your partner, get a new one. If you don’t like your life, change it. Sheesh.
*Warning…heart on sleeve post below…nsfha (not safe for hard asses)*
Now, of course having said all that, I myself have entered a massive funk this week. It was kind of triggered by Duane’s Christmas post; not that his post directly bummed me out, it just acted as a catalyst for a little downward spiral thought process. See it occured to me that this will be my first Christmas in years spent all alone. It’s not that that particularly bugs directly as I don’t freak out when I’m by myself; its more obtuse than that. It’s the fact that I have no direction or goals this Christmas. And no one to buy gifts for. See, I LOVE giving people presents. Anyways I thought about this for a bit, then dwelled on it for a while, then began to obsess on it for the rest of the day. Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I love sharing it. My birthday is right after Christmas (the 28th), and I have a couple friends with birthdays close by as well. I’ve never been a new years eve partier cuz I’m usually partied out by then.
So this year, having ended a long relationship and making some massive shifts in my life and doing a ton of personal work, I’m in a whole new place. And it makes me a bit melancholy. Traditionally me and the ex used to have an annual “orphan’s” christmas dinner/party where we’d invite a bunch of people who (like both of us) were away from their families at Christmas. This actually started for me when I first moved to Vancouver as my roomates at the time did it. Vancouver being a sort of destination city has a huge number of people who moved here from other places, and it’s not always logistically possible to go to your family at Christmas. So we would make sure the people like that that we knew had some friends to hang with at least Christmas eve or the day before. This year, I hadn’t even thought about it, spending so much time and energy enjoying my new life.
So after a day of dwelling and obsessing on this somewhat depressing subject, I woke up the next morning feeling a melancholy like I haven’t felt since I broke up with the ex. It wasn’t just Christmas, it was a bunch of things, but Christmas triggered it. It was also affected by a couple weeks of eating too much garbage, several days of grey, lack of excercise and other things. I spent a good 2 years feeling like this every day, and frankly I’ve grown to liking NOT feeling it. It’s not like depression or the blues, it’s deeper than that. It’s almost utter apathy; just kind of existing and waiting for something to happen, to feel something. It’s not healthy or comfortable and certainly doesn’t breed success. It’s a deeper shade of blue.
I had a good chat with someone that afternoon and mentioned this. I expressed that after living in this shell for a couple years and getting out of it, I certainly don’t want to go back there. It was suggested that perhaps alot of this is due to the work I’ve been doing and that maybe the Christmas trigger got me thinking about the massive amount of change experienced recently. Human’s by nature are a little bit leery of big changes, and re-wiring all the synapses’ historical process routes takes time. This all logically makes sense. The fact that I’ve grown used to not being like that is obviously a good indicator that some of those neural pathways have changed already. But it is a process. It could be easy to fall back into unhealthy routines, but that doesn’t breed success or growth.
So I started to think about the positive sides of things and look at this objectively. Keep in mind, I wasn’t sad or down…just apathetic. Which is pathetic. So I decided to make some changes. First step was obvious and easy…get some excercise and go back to being conscious of my eating habits. That alone is a huge influence on a persons mindset, and way too many people tend to brush it off as a purely physical well being thing. It’s not. It’s physical, mental, social and emotional. So get with it peoples. Second thing I did was get to thinking about having an orphan’s christmas party anyways. Why the heck do I need to have someone to create it with? I’m a big boy…and shit…I planned it every year anyways. I can’t cook for shit, but I can call people and invite them over. So Ima look at that…it may be a bit late to get people but whatever…3 people show up, its three more than would have been over. And just doing it will be cool. Of course I’ll have to get myself some christmas decorations, as the ex has all of the ones we had.
So, there you go…my funk has pretty much ended (tho I have been a bit cranky for a couple days) and my eating’s better again and i’m getting excercise. And better…the one part of it I can’t control (the sun) came out yesterday for a while. And most importantly, having the tools and insight to see that I’m in and then get myself out of such a situation feels pretty good. I’ve got a 5 city in 4 days road trip next week, and then one week of work then it’s Christmas break, so all in all things are pretty damn good.
So…what’s the point of this? Well, nothing really…just a little self therapy. 🙂