When it comes to the internet, I yell too much. I also chastise too often. It’s always in the interests of leveling the playing field. I do it in an effort balance things out so that the strong don’t have too much power, and the weak don’t have too little. Of course, while sometimes proper chastisement and even strong language can help bring an issue to a close, it’s also really exhausting.
Most people know of the old expression “ignorance is bliss.” There has to be some truth to that, maybe even a lot of truth to that. The more I learn about the world, the more frustrated I become, the more depressed I get, and the more I have to take Pepto or Prilosec to calm my stomach. I’ve been under an absurd amount of stress for well over 16 years now, and have no doubt if I were to get tested, my doctor would tell me I have an ulcer.
I used to find solace in message boards. I could have fun discussing and debating people, and even when we didn’t agree, it was still enjoyable. Now it’s no fun to argue with people. Either I’m getting older, or I’m just tired of all the conflict. I spend a lot of my time on the internet, because taking care of mom is a 24/7 job. On the flipside, if I didn’t have the internet, I think I would have long since gone crazy looking for some kind of mental stimulation, because where I live there is no such thing. I mean, for the love of Gort, our tiny little (much beloved even though it’s underfunded and under-sourced) library has more romance novels and Bibles in it than it does science books and non-fiction like biographies and such.
I swear I’m becoming dumber. I do mental exercises, and I try to read as much as I can, but I think stress makes you dumber. I can’t prove it, but I can say this: when I was in high school, I scored in the 97th percentile nationwide on the advanced level of the curriculum. Now I’m lucky if I can remember the lyrics to The Love Boat (I can’t).
Things I used to know at the snap of a finger now require a Google search, even if it’s something that is my specialty, like computer science. I worked on a 5th grade math quiz the other day to see if I could do it. I scored 78 out of 100. If I would have scored that low in school, I’d have beat my head on the desk. Anything less than an “A” in school was a failure. My parents didn’t push that (though they were always proud), I pushed that. I’m never satisfied with anything I’ve done.
That’s why I think the stress is so great, and why I yell so much. I’m beyond frustrated with how things are. I was a top level achiever, worked hard, honest to a fault, believed in merit as the key to success. Of course, I learned later all of that was bullshit, and that what mattered was how much money you had and who you knew who could get you into the door of wherever you wanted to go, but as a child, and well into my teens, I firmly believed that working smarter *and* harder lead to a successful, happy life.
I miss my early 20s, back when I had hope. All of that’s gone now. I have no more hope. Sometimes a little glimmer will try to make its way up to my thoughts, but it is often quelled mercilessly. I dare not hope in a situation like this one, because it’s like a man locked in a cage thinking he will be free soon. No one is coming for him, most people don’t even know anything is wrong, or that he’s been missing. More often, most people don’t care because they have their own lives to attend to, and I understand that.
If you’ve read this far, you’re very sweet. I tend to meander, and sometimes it helps the depression to get it all down on paper, as it were.
I know in some corners that there are people think I’m power hungry, or that I’m conceited, hateful, and I *do* hate that somehow I’ve garnered that reputation from a few, but they spew so much hate at me that it just runs right through me. I absorb people’s emotions like a sponge, and it takes a few moments for me to separate them from my own. Empathy can be such a bitch, and I hate using that word, so you know I mean it when I use it here.
There’s no way to really prove who you are on the internet, but one of my greatest fears is that no one will believe at a critical time in my life. It is one of the deepest fears I have, that I will be telling the truth as loudly and plaintively as I can, and no one will listen or believe. That’s why I worry so much about things these days, too. I see so many opinions posing as facts, so many uninformed calls to action about things that never happened, or never existed, and people just falling for it.
I feel like a Q3 in a world of Q1s and Q2s, and if you know what I mean, yes, he’s one of my favorite authors, and his work is brilliant.
I’ll go now, I just wanted to let off some steam.