Saturday, April 26, 2014

Are We All Crazy?

I just watched the pilot episode of "The Black Box," a new drama TV show on, I think it's ABC.  Have you seen it?  I found it superbly interesting and thought-provoking.  The main thought it stirred up in me is, "Are we all crazy?"

At least a little crazy?

Do we all have thoughts that are outside the "norm?"  Whatever that norm is for us - where we live, with the people and circumstances that surround us?

I'm pretty sure the answer to these questions is yes.  So why do we all try so hard to hide our crazy?  Why do we try so hard to "blend in" and fit the mold?  To be who and what others expect us to be?

Because we want to fit in.  We want to be accepted.  And we all want to meet and know people who are like us.  So we make an effort to be like other people, or to find common connections.

Fine.  That's all good.  But at what point does that trying to fit in stifle our inner genius?  Stifle our true spirit?  Stifle the greatness we are capable of becoming?

I don't have the answer to that question.  It's a fine line though.  Do you toe the line?  Or are you so far back from the line you can barely see it?  Are you afraid of the line?  And what's on the other side?

I am.  Afraid of what's on the other side, that is.  It's unknown.  Unpredictable.  Will making a certain choice make our life better or worse?   

Life is certainly not a clear cut path.

Today I also read the latest article/blog post by Henri Junttila.  I highly recommend it.  Henri has some great insights on life.  He has a gift, for sure.

But anyway, in his most recent article, he touches on several aspects of life, and building the life you want.  One of which is that life isn't a straight shot.  It's full of twists and turns.  That's nature.  It's us humans who try to force everything into straight, clearly defined paths.  Boxes.  Boundaries.  Rules.  Restrictions.

We try to make "sense" of everything.  Try to predict the future.  "If I do this, will he/she/the Universe do that?"  We try too hard to make the best choices and best decisions, so to set ourselves up for happiness and peace later.

This alone can drive one crazy.

I think when we try to force ourselves into these boxes and live by the expectations of others, we stifle our own passion.  Our true, inner Spirit.  And it sometimes takes a lifetime for a person to step out of those boxes and let go of trying to be "good enough" for someone else.  To let yourself be YOU, crazy and all.

It is scary though, isn't it?  We still want what we want.  Whether that's a certain career, a solid relationship, children.  Whatever it is, there's the fear in our minds that if we let out too much of the crazy... if we give in to that voice too much... we'll lose whatever it is we want.

We're afraid of wrecking things for ourselves.  Of screwing up.  Of not being in control.

Again, I wish I had the answer to all of this.  A formula for how exactly to behave, in order to achieve everything.

But life is nothing if not a risk.  Sure, some say that's what makes it fun.  Me, I'd rather know the future outcomes of the actions I'm considering taking.

I'm not talking anything specific here, but generally.  I don't like surprises.  I believe we all make the best decisions we can with what we know and have at that present moment.  But sometimes we learn something a month later, a week later, or a minute later, that had we known that when we were making our choice, it would have altered things greatly.

This is what I'm talking about.  Life can flip on a dime.  Here's where I feel inclined to type all the standard responses... "Yes, that's why it's important to live in the moment." .... "Don't worry about the past or future, live now, it's all we have." ... "Appreciate what you have right now, don't take it for granted." ... Etc.

Life is a game, ultimately.  We're all trying to figure out what's the best move to make, what card to play.  We can win big, and we can lose big.  Or we can play it "safe," whatever "safe" means to you.

Clearly I'm in a contemplative mood right now.  I'm telling you, check out "The Black Box," and leave a comment with your thoughts.  I'm eager to hear them!

Another thing that immediately puts me in a contemplative mood is the song, My Immortal, by Evanescence.  I'm listening to it on repeat as I type this post.

But back to the post... I think we all have so many parts of ourselves.  Conflicting desires.  Conflicting standards.  That's what makes me feel "crazy" at times, I don't know about you.  When I want one thing, and another, totally contradictory thing, at the same time.  When I know something isn't "good" or "right," yet I find that I want to do it anyway.

I guess the song, "Choices," by George Jones is true, and it's a universal part of all our lives... "Living and dying with the choices I've made."            


  1. I know I am crazy. I am moving to Paris to spend a year there and I have no job lined up and no place to live there. I am just going to go and see what happens. I am tired of living where I am now and doing what I am doing to earn a living. It is either take a leap of faith or takes drugs because I am bored living here. How crazy does that sound?

    1. @Tayla, I know of a couple of people who said "The heck with it!" and moved to other cities (The same city, actually). One person found that moving opened up a path to living in a far more exciting area of the world. The other person has re-invented herself and her life into something beautiful. I'm on the same pathway, only I'm not going without a "safety net" of cash and work lined up. But, I'm following the example of so many others and I'm going for it. Life is too darned short to stagnate somewhere you don't belong, just because it's "normal".

      @Sarah, I believe that we all do have conflicting impulses that we fight. This is why I believe that the concept and the practice of "boundaries" is important. Boundaries are important in order to maintain civility and morality. However, people can take the concepts of "boundaries" and "order" way too far. They sacrifice their authenticity in the name of social acceptability.

      I've learned that in order to be okay with myself, I have to be myself and more important, allow others to get to know ME. Even more important, I feel more comfortable and confident when I allow others to love ME. But none of this can take place unless I show them who I am, within reason.

      Now I say "Within reason", because there are thoughts and "sides" of me that I can't trust to just anybody. There are thoughts I might not express, at least not often, because it's simply bad PR against my personal brand, lol. I DO want to be attractive to others; I'm simply learning not to attract others at my own expense.

    2. I love it, Talya! I wish you the best of luck in Paris!! That's SUCH a big and very exciting leap! I'd love to hear how it goes for you, if you want to post updates on here!

  2. Terrah - "Bad PR against your personal brand" - I love that! It's true, we all ARE our own brands, in a sense. And it's one thing to be yourself and be authentic, and another to show all sides to all people in all situations.
    And ultimately it's a choice. Even though we have certain sides to us - impulses, desires, thoughts - it's our choice to express them or act on them. It's our choice how we shape our lives and we do that by the choices we make, and the parts of us we express and let grow and develop.

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. I think there is a bit of craziness in everyone and we all exhibit it in various ways.

    Being an only child, my parents have always been protective and even when I suggested I would like to do something crazy, like going on a roller coaster, they would gasp with horror, but as they started hearing that I had done it, they started getting used to hearing my crazy ideas, knowing that I determined to do it and I always had a logic behind them which helped them understand how my thought process worked.

    Coming from an Asian background where many people tend to follow traditional lifestyles, it is very easy to shock other people if they notice something out of the ordinary, which I guess may be the case in other cultures as well. I did something crazy at a family wedding, where they were serving really oily food, which had to be eaten by hand and the usual way of eating bread and curry. I have a pet peeve about getting my hands oily at weddings especially where the cleanliness of toilets is questionable and I would like to avoid standing in line or dipping my hands in water to rinse the oil off. So I had 3 choices:
    1. Eat bread and curry by hand like everyone else. (Trying to avoid doing it at all costs)
    2. Go hungry for 3 hours. (I was too hungry so had to eat)
    3. Eat the spicy curry with sweet rice (which was actually part of the desert menu) using a spoon, leaving my hands oil free.

    Well, it took me 20 minutes thinking about the potential scenario of 100 people staring at me if I went with my third choice. Eventually, I just took a deep breath and put sweet rice and curry on my plate. My ex-wife came to investigate and went back in shock to complain to her Mom about what I had done, who in turn complained to my Mom, who had already seen me do that same thing twice before and she calmly explained my rational that I did not want to get my hand oily. I could tell everyone was looking at me for a moment as I saw the room go silent and shocked except my Mom with my concoction, but I also demonstrated that I was unique in my ideas and that is what makes me who I am.

    After all, our friends and family mostly remember us by the few crazy things they have seen us do.

    If we look around us, we are surrounded by things, which are the result of someone's crazy idea or innovation or genius. If we do something out of the ordinary or 'out of the box', we do it because we see how they can fit in our lives or help achieve our goals but to others it may seem to be crazy unless they know understand your rational.

    This is a true story which happened to me last month on my trip down to London. I was walking past one of relative's carpet shop and I was joked with my Mom on the phone that maybe I can pay him a surprise visit as I had not seen him in years and he might give me a free carpet. Well, as it was early morning and his shop was closed so I never got to see him or call him. Believe it or not, later that week my neighbour received a brand new rug destined to be delivered to me. I definitely had not ordered any rug and strangely it did not have shipping labels or return address. It is just like a rug fell out of the sky. So whoever my mystery sender was, I would like to say thank you.

    You never know when a crazy idea might actually come true, so keep those crazy ideas flowing as they make you unique and you never know when you might get lucky.

    Thanks for sharing your inspiration and keep dreaming.

    1. Tamur,

      Thanks for sharing those stories. They were interesting. I hope you're doing well!