Swimming through the universe, one light-year at a time.

Swimming through the universe, one light-year at a time.
NCG 4631 "The Whale Galaxy"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Anatomy of a Crush

A crush is not about the other person. A crush is about you. You, and your projected idealizations of what you ultimately find lacking in yourself is what you find so attractive in another person. A way to cover up your own shortcomings, you willfully fantasize of another person who you believe carries these attributes, and the fantasy manifests itself as love, or rather, obsession. Now sometimes, a crush can be a driving force to better oneself in hopes of impressing the one who fulfills this illusory role. More often, however, it is a self-perpetuating instrument of hatred of self. Because the inability of not only the smitten but of the desired to meet unrealistic expectations reinforces one's unchanging state of loneliness and low self-esteem.

A healthy relationship, on the other hand, still contains elements of fantasy in another but aims to have a deeper understanding of the significant other, warts and all, and still find beauty in him or her. At the same time, a certain vulnerability of allowing the other to see the inherent flaws in oneself, and still be desired is what characterizes a good relationship. A relationship is about self-acceptance and improvement. A crush is about self-hatred and denial of reality.

The new guy in my life may not know every pathology of mine yet, but what he has seen he takes in stride and inspires me to become a better version of myself. He cushions my sharp falls with humor and rationality. Similarly, I can tell his unspoken insecurities are soothed by my repeated presence in his life. It's strange for such a callused pessimist as myself to be with someone again, but I must say it is sweetly comforting in the darkness of my everyday troubles.

Quarter-life Crisis

Coming home to Cupertino used to be such a relief from the choking grip of city life. But ever since my mother caved to her depression, now San Francisco has become the welcome break from the suffocating stench of mental illness in my parents' home. As much as I want to spend time with my family, the effects of my mother's breakdown on me is hefty. Depression is an infectious fucker. All I want to do when I feel my mom's lackluster is pull the sheets over my head and sleep all day. Forget school, forget my friends, forget everything I used to know and love about life.

Perhaps the sudden arrival of my quarter-life crisis has also fueled an easy descent into mental instability, but I'm too stubborn to let it handicap my life the way it does my mother's, the way it used to mine. I find myself thinking about how much time I have wasted being down, when all I needed was to have completed a small task to have moved forward. Now I am 25, still 2 years and a semester shy from obtaining a Bachelors. The hell I am going to allow more time to be taken by my or others' pathology.

An important element to any life crisis is fantasy, and mine is no exception. I fantasize about the alter-personality of mine, the one that's sexily intelligent, cunning, attractive and strong. The one that has a Master's degree, a job in teaching mathematics, yet the freedom to steal away on the road on a whim's notice blasting classic rock riffs and wearing a black leather jacket. The one who is in control of her life. The imagination can either drive one to success or blind the same to disassociated failure, and I find it a tender balancing act.

"I hate my illness and I want to control it. This is what I believe to be true: You have to do everything you can and if you stay positive you have a shot at a silver lining."
~Silver Linings Playbook