Saturday, October 11, 2008

You Are an Obsession. You're My Obsession.

I've been on Fall Break since Thursday. I don't have to return to school until next Wednesday. Now, of course, I should have spent the last few days studying. Instead, I've found myself obsessing over various things. For several days I've had the song "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition stuck in my head. (I'll bet some of you didn't know Kenny Rogers performed psychedelic rock before becoming a Country Artist, did you?) And since the second Presidential Debate I've been focused on articles and poll results about the candidates. For the first time since 1976 there's a decent chance that North Carolina could turn blue, which has my nipples all erect! I've also been practicing my sword fighting techniques with a pool cue and planning out a custom lightsaber based on the dimensions and balance of said pool cue. I want it to be made of brushed aluminum without knobs or gadgets sticking out of it like you see on some of the sabers from the Star Wars movies. And whatever time has been left over the last several days has been filled with thoughts of what I would do with a few million dollars. By the way, I FINALLY got my financial aid money, and it came out to around $3500. Unfortunately, I'm probably only going to have around $1800 of it once I get my bills caught up and I get my car taken care of so it can be inspected for its yearly emissions test.

Anyway, I'm not the only one who has seemed obsessed over things lately. The economic crisis has people obsessed over their falling home values and collapsing stock portfolios; members of the world governments are obsessed about avoiding a global recession or, God help us, a global depression. Republicans are obsessed with their fear and hatred that a black democrat will likely become President of the United States. And Democrats are obsessed that their dream of winning the Presidency may once again be stripped away at the last moment by unscrupulous election shenanigans.

Pardon me for expressing a perhaps exaggerated sense of concern, but it feels like the US, if not the entire planet, is sitting on a powder keg right now. Everyone is stuck on a psychological carousel thinking about the same concerns, real or imagined, over and over without end. We're trapped in a broken groove of a scratched LP, listening to Huey Lewis and the News' song, "If This is It", but instead of the lyric, "If this is it, please let me know" all we keep hearing is "This is It. This is It. This is It." You could be forgiven for thinking the rumors about the Mayans were right and that the world is coming to an end in a few years.

I don't want to be mistaken for one of those Chicken Little "The sky is falling!" types. I'm really not, even though I've long dreamt of being alive at the end of the world just so I could see how it all ends... and maybe rub it in the faces of the evangelical Christians when it turns out Jesus isn't actually involved in the end of the world but instead it is brought about merely by the folly of mankind.

The thing is, obsession is rarely healthy. Unless you are obsessed with finding a cure for cancer it is probably best to be mindful of your thoughts and keep them moderated as much as you reasonably can. As someone who has struggled with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder I can tell you first hand how destructive it is to your well-being and your personal relationships. One of the big things that ruined my relationship with the girl I planned to marry was my obsession with money. I often felt as though I had nothing to offer her because I couldn't afford to take her everywhere and buy her the things I wanted to buy for her. She had money and a decent paying job, but I could barely support myself financially. So rather than focus on things that I COULD do for her and give to her I obsessed over the things I COULDN'T do instead. It revealed my lack of self-esteem and crippled me emotionally. It's no wonder she chose to find a guy who wasn't hung up on his supposed shortcomings.

Being stuck on a few thoughts incessantly blinds you from the really important things in life, like family, friends, personal hobbies, and all the multitude of things that enrich human life. So next time you catch yourself thinking the same thoughts over and over, STOP, take a breath, let it out slowly and say, in the words of Phil Collins, "I Don't Care No More!"

Have fun, and keep living life... And get ready for a wild ride!

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