Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I’m not like that.

Do you ever get obsessed about wanting to buy something?

No, I mean like really obsessed.

Like unhealthily fixated?

I have known me for long enough that I know I go through periods of – let’s be polite and call them – ‘intense fixation’ about certain things. Sometimes this is a good thing. For instance, my job is very math and detail intensive, so it can actually be a good thing that I can throw on the blinders and just focus. This ability is also how I managed to go to school full-time and work full-time, I was able – and often required to – shift focus and intensely fixate on what I needed to get done at that moment.

Unfortunately, however, I also happen to know that my brain is bored with me lately. See, I think that about five or six years ago it got hooked on stress and I have been an addict ever since. Ironically that’s one of the other reasons I was able to go back to school and finish so fast, so I guess that worked out okay.

Over the last year or so though, I have been trying to de-stress and it has been really hard (I am so stressed out about this process!). I have been trying to teach myself to relax, to just chill the hell out. I have had mixed results, but I work at it every day. But my brain, it needs something to intensely fixate on. Right now it is stuck on this backpacking thing again.

Now I will tell you that I actually do enjoy all this outside stuff I have been doing lately; the running and hiking and camping and the like, but at the same time my brain is using it as an excuse to obsess. So I guess that in this – as in all things – balance and moderation must be key.

Well if we have ever met, then you probably know two things about me: The first is that I am better looking than I actually am (it’s weird, right? I’m not actually that physically great looking at all, but for some reason you can’t help but find me attractive. It’s true and you don’t need to feel bad about admitting it. You’re powerless over it.) The other thing that you know about me if we have ever met is that I’m not good at moderation. (I wish I could get my brain to obsess about moderation!)

Sorry, I know I’m rambling, but it’s not like anyone reads this blog anyway except for that dude in Korea (BTW, you rock Korea Dude!), so who cares if I ramble?

At the moment I am constantly adding and subtracting backpacking weights in the back of my head. So we might be having a conversation - and I promise I am listening to you - but I am also thinking: well the rainfly on my tent weighs 19 ounces, so if the temperature is warm and the wind is not too bad, I could leave that at home, which brings the shelter weight down to 2 pounds 4 ounces, which brings my base pack weight down to 10 pounds 9 ounces, but that’s still too heavy! If I bought a better sleeping bag I could probably cut 8 ounces, my sleeping bag weighs 25 ounces, so I could probably get it down to 17 ounces, so if I leave the rainfly at home and buy a better sleeping bag, my base pack weight is 10 pounds 1 ounce, but that’s still too heavy …

That’s what it’s like up in my head a lot lately. Though – blessedly – not every single minute of every single day.

If I had a therapist, this is when she would lean in and ask me if perhaps I am obsessing about backpacking weights because I am actually deeply unsatisfied with other aspects of my life, to which I would respond, “How much am I paying for this 45-minute session? Sixty bucks? A down sleeping bag that weighs 17 ounces costs $250, so if I skipped five sessions I could buy that …”

So yeah, there’s that.

Right now I am thinking constantly about this very lightweight backpack that I want to buy (it only weighs 1 pound 13 ounces and has a 47 liter capacity!), it would be exactly what I want for a trip I’m taking to the Grand Canyon in September, but it costs almost three 45-minute therapy sessions!

I am thinking about it so much that I think it might be getting unhealthy. Do other people do this? Not obsess about backpacks and weight, but about other stuff? Is this how you feel about your crystal meth hobby? Is this something that we can blame on the tyrannosaurus-sized, consumerism of our culture that says: buy things buy things buy things buy things buy things buy things? Or would that be a cop out? Is this more of a personal thing?

See, I have been writing my whole life and that requires its own kind of obsessiveness (ie: if I say this character is from Nepal, then I need to know about Nepal! What is Nepal like? Better get out the N encyclopedia … what’s the weather like there? What town is this guy from? What are the religions of Nepal? What was his childhood like? What did his father do for a living? Did he have a pet goat? What was its name? Crap, what are common goat names in Nepal? What did they feed it? What kind of goat was it? Oh god, are there different kinds of goats? Better get the G encyclopedia out …), so I’m not sure if the way I’m feeling about buying a backpack is what a hobby feels like, or what anorexia feels like.

Now I will admit that I am being a smidge hyperbolic about how bad it is because this is after all a blog and it is supposed to be a form of entertainment, but some of this stuff is actually an accurate depiction of my mental state.

Probably this is also why I find the show ‘Monk’ so hilarious. At least I’m not that guy, you know? That guy is nuts! But not me. I’m not like that.


1 comment:

Court said...

Texas Chick reads your blog. And then she LOLs.