My Back Pages

It’s interesting to me how I can forget certain realizations, or go about my life in a stalled sort of way, without much progression, forgetting what lessons I’ve learned.

As an example, the other day I shared a story with a friend of how I watched a video that morning that I had also seen several months before, and in the time between hadn’t watched it. It was in Chinese, the first viewing I understood none of it, the second viewing I understood all of it. Understandably I was pretty happy at my progress. But I think the way that I told it, and the words that I used suggested that I was giving myself praise. There was no other tangible aspect to the store. My friend gave me a nonverbal reaction that I interpreted as “there’s no point to this story and you’re just praising yourself.” I don’t know if that was actually his message, he isn’t really a dismissive asshole. The conversation progressed, but I realized about 20 minutes later after we had split that I was giving myself praise because 1. I receive love through praise and affirmation more easily (if you know about the love languages, I receive love more easily through physical touch, words of affirmation, and quality time, but not so much through gift giving or acts of service), however 2. at the current situation I don’t really receive many words of affirmation (unless you count validation through success in Chinese). I do get them but as I don’t get as much as I feel I need, nor as much quality time and literally zero physical touch, 3. I have to try and meet that need myself. In other words I was trying to love my own self. It doesn’t really work, apparently. I also realized that I had recently told a few other similar stories that were self-praising, subtly or overtly. And that led me to realize that I don’t express much love at all to anyone else. I don’t feel like it either. There have been times where I was receiving plenty of love; expressing love was a whole lot easier. So my point of all this is, basically, I don’t get love, I have to love myself, and it’s harder to love other people.

But the kicker is that I already knew that. I’d already learned that when I was in college. I’d already come to that realization. Dylan’s song My Back Pages goes something like, “Oh but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” Sometimes I feel like I only go backwards, (Tame Impala). I understand that we forget things we’ve learned, but it’s still frustrating to have to relearn something. It’s frustrating to find myself doing actions that I KNEW to be immature and what I find to be undesirable.

Sometimes I find that books and music help me understand life and myself. Books like The Sun also Rises, Notes from the Underground, or Heart of Darkness, I can find affirmation of my beliefs in them, or similarities, at least. Maybe I’m not smart enough to do anything with that affirmation, but it is nice to have found a voice to express what I myself cannot. Things about how if I feel like I’m in a dilemma, or if life is pulling me left and right, I have a tendency to pick neither and do nothing. Anyway. I do not wish to write anymore, so I will stop. I ain’t even gonna proofread and expand upon my ideas. Ambiguity, cloudy themes, and generalizations? Deal with it. I do.

2 thoughts on “My Back Pages

  1. I believe it is important to love yourself and acknowledge your accomplishments. It’s more difficult to love others without first loving yourself. I love you more than there are stars in the sky.

    1. Cool Hand Luke said, “what we have here is a failure to communicate.” I think what you might be referring to is self-acceptance, but what I was talking about was expressing love, so in other words I was having to express love to me from me, which doesn’t work. But I agree in that self-acceptance is very important.

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