Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Sentimentality is the Ally of Delusion

I have a friend I knew in the bad old days.  D had no job when I had a crappy one, and then when both of us were unemployed, and then when I worked full-time and could not make ends meet and she lived with her parents and managed a makeup counter, her true career having been grounded by the Great Recession.

D was the first to break free of Winterville and get back into her chosen profession, which she actually performs on the road all the time. I struggled at my prior position, had some times of relative sanity when the bills were under control but before my illness, which messed up my finances in a big way as you could imagine, and now I am free of both Winterville and the old circumstances. Thank goodness. It's been a long, hard row to hoe. I'm glad to be on the other side of that crisis.

We met because she volunteered at a theatre where I sometimes volunteered and sometimes performed. D was miserable then.  Well, we all were.  I met some pretty interesting people there.  One explained why natives ostracized me, being a sympathetic native herself. Another was a very angry person who would later, after my friend D's exit, start up some junior-high style campaign in which I would be excluded and made to feel like an outsider.  I stopped talking to her and the sympathetic native when all that $hit hit the fan, and I explained to D this situation; she could sympathize with me from the safety of being Far Away and employed in a capacity that allowed her proper distance.

D's status the other day on Facebook was something like: "Feeling nostalgic for my time at Winterville Theatre" with Angry Person, Sympathetic Native, and a bunch of other actors from those days. I was not included, although I was there then.

So now that D has a full bank account and a glittering successful career and a full life, she is nostalgic for the times when she had no money and lived with her parents and hung out with a bunch of underemployed miserable people in an economically depressed region? Whaaatt???

Dear Goddess, of all the things to be nostalgic about! Let me tell you about how it does NOT break my heart that those days are over. In fact, I am quite relieved. If you'd told me a few years ago that I'd end up living in a great place, surrounded by loved ones, with a long-distance boyfriend whom I've loved since I was 16, and real opportunities ahead in my career, I would have thought you were insane. I don't know if I would have known it was possible, given that I was surrounded by such difficulties, and, aside from people like D, difficult people too.

So maybe Facebook is just wrong for me. Maybe my boyfriend was right to give it up.  Because I didn't appreciate being reminded of those crappy times, and I didn't appreciate having been edited out of D's recollection of it, probably to appease Angry Person.

A book I have, Lovingkindness Meditation, talks a lot about sentimentality being an ally of delusion.  D could be sentimental about those days and just remember what she wanted to, editing out the rest. Were they so great? Nope. But hey, volunteering at the theatre got us all out of the house. At least there was that.

I think I had more fun in the past 2 months, when I was in transition between Winterville and the new city and I lived near work, than I had in the 5 years I lived in Winterville.


Here's my status update: Damn glad to be living in the here and now!

Yours truly,

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