Sunday, October 31, 2010


I think I have an addictive personality. That's why I've never gotten into smoking. That's why I'd rather not get into a habit of drinking too much. I think I run the danger of getting addicted if I cross that threshold, and find it difficult to imagine how to pull myself out of the quicksand. The fastest (though perhaps not the best) way to get over an addiction is to obviously replace it with another one. But there's only that many things you can get addicted to before it starts to become costly, unhealthy.

Sometimes I feel like my life is a game of scales. How much is enough, how much is too little and more importantly, when does it suddenly become too much? Essentially, it's all about balance, right? They kept telling us at the start of medical school not to sacrifice everything in your life, otherwise you will end up a bitter, lonely, cynical, jaded crone who snarls and throws shoes at young people. And of course it's true! Too little iron in your body and you get anaemia, too much and you start to get a condition called haemachromatosis. Too much money and it just becomes a piece of paper, yet too little money is called poverty. See someone too seldom and you become strangers, see someone too much and you get sick of each other's company. See how it starts to get messy? See how easy it can be to slip between sensitivity and neuroticism? Sometimes it can all become a massive swirl of thoughts that starts to resemble an Alanis Morrisette album (not sure how many of you have seen her video clip for Ironic but it's pretty wacky. Actually scratch that - all her video clips are pretty wacky...)

As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, we never seem to be able to attain that perfect balance. And that, perhaps, lies in part with the inherent fact that when faced with options, we usually know what we should do, except naturally that isn't necessarily often isn't what we end up doing. What I need, what I want... Discipline is a difficult beast to tame - set it loose for a short while and you suddenly find yourself back to square one.

On another level, maybe balance is the way through which we find ourselves. You know, define our identities or some shit like that... I mean after all, we learn our life lessons through trial and error, don't we? We push ourselves one way too far, only to discover it in all its unpleasantness, recoil (sometimes a bit too far), and keep swinging back and forth until the day we find that happy medium which we can call home. We've all stepped into the various roles at least once before: Kind, cruel, a gentleman, an arsehole, popular, lonely, ecstatic, depressed. And sometimes, most of the time, hopefully we find the dial and tune it to a frequency somewhere in between insane and insecure [in the words of Greenday].

So it's natural to want more. But wanting too much can be a bad thing. Jokes can be hilarious until they stop being funny and start to become wrong. Drawing the distinction between play and pathology can be more difficult than initially obvious, and unlike groceries you can't weigh up your life choices the way you can with apples and potatoes. Sometimes it doesn't seem so plainly obvious, but the life we live today is a constantly evolving product of the choices we made yesterday. Where I stand in 10 years will be a sum of my decisions now. Sometimes it's not even about a conscious choice on our part, but simply the outcome of a lack of action. That too, I suppose, is a choice, whether or not we choose to acknowledge it.

And I should go to bed now, and stop thinking so bloody much or using the first-person plural. And maybe redirect my thoughts to pelvic anatomy. That would certainly contribute to a better balance in my life!

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