Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Running away to Netflix land

 I was not feeling well on Sunday or Monday. I stayed home. I felt too horrible to sleep, and too horrible to do anything useful. I was alone and isolated on days I usually am surrounded with people, and quite honestly, life was catching up to me.

 I set some pretty big goals. I work hard, and I am interested in pretty much everything, and I always try to take on way too much at one time. I can never keep up with it because I am human.  When I am in good enough health, I can find physical activities that help me to deal with that stress.  But, after weeks and months of working hard to heal my foot, and day in day out of the same boring exercises, and being denied the opportunity to do my favorite activities- skating, running, jumping, soccer, hockey,  two days of feeling pretty crappy and isolated caught up with me, so I ran away, to the only place I could. Netflix.

 After watching 20 straight hours of Orange is the New Black, I have a lot of opinions on prison reform, life, humanity, people, the ways a mission compares to prison, and the ways its different. I love that that show made me think, but watching that much at once gave me a major headache, and a binge watching problem, of getting attached to fictional characters, and realizing i actually need contact with real people.

 Tuesday when I went back to work, I spent a good portion of the day thinking about binge watching and its effects. I could feel shame about the speed that I often watch shows. I don't.  Usually I am multi-tasking when I am watching things, and its more just back ground noise, and its usually only a little at a time, but going on a major one like that, when you are feeling yucky and want to forget that you are feeling yucky, that catches up to you and makes you feel even more yucky. But I have to complete things, so I slowed down a bit and completed the  series. And now I can let it go and move back on to life.

 But in the process of this, I talked to a lot of my friends about our binge watching habits, and why we do it. Clearly this is a thing, there are even memes about it. I just posted one to my facebook, and I saw a sketch about it on portlandia, and I've seen other friends do this. And hey, If it weren't netflix, or some show, It would have been a book. I read harry potter in 5 days when book 7 came out- and i was working full time. 2 days for the whole hunger games.

 and I know other people face withdrawals from characters, or even rock stars, or Olympians or whatever when these things end and we come back to reality. Who didn't want to follow the Seahawk players on fb and twitter obsessively after our big victory. We all know about me and my curling team after the Olympics.  I was listening to a BBC radio 1 podcast the other day, and I think it was either Greg James, Grimmy, or Scott Mills, but one of them - i think Scott, was talking about how much he missed Katy Perry, because he spent all weekend at the Radio one big weekend, listening to her concerts, and interviewing her.

 after that there was a conversation, a lot of people were like, yeah, I miss it, I miss the stars when a big event like that ends, and then other people talked about how they missed the characters when they finished a book, or a movie, or TV series.  I'll never forget how lost i felt when i finished harry potter, and couldn't have Harry, Ron and Hermione in my life any more.  I started a wizard rock band after that, and wrote songs. I wasn't the only one. Wizard Rock was a thing. a website of fanfics went up- the leaky cauldron- we came together trying to fill the void.

 I think this gets worse the more our society  becomes digitalized, the less we actually interact with each other. We run a way to a fantasy land, where we have friends, that aren't real, but its safe, because we can invest, and feel emotionally invested. We can escape from harsh realities, we can avoid the risk of someone hurting us.  We can run. But you can't hide. eventually things catch up with you. I think I kept hearing that message while i was watching OITNB, Piper, the main character brought up once or twice, that the scary thing about prison was that you had to face yourself, you couldn't run and hide. Well, that's true of anything, you can only run so far, and then you will have to eventually deal with it.

  And I used to think that running was a bad thing, that we should always just face everything, head on and deal with it. And I think that the sooner you do the better, but I think sometimes, life is just too much, and sometimes you have to run, a little, for a little while, to gather the energy to face life and its big scariness.

 Honestly, Ive been feeling pretty lonely lately.  Honestly I've been a little scared to let anyone close to me lately, and yet I need and want to let people in. I miss my brother. I miss my friends. I miss my family.  But I have this deep overwhelming sense that I'm just going to disappoint everyone and let them down. I feel like I either have to tell them what they want to hear, or loose them all. Its completely a lie, and I know that, because there are people who have stuck with me through the most amazing circumstances, but I've also lost a few really big important ones along the way. and one loss seems to counter the weight of a 100 successes.  Why is that?

 And why do I so frequently feel that my choice is to let myself down, or let everyone else down?  like I cant win. because if I do win, I win alone, but if I let everyone else win, I still lose?

 At the end of the day, the madness has to stop. I can't binge watch another day. and quite honestly I don't want to.  I just watched two seasons with 13 hr episodes each in just about two days time. and it wasn't light fluffy stuff, it was a deep thinking thought provoking show. So i don't recommend doing that every day, or even often at all. But quite honestly, I think I needed to do that. because I've come back from that place, with a new perspective, a new respect and appreciation for the freedoms and associations, and relative safety that I enjoy in my life.  I feel a little braver, and a bit more prepared to face what I need to.  I don't know, maybe its an introvert thing. I need to be a lone, but not really alone.  and I need things that will really make me think and see things as I haven't seen them before.  there was merit to my madness. But it was madness. It was.

 I guess what I am saying is, there is a balance, and sometimes the balance goes a bit to extremes, but i think that is not completely without value, when it isn't something that happens all the time. I'm ready for a weeks break from netflix. or amazon, or hulu.  but, I'm glad I have come to appreciate what I do have more. It makes me feel less stressed about my life, and probably a bit more human, because I know I'm not the only one that does this.  And although I have never wanted to go to prison before, I know I really really dont ever want to go to prison now. EVER.  so I guess thats a good thing. Im more determined to be law abiding, and never be framed for anything.