Monday, 27 August 2012

Do it like a dude

I've been thinking a lot recently. I know. How totally unlike me, right? 

Fact is, I'm a bit over emotional these days. And can be way over sensitive. I'm often confused by peoples' actions and feel blindsided by stuff that happens. Probably just normal life stuff. Stuff that everyone can just, you know, take in their stride and be all: "Oh, well, that just happened." and then go and do something else. Problems and things are becoming ostensibly insurmountable. It's like a black cloud over me everywhere I go. And I hate it.

I think. And think. And think. AND THINK. Until I could scream. And then when I think myself into exhaustion and finally go to sleep, I dream about whatever I was thinking about and it gets replayed in new and ever more horrible ways until I wake up. Usually there is a couple of seconds respite and then the thinking starts. And it's Groundhog Day. Without the cute animal, Bill Murray or happy ending.

I often wonder whether it's partly the difference between women and men. It has to be said that the most together people I have known - and by together, I mean the people who angst the least and seem to have a pretty positive and practical view on life - are men. I'm aware I'm generalising hugely and that can be a bad thing, but I'm doing it anyway. Many men I know seem to be able to compartmentalise and lock the bad stuff away and then get on with enjoying themselves in whichever pleasurable way seems fit at that moment.

They don't normally spend time crying into their pillows (unless for a good reason, presumably) and ruminating over what they could have done differently, or what they should do next. They don't co-ruminate with their male friends, going over and over every minutae of whatever recent thing has just happened to them. They just start playing a video game. Or playing their ubiquitous guitar/drums/keyboard. Or have a wank. Or a sandwich. Or go and get drunk with whoever is around. They don't even plan to meet people sometimes. They just go. Amazing.

Men seem better at making themselves feel better in the moment. They seem better at sorting things into lists of: "well, that's shit but I can't do anything about it so I'll just put it away and not think about it ever again" and: "I can do something about that so I'll do it. At some point. Probably right after this sandwich."

I did read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus once, but it seemed to be saying that most stuff is a woman's fault and they should leave the man alone to be in his cave and he'll rebound back like a rubber band as long as he has a nice supply of steak and beer. I'm not sure which century it was written in or who it was meant to appeal to, so I didn't really take any of it seriously. And I do think it's mostly bollocks. But the bit that did seem to ring true is men are generally calmer about stuff. They don't feel the need to talk about their problems, and thus perhaps lessen the importance of said problems. Of course, the nutters who go postal one day and end up killing lots of people with a machine gun also tend to be men. But I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

And I'm not really even talking about the rights and wrongs or how people should deal with stuff anyway. But thinking and beating yourself up till you puke can't be good, as a general rule.

So it's probably time I started channelling my thoughts into something I can actually do something about. If I added up all the hours spent thinking and wondering, regretting and crying about stuff, I could probably have written ten novels in that time. I could probably have created some kind of magnificent work of art. I could have raised a family of wild hedgehogs and set them free in the woods. I could have taught the local neighbourhood kids the rudiments of philosophy. At the very least, I would be a lot happier, more positive and have lots of things going on in my life to enjoy.

It might just be time to start thinking like a man.

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