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An AdVENTURE into Intrinsic Vulnerability

In case you didn’t know, here’s prompt for this week:

“Do it. Be true. Write truthfully for several paragraphs about your shortcomings, flaws, and mistakes.”

Wow. I kind of feel like this one was directed at me (thanks, English teachers). I know I shouldn’t write anything incriminating (and I won’t), but I’ll go ahead and say what I have to say. I don’t want to be shamed by my silence any longer. First of all, let’s set some boundaries. I trust that any of you who take the time to actually read my blog won’t go blabbing about it to everybody you know. I also trust that you will adopt a judgment free mindset while you read these blogs. Keep in mind that violations of these trusts are violations of our friendship. Anyway, as some of you may or may not know, I recently was sent to Venture for 15 days. Yes, that Venture. Venture is CSISD’s Secondary Disciplinary Alternative Education Program. I know what you’re thinking, and no, I didn’t hurt anyone. The reason I was sent there is arbitrary, but the weaknesses that enabled that reason are lapses that metastasize the fiend in even the most celestial of souls.

I’m a very vulnerable person. When I say vulnerable, I don’t mean just in the sense that I’m the spider being smashed by the newspaper, but rather also in the sense that I’m the mouse dumb enough to seek the cheese within the trap. It’s not that I don’t think things through. I have thought through just about every bad decision I’ve ever made, but the problem lies in ignoring the caliber of the consequences of my actions. Sure, we could blame it on me being a teenager, but we all know that teenagers aren’t the only ones guilty of this deficiency. Perhaps it’s the media’s effect on me. I see TV shows promoting sex, drugs, alcohol, drunk driving, etc. without severe ramifications all the time. Not that I’m for or against any of those choices (except for the drunk driving one), but I can’t totally be held accountable for my schemas concerning what is right and wrong when I have a pastor or teacher telling me to be good once a week and I have all my buddies on TV telling me to screw morals the rest of the week. I’m not trying to go all Nicholas Carr up on this, but the culmination of modern Internet and the growing promiscuity of society has definitely contributed to this vulnerability of ours mine. This isn’t just me making excuses for my behavior, guys (although it would be easier). Writing this is actually making me think about how I can change my attitude. Weird how that works, huh.

Vulnerability is a fairly broad concept. To me, it includes being vulnerable to the false illusions of what happiness is. I know I’ve written about this before, but bear with me. After waking up for band at 5:30 in the morning and working on homework until midnight or later every day, both the physical stress and mental monotony catch up. Day in and day out, I do the same thing at the same time in the same exact way. Yet somehow, I still expect something different to happen. I expect to be happy just by putting in the effort to do well in classes. I expect to earn happiness by sometimes “forgetting” to be nice to everybody. I feel entitled to happiness just because I merely exist on this planet I own share with 7 billion other people. If every single person on this planet was equipped with happiness just because they exist, then we’d probably have a lot less war and a lot more unicorns. This unrealistic utopia is constantly feuding reality within my head. It would be much easier for me to convince myself I’m happy because I say I’m happy than putting in the energy to brew and fester intrinsic happiness. That, I suppose, is my greatest weakness. Not laziness exactly, no. More like complacency. It’s easier to do stupid things that other people like doing than to admit when I’m fatigued by dysphoria.

When I’m hurt, from an evolutionary perspective, I look for a way to survive. When I’m hurt, from a psychoanalytic perspective, I look for a way to prove to myself and others that I’m okay through defense mechanisms. While Sigmund Freud was kind of out there, his theory of defense mechanisms is one that makes sense, especially in this current state of pensiveness. I unconsciously repress threatening thoughts from becoming conscious and I displace my stress through ulterior methods. Obviously, this hasn’t worked out too well for me.  In the same way that Grandma always falls for that “Congratulations, you’ve won $1,000,000. Click here to claim your prize” gimmick, I always seem to fall for the “Click here for happiness” gimmick facing my frontal lobe.

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2 comments on “An AdVENTURE into Intrinsic Vulnerability

  1. Alright, so picking a favorite blog probably isn’t like the most impartial thing to do….but I think you capture the human experience through your own perspective really well. These flaw posts are kind of hard to comment on because I feel the need to both defend your awesomeness and also relate to your feelings. Both are kind of apathetic responses. In reality, I don’t know what it’s like to be you, but I do know that I enjoy being around you. I think the part where you talk about your routine is pretty spot on. It’s hard to stay motivated that we’ll find some change or happiness when the day-to-day seems kind of typical. Needless to say, searching for something “more”, doesn’t make you a bad person, or a vulnerable person. It would be complacent of me to disagree that you need to self-reflect. But in reality, we all have to. Our society has merely put more pressure for you to understand the consequences. But if there’s any motivational poster I disagree with, it’s the “your actions 100% define you.” I believe that your intentions play a huge role, and perhaps an even huger role in determining character. You’re a good person who cares about the people around you. And more importantly you understand your own short-comings. Don’t ever devalue you. You’re pretty amazing.

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