Friday, September 27, 2013

Flipping the Switch

It’s been about 2 weeks since my last blog.  Sorry to say, Season 4 of The Vampire Diaries arrived at my doorstep last Tuesday, and it’s been a non-stop Vampire Diaries marathon.  Sadly, I finished the last episode Wednesday night.  Now it’s back to watching movies that I have already seen on Netflix. Even so, it’s my recent TV-watching stint that has inspired what you’re about to read. 

So yes, I have been watching The Vampire Diaries. Embarrassing?  Maybe.  Guilty pleasure?  Definitely.  Anyway, the show follows the teenager Elena Gilbert, as she lives what turns out to be a not-so-ordinary life.  The plot includes vampires, witches, werewolves and hybrids.  Basically, Elena and her vampire B.F.F’s/loves run around their town (Mystic Falls) trying to combat whatever kind of supernatural chaos comes their way.  Now, I can’t go into detail about what happened last season, because one of my reader’s is not caught up.  So, I’ll keep it pretty aloof…while getting my point across. 

Humanity.  We all have it.  Well, hopefully most of us do.  There are three different meanings to the word ‘Humanity’. 



1.       the human race; human beings collectively.

2.       humaneness; benevolence.

3.       learning or literature concerned with human culture, esp. literature, history, art, music, and philosophy.

So why discuss it?  Well, I could go on another random tangent.  However, my sister once told me after reading my blogs that I just need to get to the point.  So, I guess that is what I will do.

I choose to discuss humanity, because I believe it to be at the core of every human (for the most part—unless you are a sociopath).  To be humane, means to have or show compassion or benevolence. There was a time, when I believed in humanity.  Wait, let’s back up.  Let me preface this with a statement:

--No, this is not a blog criticizing our society and the current state of humanity in general.  I don’t have the energy to address that elephant in the room.

Rather, this is a blog about human emotion in general.  I cringe when I write this next statement (because I am not quite ready to even be ‘this person’ again). It’s a blog about feelings. Gross, I said it.  Feelings.  Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, I can tie it back into The Vampire Diaries.  Here we go. 

So, in the show, vampires obviously have a choice as to how they can feed.  They can drink out of blood bags, or hunt animals---or they can drink right from the vein of a human.  Usually, drinking out of the vein of a human doesn’t end well for the human (as you can imagine).  Nevertheless, sometimes, in doing so, a vampire can set off a very innate characteristic within.  They can become the hunters that they were created and doomed to be.  As a consequence, humans die.  It’s like a lion or some other kind of predatory creature out in the wild---they will do what they have to do in order to feed themselves.  In the show, vampires are no different.  However, there are two things about vampires (in the show) that we really come to understand. 

1.       Some of the vampires in the show have a regard for human life.

2.       Others have no humanity at all. 

In the show, a vampire has the capability and the choice to shut their humanity off.  They call it ‘flipping the humanity switch’.  In doing so, they feel nothing.  No emotion whatsoever.  They care about no one, and they do as they please.  When the humanity switch has been flipped—nothing stops them from getting what they want, when they want, how they want.  The switch often comes as a result of some traumatic experience or extreme emotional pain.

Pause.  Okay, reading this back, I sound like one of those vampire nerd, freakish weird fake research people.  I am not that person.  I’ve just spent the past 2 weeks watching a show about vampires.  These are just thoughts that correlate somehow with my own life.  We’ll come to that later. 

After watching this show for about a week, I began to think about the implications behind this ‘switch’ and what it would mean for all of us-----should it be a real thing.  If you think about it, there are sociopaths out there who don’t have an ounce of humanity within them.  Those are bad people.  Sick people, but bad people nevertheless.  If we were to take those people out of the equation, what would it mean for the rest of us?  Would it mean that we quite possibly would have the capability to push pain away from us?  I’m not talking about physical pain.  That, I think I can deal with.  I’m talking about emotional pain. 

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: So Melodramatic. Well, I’ll preface this by saying I am the best I have been in months.  Even so, I am a human being—and human beings have feelings.  As we move into better places, we find ways to cope with pain that we might have experienced in the past.  I’ve done that by first, going numb—which wasn’t the best of situations. Everything that I was once feeling waited for me when I was done being numb.  Then I went to feeling everything.  Now I am sort of at a precipice. I know what I need to do in order to keep moving forward, but my foot is afraid to jump across the cliff (no, this isn’t the Grand Canyon, it’s more like a hop, skip and a jump to the other side).  You see, I thought shutting it all off would be the best solution to my problems.  However, much like the characters in the Vampire Diaries, when you shut it off—it’s just waiting for you when you decide to flip the switch back on.

I am not going to lie—I’ve been pretty cold about a lot. I do it because it prevents me from having feelings about many things.  Some of those things include, relationships, new chapters in lives (etc.).  So much of that is driven by jealousy, and that’s terrible.  I can admit it, and know that, like I have said in the past, Jealousy is an ugly thing—and unfortunately we all fall victim to it.

So, let me tell you how I know my humanity is turning back on. Last night, I decided to take the plunge and watch Love Actually.  It’s on Netflix, and it’s a classic.  The story follows various people experiencing different elements of love. So, last night, as I was watching this film—something strange happened:

So there’s this character, Sarah, who spends her days pining after a gentleman at her work, Karl.  Everyone knows that she is in love with Karl, even Karl knows she’s in love with Karl.  During the Christmas party, Karl asks her to dance.  When they actually get to the dance floor, the song transitions into a slow-romantic-type dance song.  They awkwardly stand there, until they decide that they’re actually going to dance.  As she dances with Karl, she starts to smile.  She smiles because she feels special, she feels like everything she’s dreamed about is coming true—and she smiles because she can see and know that things that happen in the movies, can happen to real people.  Now, I am not certain that is what she’s thinking, but I do know that this specific scenario is very real. 

Normally, during a scene like this I will typically roll my eyes, make a disgusted face, or have no emotion at all.  Last night, I actually found myself smiling.  Smiling because, I know that at one time I did feel that—and I know that, someday—there might be hope for me to feel that again.  Hope, that someday—a prince charming will be out there.

My horoscope told me the following today:

You have mapped out a plan that you are certain will bring you the success you have been longing for in a certain area of life. Maybe it’s your love life, or your financial life, or your creative life.  Like a typical Leo, you have probably strategized your goal right down to the last detail.  But you need to toss your plans to the wind.  You need to let go of any kind of rigid rule book and just let intuition wash over you.  It is good to have a plan, but it is better to be open to the fact that a plan’s not always what’s called for.

So there you have it.  I mean, that horoscope could be referencing MANY aspects of my life right now.  It just reaffirms what I said in my last blog…about flying by the seat of your pants.  I guess what I am trying to say is this:

I’ve let go of a great deal, and I STILL hold on to a great deal.  Turning off the emotions sort of put me in a strange place.  I think as I continue to walk the roads of life, things are changing, and I am changing too.  Change is the catalyst to everything.  Tis’ what makes the world go round.  I’m just along for the ride—which I suppose could be really shitty, or really cool along the way.  Regardless of that, I’m just going to keep on running. 



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