Ideas I may pursue

I get an idea stuck in my craw (whatever that is) and I have to ride it out, no matter the unpleasant places it takes me. I give so much of myself to one idea at a time; it’s hard to take in anything else. I suffer from hyper-focus at inopportune times. My heart often feels led by my head which is just really backwards, I think.
If I have a thought that I have to push away, it almost always haunts me. I examine, analyze, and gargle, and swish the information I have collected from various stimuli until it burns and I have to spit it out. There are several ideas that I have carried around for years, haunting my thoughts. There are what-ifs and I-wonder-what-could-bes floating around my ether. It doesn’t mean I’m not happy with my circumstances in life. I could not have scripted a better life for myself if I had tried. I have stumbled into a lucky lot- married, children, home, job, church, family, friends. Very normal. Living the dream. Not that I don’t have my share of baggage, but that is another diary entry.
There’s a part of me, though, that staunchly remains content as a malcontent. That part of me that mentally can’t sit still that is always looking at people’s faces for answers to questions I have not yet asked, listening to dirges in my head while smiling and greeting people at work, fiddling with my iPod to keep from wringing my hands in nervous frustration.
For anyone remotely self-aware, confusion abounds, or to borrow a much better phrase, even though it’s from the demented ancient Greek Socrates: “I know that I know nothing.”
We’re bombarded with visual and audio images everywhere we turn. Not a new observation, but in a so-called simpler time, we had to rely more upon our imaginations to transport us to other places; we had to put forth more of an effort to research our interests. When you have time invested in something, it becomes more meaningful to you. Now, with just clicking and tapping, you can see anything, be anywhere, talk to anyone, and be whoever you want to be. But it’s mostly empty.
With the world at our fingertips, the onus is still on us to use our imaginations to make use of what we’ve learned. We can choose to relax our brains and be passive observers or engage our minds and try to make it count for something. Not unlike our predecessors listening to the old radio shows with their homemade sound effects, imagining characters and worlds coming to life, we log in to social networking sites and imagine characters and worlds by deciphering comments and clues left behind by the site administrators.
Do we really need to know half of what we take in every day? Probably not, but it sure is fun racking up trivia and news and silly animal photos when we can. So much knowledge is fleeting, like cramming for a test, memorizing pages of data only to forget everything within days of the exam. We can’t possibly hold on to so much information. There’s no reason we should. But it doesn’t stop our endless quest for more, more, more… I’m not really sure where this idea needs to end up, only that the unfolding of the thought itself reminds me of endless Google searches; type in one word and an hour later you’re onto something else entirely.
People bemoan the passing of the end of letter-writing. It’s not gone, it’s just shifted. Society went from using calling cards to telegrams to tweets. It’s really all the same, except now no one remembers how to spell properly. Everyone’s an author now. People can post any thought that comes into their heads without care or cost. Any photo they’ve snapped can be seen in seconds. It’s not a bad thing, being so connected to one another. We just have to be careful not to let our taps get too far ahead of our brains. We don’t have to self-edit every thought, but be mindful a bit about what we send out there. Sounds contradictory, no? Welcome to the chaos that is in Me. I am a contrarian. A content malcontent, remember? I have been on the fence about technology, a reluctant participant who really enjoys being connected but is wary of so much knowledge being available so easily.
Maybe it’s just that it’s too easy and I, being a malcontent, like the struggle of gaining something worthwhile. It’s up to us to make it worthwhile.


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