Scared of the dark

When I was a kid I was scared of the dark. Not like I couldn’t sleep with the lights off, but I didn’t like to walk into or out of a dark room. I felt like I was about to get ambushed, or like there was someone sneaking behind me. I especially hated walking up the basement stairs in my childhood home. The light at the top of the stairs was hardly comforting compared to the massive darkness that was threatening to swallow me from behind.

Sometimes I still get that feeling. That even though I’m moving forward and I’m moving up and I’m moving toward the light, I might still get swallowed up from behind by that massive darkness. I’m not even entirely sure what the darkness consists of…old memories? Old emotions? Subconscious fears and insecurities? That’s the funny thing about being afraid of the dark. You aren’t afraid of something you know is there.

You’re simply afraid of the uncertainty.

Holiday Crap

This is my mandatory holiday post. Yes, the holidays are upon us. But as a minimalist (have I mentioned I’m a minimalist?) they don’t bring me the joy that most people experience this time of year. I believe in celebrating the underlying cause for the holidays, having been raised a Christian I’m not trying to take away from the importance of celebrating the birth of our Lord. However, I can’t help but feel nauseous at the level of commercialization that has taken place during this time of year. It’s amazing how people seem to believe their lives will be made somehow better or they will become happier if they own this or that gadget…and yet everyone falls for it.

But think about it…the unopened box is almost always more exciting than the gift that it contains. Why is that? Because the idea of something is almost always better than the reality. As long as the box is unopened, it might be something better than just another hat and scarf. It might be a million dollars! It probably isn’t. But your brain doesn’t know any better. And even if the thing inside is something you really wanted and something that brings you a momentary source of joy, what’s the next thing you do? Look for another unopened box.

I guess this is just the way our brains are wired, though. It’s similar to what’s going on in your brain when you see you have 12 new notifications on social media. That immediate surge of dopamine occurs before you even know what the notifications are for. But I’m getting sidetracked.

I guess what I’m saying is I don’t like the holidays because I don’t like to waste my money on things I think people shouldn’t even have. I don’t like getting a ton of gifts that I’m going to slowly give away because they’re cluttering up my house or contain toxic chemicals that I refuse to rub into my skin. I also don’t like the holidays because in the past I’ve had the intention of giving artwork to family members as gifts, only to realize that 1) my family always considered my artwork too dark; and 2) I never could finish it on time.

So that’s my mandatory holiday post.