We're finally home! A whirlwind tour of Iceland and Ireland has been at once exhilarating and exhausting. A part of me is glad to be home because I've really missed my cats and our life at home after experiencing some odd differences in Ireland. The power switches for every outlet in our hotel rooms puzzled us both, and the illogical installation of two faucets for hot and cold water. You will never get tepid warm water, it's either scalding hot or ice cold, there are no happy mediums! Also, I'm just glad to go back to a normal diet instead of eating out. You could say as I'm getting older, I'm becoming more and more of a homebody.
During my return flight, I finally finished Mark Manson's book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and the last two chapters had me cheering "Yes! YES!!!!" because he explained the concept of the entitlement that our generation has seemed to absorb. The whole "I deserve happiness" is such crap, as most people haven't really worked on themselves to be happy, and/or depend on others to provide that happiness for them. That in a situation where you think everyone is crazy, it's most likely just you who's the crazy one.
My favorite part is the weird public adoration of the Romeo & Juliet storyline. Which, when explained in laymen terms, are two teenagers who fall in love at a party and decide to get married the next day, and kill themselves in the process due to miscommunication. That's basically Romeo & Juliet. And people find this romantic? 👀 Toxic love is so out of touch with reality, that it's basically like cocaine. You just want to be high on love the whole time, that when things aren't as exciting or as explosive as you want it to be, you lose interest. But always banking on that high, those first pheromone months, that fantasy that Hollywood loves to glorify - that shit doesn't last! And like a drug addict, people break up to keep seeking for that high again. Real love doesn't work that way. In fact, during our honeymoon, my husband and I snapped at each other I don't know how many times during the trip because of a missed flight, missed bus connection, or shitty weather. Yes, we snapped at each other during our honeymoon. That's life. And I still love him just as much and we still say "I love you" and tell each other that it was such a fantastic trip, lol. In fact, I'm glad we're able to be honest with each other, even if it means that honesty equals hurting each others feelings over petty shit like getting wet from the rain.
When I read that passage about cocaine and love, I knew that this Manson dude understood and justified my thought patterns on relationships, on life, and learning a few things from him. On the last chapter about death, I came to this particular conclusion:
The meaning of life is death.
Without death, there is no meaning to life. Manson perfectly illustrates this when he explained that he edged to a high cliff, feeling his body tighten, sweat and heart beating furiously at the thought of the immediate physical danger of falling from it and dying. That the adrenaline of the possibility of death helped him realized that he was, in fact, very much alive. We all are very much alive. And we love being alive so much that the thought of death propels us to do things that will make us immortal like being famous, being successful in career, life, and having children. We like the concept of having our names pass down through history, our blood passed down through our children, our images kept on photographs as a sign of still "living" beyond physical death. It's so true though. Why do we strive to "make something of ourselves" if not for the vanity of being remembered aka immortal? We don't want our lives to be "in vain" but according to who? Society? Manson mentions pets as a good example of creatures who don't understand the concept beyond death. They're just living their lives, day to day, eating, sleeping and playing. Their lives are much simpler and without the complexities of human-made concepts, I think they're a lot less stressed than humans are.
After my trip to Iceland, a country that has extremely different landscapes, you start thinking of the simplicity of life against this nearly barren land. It just makes you think a lot. No one cares how I look or how I feel in a barren land, nobody knows or cares who you are from one country or the next, and nothing happens unless you take action to do something. It's difficult to separate insignificance in the world when you're surrounded by things that remind you that you should be significant. But not out there in nature, surrounded by clouds, wind, rocks, and birds. You're just another being, and this is what Manson is trying to make a point: you're not special. No one is. We're just creatures on a planet. It's not to say that the relationships you make won't be significant, but it's not by any means so special and unique that you need to glorify or be glorified for doing something so mundane as date or marry someone or have children with them. Again, the entitlement, the special treatment attitude that we've come to adopt in our culture, thinking we're all uniquely special in some way - we're not. And that's something you simply need to come to terms with.
Anyway, I'm glad I've had this trip and finished this book. I feel like I can just sit down and focus on doing things that make me happy, and roll with the unpleasant moments that will come. Maybe some of those unpleasantness will make me grow into a different and better person.