On Scope

I took a nap on the couch in the bright afternoon sunlight today, which really distills my spring break down to its essential components: sleep, relaxation, warm sun. Troubled dreams still seem to haunt my sleep, a carryover from the stresses of last week.

Since tumbledry is an ongoing effort to learn more about myself, I thought it appropriate to share a recent selfservation of my own.* I’m afflicted with an ongoing crisis of scope. That is, I vacillate between too narrow or way way too broad. I’ll be studying for a test and it will completely consume my thoughts: I can only think in terms of black and white, pass or fail. My entire world becomes the test — I can’t think ahead to that weekend, or this summer, or being done with school, or even the small (albeit important) role the test plays in the larger scheme of my life. And then, when immediate pressures of school are lifted, I’m suddenly thinking way too broad: why am I here; how can I best fulfill the potential of this gift of life; what if humanity is terribly and eternally alone in this universe, hovering on a tiny vulnerable ball in the midst of essentially nothing, with nobody to keep us company?

See? Crisis of scope.

It’s draining, and depressing, and I haven’t found a great way to fix it, or at least deal with it. I have, however, realized one important thing: the solution to happily existing in this world is to engage others by making oneself helpful. It keeps you focused, engaged, involved — it keeps your scope right, and it knits you together with other people. So, even if we are just a group of beings on a tiny little ball hovering in a nearly infinite nothing, at least I can knit myself into a fabric of people, where the tiny little tests and problems simply bounce off, like marbles from a trampoline.

* selfservation: (n) an observation of the self, shared with others in a manner that is self-serving

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I’ve had dreams like that one you linked to so many times! What does it mean? Just a general stress over school, finishing assignments, and doing well? Whatever the case, I guess they’re more common than I might have thought. Another dream I used to have a lot (and still randomly do): I’m at a dress rehearsal for a play and I’m the lead role and I have no idea what the play is, what my lines are, or how I’m so unprepared for it. The directors (yes, there are always two, and they are always the Seashores from WHS) are oblivious to my lack of preparedness but I know I’m about to ruin the whole thing. I always wake up before the actual performance begins though. Weird, huh?

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