Monday, May 13, 2019

Blogger: Feel Like I Am Always Behind

I am sure many of us have felt that they are out of the "loop" when it comes to social situations sometimes: you have not seen a show yet, or read the news that morning. This can become very frustrating, but what is worse is when you have the personality of someone who is actually not behind, and people look at me weird when you say "I don't know". Many of them ask questions, because for sure, I am on-board, instead of a google search, I'll ask her. Which, instead of making me feel proud, puts pressure on me... a pressure I already feel, and it's not like anyone is going to be judgmental, but I am still scared to admit it... so I will do so in this post, because I do feel that I cannot be alone in the feeling that I am always behind.

All my life I hated being late. I know exactly what childhood trauma caused it, no worries, I am working on it. Still, on average, I get everywhere 20 minutes earlier. I have wasted an incredible amount of my life waiting for other people. Time, I could have used to read the news for example... (Yes, I have issues, move on!) Trying to change my approach to time has been the hardest thing I have ever done: I CAN go with the next bus, I CAN be late once or twice, and it won't make me a terrible person. I hate the idea of someone waiting for me. But I do not like to give the impression that I have more important things to do, than the promises I made, and that might be the reason why I am behind on many things: I do put others ahead of myself. I have no regrets on that part, but the lesson here is that I do need to put myself first from time to time, at least to ease the feeling of always being behind.

TV Shows
You see, I love old series, from Dallas to Star Trek, along with the ones that I grew up with, like Melrose Place and years later Felicity. I wish to re-watch them because I remember a lot of it from my afternoons in front of the TV, but not enough, and then others that I just like to be geeky and nerdy about. So I do watch old things while I find that television is going through a wonderful Renaissance in the past ten years. American television is ordering seasons, like British TV does (whole seasons with fewer episodes, e.g. Netflix), and even if something isn't successful, we get a coherent story, sometimes even without a cliffhanger, giving us closure at the end. Most actors who made it big and have left TV to do movies are returning and the quality of acting and writing is just getting better. To me it all started with Damages, starring Glenn Close back in 2007. This results in wanting to watch a lot of contemporary shows while trying to catch up on old shows as well. I just think sometimes that I am not good enough of a geek if haven't seen enough sci-fi shows... Maybe that came with university, where I was taught to build up my arguments if I want to debate everyone. This left me with the thought of wanting more and more background information just to be able to say that I like or hate something. As of lately, I lose the debate against me, because I could have seen all of the Star Trek series by now, and Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica and Clone Wars if I really tried, so my conclusion is perhaps that I do not try hard enough... My list of shows to see is, fortunately, not a bottomless pit, so maybe soon I will get to the end of it, I am sure trying hard enough! The length of a lot of shows is perfect for me to reset my brain and go the go back to work.

I do blame myself for being behind on classic movies. First, I do not like to go to the cinema anymore as much, because the price of tickets is just unreasonably high... do we ever take that into account when we look at ticket sales and box office sales? Nevermind. So, I wait for most movies to come out on DVD or Netflix. But, the bigger problem is that it is really hard for me to watch a movie. I have no problem watching thirty episodes of one show after the other, because it is just 20 or 40 minutes, but a whole movie?!!! This sounded like the dumbest issue to me, until other friends of mine told me they have the same problem. 90 minute is a commitment, for some reason (although arguable a lot of TV show episodes extend to one hour lately, still, knowing it is just one episode relieves the pressure). And today, there is no movie under 100 minutes anyway... but the reason I still do blame myself, is that there are classic movies out there that I actually want to see and I still don't. These are either massive stepping stones in popular culture and others that are part of the intense history of Hollywood. The reason I still haven't seen them, is mentioned above. Sometimes I have movie days, when, as if binge watching a series, I watch over four movies in one sitting. Maybe more days like that are coming in the near future. As a final point, I might be behind on the movie text-book lists, but when I do watch a movie, it truly amuses me from a critical point of view. I have a movie club, where we watch really bad movies, just to play drinking games, and although they are BAD, in every sense of the word, not once did I feel like I was wasting my time. At the same time I have seen some movies that were said to be good and were just a waste of time. Many times I write about them to warn people... Maybe one day I'll get caught up!

So. Many. News. Portals. And. So. Many. Political. Affiliations.
The biggest problem for me about following the news is that it is incredibly depressing. The second issue, is that in order to get the full picture - being an academic researcher on some level -, I always care about both sides. So despite my political affiliations I do often take a look at the other side, and that makes it even more depressing... Going back to the main point, being up to date on the news is the one thing that I decided to prioritize over everything else. I was lucky, because people who like to call out controversy and asshole oligarchs live on their shows, are also the hosts of those shows and that makes it less depressing. I wake up with The Philip DeFranco Show, then I love Stephen Colbert's monologues on The Late Show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, as well as Seth Meyers "A Closer Look" segment. And when it is on, I like watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. At the same time I use my facebook as a portal to follow all the newspapers - Hungarian, American, British, Italian - that I am interested in. This is mostly because since I am teaching culture it is important to me to be able to ask any questions my students might have. But starting off the day with potential bad news also gives me the chance to take the rest of it to look for good things. I am thankful that I have news outlets that are apart from the television format, as the newscasters speak honestly and call out assholes for what they are. Being on board with what is happening around in the world is a lot more fun when you have smart people delivering it, instead of somebody reading off traumatic news for the views their producers wants to obtain that given day. (And don't worry, I am aware of the bubble effect on facebook, that is why I regularly read left and right newspapers, and the algorithm keeps going insane on me, it is highly entertaining.)

I have come to the conclusion that music is simply age based. In Hungary we have one of the biggest concert festivals in Europe, and I often look at the posters and have no idea about 90% of the names. I do follow top 100 lists, because I get bored of the soundtrack to my life quite easily, and still have no clue as to who graces the big stages of the festival. Shazam has to be my favorite app, and so, I have a variety of songs on my playlist. One summer I was listening to artists from eight different countries and not even caring about who is new and hot in the industry. And being behind, when it comes to music, has its perks: I only heard 'Despacito' three months after it came out. Same with 'Hello' from Adele. I am rarely a victim of clickbait and I usually have earphones in everywhere I go. I have just found this quote on fb and it summarizes me pretty well: "To be honest my music taste is so hard to describe like it's literally everything except for the songs I don't like". If I had to really narrow it done, my taste in music was set at an early age: 80's pop. And I have found several bands that imitate that style, from bands like St. Lucia, La Roux even, many songs of Betty Who to The Midnight, there is a whole Youtube channel dedicated to NewRetroWave and it is a treasure trove for me. Music might easily be one of the few categories where I do not feel the pressure, at least, not among my peers, and that makes composing the soundtrack to my life a whole lot easier. 

(*cry laughing.) I am just not even going to go into this one. Let's add comics to this, just to make you feel the weight even more. Do three majors at the same time and then a doctorate and let me know how much time you have left for pleasure reading. Not to mention all those professors who look at you like you are piece of shit, for not having read three times the books they deem essential readings... I keep seeing hundreds of lists of books that are a total 'must', and you should read them before school, or during, or after, or all the time!!! You should, in other words, feel really bad about not having read those books. Shame on you! And I always felt like... I have already written about this topic, and you can read that by clicking here: 10 Books You Should Read Because Why Not? But, would still like to add also, that it is dangerous when you get to love an author's personality, because you will end up wanting more from them, one such example to me is John Green, whose latest vlogbrothers video entitled "How I Read and Why" talks exactly about the way I view reading: what merits my attention, rather than, what is "good" or "bad". My favorite example of this kind would be Dostoyevsky's Crime And Punishment, which is a book I absolutely want to read, but somehow feel that this isn't my time to do it. I had a horrible teacher once who said that it is too late for me to read it, because I am past a certain age, and first: fuck that guy. Second, a timeless book is timeless just because of that, the impact it will have on me, the reader, might be different in accordance to my age, but the impact will still be there. There were also 40 and 50 year old people who read Harry Potter as it came out, and they did not suffer from it not being their childhood favorite. They could still appreciate a good book. Although the list of books that I want to get my hands on keep growing larger, I do know my life is too long for me to not be able to read them.

How do others do it?
I have no idea. Honestly, I know some people who might already have google glasses cause it makes absolutely no sense to me how they are always informed. Especially single mothers with two jobs... when do they sleep? And what am I doing wrong for feeling so behind? Do they feel behind? Do we all share this terrible burden of living in a society that thrives on information and popular culture and still be left knowing that we will never know everything? I don't know, you tell me.

Re-Doing Things and a conclusion
The reason why I wanted to write this entry is to actually calm myself down. I can't even remember who it was, but my sister quoted a comedian to me who pointed out that life isn't too short, it is too long. And that put things into a different perspective for me, as I feel that I have plenty of time for everything, as a matter of fact, I know that I will end up looking for more things to do at a certain point. I will miss these little things listed here when I am raising my children and waking up at six in the morning to take my dog for a walk. Nonetheless, a lot of things can happen until then and the key is to enjoy it. I for one have a hard time re-watching certain things, when I have all that is listed above to get to. But somethings I just need, like some episodes of the third season of 24, or the Christmas episodes from ER, or every July 17th I re-watch Mamma Mia! because it is my ultimate summer movie. A lot of these inspire my fiction writing as well as the reviews I make for the blog. And ultimately, I think we all need to remember that the time we spend on ourselves should not be taken for granted. I need my shows and books to be about something other than what I should be consuming. Our brain does need to be turned on and off again to function properly. So I did sit down to write this entry, to also remind myself, of all the things that I have done, all that I have seen of the world and I am not even 30! Many parts of my life haven't even begun, so why stress over it? I will watch it, read it, listen to it and catch up when my time allows.

Is this feeling gonna fade away? Maybe not entirely. But talking about it helps. 

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