They say there are two types of people, the simple ones and the complicated ones.
I’ve always been the later.
When I was younger being complicated was cool. Complications made you deep. You couldn’t have a good story without some complications, and I always admired my friends with troubled tormented older siblings. Their characters were so much more complex than all the normies like myself. I so yearned to be complicated too.
I guess that’s the way it always goes though. You want and you romanticize what you don’t really understand.
I have witnessed MANY people romanticize death. I have heard people refer to it as beautiful, as sweet. Death gets referred to as a friend all too often. Sometimes the other side of life is shown as the fiery pits of hell to insight fear or just to look badass and sometimes it is shown as a beautiful shimmering white path guarded by the good lord himself. Let me tell you though, I was inches away from death for two months straight and it was not remarkable at all. After my release several relatives would ask me if I saw loved ones or people at church might ask me if I saw the pearly white gates, but I never had an exciting answer. I’ve heard other theories about the seconds right before death, how your life plays right before your eyes or that you feel the best and most pleasurable sensation. What I experienced though was neither glamorous nor terrifying, it was simply nothing. Like the quote from Epicurus, “Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.”
In all honestly I do think death can be very welcome, when your sick and/or in pain death might very well be a great relief. For this reason I am very much a proponent of Oregon’s own death with dignity option, but I am not however advocating suicide. I have seen enough suicide in my life to recognize that it can be, in many cases, selfish but this doesn’t mean that it is always. If you’ve lived a good life and have experienced the best you can that’s great, if you are truly suffering day in and day out and the act of living itself is no longer rewarding then by all means end it. We’ve got way to damn many people clogging up our streets anyway.
That is one thing I love about Oregon, the entire state makes me feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere. Even on the busiest day, in the middle of rush hour, during a record drought year Portland has nothing on LA. I lived most of my life down there, I’d know. I’ve been to a couple of other major cities both in the US and abroad and it’s the same everywhere. Perhaps it’s because Portland has such an aggressive ‘green’ attitude that sets the city apart or what’s more likely is that there just aren’t enough people here yet but so far this state is a precious gem, to me at least.
I don’t think the people born and bred in Oregon realize this truth. When I meet ‘young’ people (no older than 35 I guess) they often wonder why I left Cali or ask me if I want to go back. In fact, I know quite a few people whom I grew up with that tried to move here and couldn’t make it. Understandably, Oregon and southern California are different universes that share pretty much nothing in common. I made my final and permanent move here when I was 19 because my parents had moved here a year or two earlier and living as a single girl with no drivers license in southern Cali is possible but extremely unpleasant. It’s insanely expensive, the public transportation is stressful as hell, and it’s the loneliest crowd of people I’ve yet to encounter. I did it for a year and that was enough for me.
Enough of that though, what was my point?
That people suck and that we destroy everything we touch?
No, not for this piece at least.
This piece is how about I found out that being simple is infinitely better than being complicated, and how often times we don’t realize that until it’s too late. The simple life is happy, the less a person has to potentially stress out over the longer and more comfortable our lives will be. The capitalist system perpetuates the idea that relaxation is laziness but fuck that. Thinking, taking in, comprehending, feeling and so much more requires a relaxed mind. Relaxing doesn’t mean we’re turned off it means we want our full selves to be ready for whatever comes next. It’s like I explained in my Ed and Eddy pieces, Ed is the simple one and that’s why he’s my favorite. I know what makes him happy and I know what I should avoid doing around him.
So that is the type of life I try to emulate, a simple one. I once read about how humanity ought to focus on softening our hearts. This relates to where I started because being soft is hard, hell it can even be painful. Success, we are fed, is shown by profit but really what is the point of profit when the price is complication? It’s simple to be happy, it’s simple to find success in the life and love around us, and yes it is in fact true that at times we must work for happiness but even then we must try not to get lost in the shuffle.