Growing up, life was an intense experience. For starters, my family was quarrelsome and disagreeable — and I didn’t like the provided cuisine, relying mostly on junk food for my calories. In addition to that, my senses tended to be overwhelmed. Most forms of excitement were too much, I was repulsed by thrill rides and scary movies, I didn’t like driving cars or going fast. With people, I remained distant, interacting with as few as possible. And because of the intensity, I complained a lot and often wondered why I was in such a strange and unpleasant world.
Today, I interact with less people than I ever did, I live in a quieter place and avoid crowds, I rarely drive and stay off highways, I dislike heights and airplanes, but I did develop a taste for a wider variety of wholesome foods. I still pick out bad smells and avoid excitement-based entertainment, preferring more lighthearted fare. I do keep up with current events, which is a source of frustration, but for whatever reason I’m drawn to it like flies to poop. In many ways my surroundings adjusted to my preferences, but my attitude is much more accepting of life, more relaxed, and I complain less.
The way I deal with life’s intensity nowadays is to think of things less seriously. Instead of accepting my pessimistic thoughts and predictions of dire consequences, I reject them — life does what it does despite my worry, so I gave up worrying. I’m still cautious, but not afraid. I also acknowledge my lack of control over life. And instead of focusing on the worst aspects of the world, I now look towards the things I enjoy.
I still see the world as strange, filled with many unpleasantries, and I don’t absolutely adore life, but there’s aspects I do love and appreciate. That’s like any relationship, no? And so I’ve made my peace with life, we’re a family and we have to make the best of our situation. At times I had rejected life, wanting nothing more to do with it, but I always came back, ready to start fresh. Now I’m a bit sentimental about life, wanting to defend it from detractors, especially from my own negativity. And so it is, me and life, a tenuous relationship strengthened through adversity.