Tempered

Marcus Aurelius – The Philosopher Emperor.

For all of my strengths and weaknesses, there is none I value more than my temperance.

Life has a habit of taking away as much as it provides. I experienced such a transaction rather cruelly on Monday straight after the huge highs of Formula 1.

I won’t go into the details, but needless to say, it was of great personal cost, and involved the loss of personal property of which I have come to define a lot of my personality around.

Even now, as I am reliving the memory, I can’t help but sense a strange, surreal hollowness around it all. I know I am capable of processing huge emotional loads, but to continue working and be professional about it all, is surprising even for me.

I like to think that I am a very coldly angry person all the time. Some would call it passionate, but in reality, I know that I’m just venting excess emotion all the time.

To maintain a certain “calm”, I’m constantly fighting emotional build-up and letting it loose occasionally through things I like to talk about or my passions. I seem animated all the time, because I like create a controllable storm, so that my centre is calm, like the eye of an hurricane.

I think that is what has enabled me to move on so quickly, from losing something so precious to me. The years I’ve spent collecting, the money I’ve wasted on these items … they’ve been removed from my grasp in less than a hour. There’s nothing I can do to get them back, nothing I can control or really do.

There isn’t even the option of emotional catharsis through revenge.

It didn’t help that, ever since that day, there has been a slew of small shittiness that has marred every day of this cursed week.

Forgetting birthday presents, buying the wrong wedding card (it’s meant to be Mr. & Mrs., not Mr. & Mr.), book price stickers ripping off pieces of the book cover, struggles to find parking, travelling further than necessary because idiots forgot to tell me about a change in time to the rendezvous and dealing with irate customers at work … it seems that all my good karma has left and it is time to repent.

All of which I’ve deal with a cold, dispassionate amusement at how Lady Luck has seemingly abandoned me.

In these trying times, all I can do is really grasp a hold of my emotional state and try to wrestle it into a manageable state, which oddly, only took an hour after the incident, because I immediately entered a meeting for a project I was working on soon after, without any emotional outbursts.

That said, I am somewhat still reeling from the emotional whiplash I experienced in an 24 hour cycle. To come from such a high, then plummet down to such a low, is something I haven’t really been tested on before.

I can still see the after-effects of it all. I’m still sad, mourning the loss of them and I can see how my muscle memory is missing the feel of them. My usual energy is dampened somewhat, and I can definitely tell that I think too much about the question “How are you?” and struggle to answer it with my usual sarcastic attitude.

My bravado and cockiness has been taken down a peg.

96 Hours of high energy.

96 Hours of low energy.

That has been the week characterised for me so far. Incredible good luck, followed by calamitous misfortune.

Life giveth and life taketh.

Equilibrium.

Isn’t it amusing how philosophical one becomes after a great victory and loss?

I still hate philosophy, but I can’t deny that my personal unshakable belief in equilibrium is probably what allows me to move on quickly from sentiment and big emotional shocks.

The very next day, I was binning all useless items related to my hobby and collection, trashing a lot of stuff that have now become irrelevant without the key components.

In a lot of ways, I guess that speaks a lot about my ruthless and unsentimental nature. The moment something becomes useless, I bin it without hesitation. I retain a strong memory, but it is emotionally void, a black hole in which I don’t try to romanticise or look too fondly on them.

It happened, move on and find something else.

Don’t repeat the mistakes that led up to this moment and explore new ways to engage in the hobby or simply … drop it altogether.

I will say, that a psychologist would find me strange, mixing a somewhat spiritual belief in “balance”, with a cold professional pragmatism to every variant of sentiment and a ruthless attitude to emotional imbalance.

But that is how I deal with life for all its up and down. It is no secret that I ruthlessly purge my social media of extraneous friendships, because I like to know that the people I see, are people worthy of my time and investment.

Friends, like any relationship, need time, effort and money to last. Otherwise, they just become acquaintances.

It is that attitude that drives so much of my emotional control. The moment something becomes no longer worthy of time, effort and money, why hang onto it? Dismiss and move on.

Life is too short to get depressed over loss.

There are a lot of reason why I don’t have a lot of emotional baggage compared to everyone else I know. I just jettison a lot stuff in general. Rubbish can clutter the mind just as quickly as stress, if you aren’t careful.

I like to think that I empty my “trash can” quickly and efficiently before it builds up in my mind.

And in the case of this loss, I’ve purged it rather quickly, to ensure that I can still function in society and life, without any real detriment to my health.

Is it psychotic to think this way?

Perhaps there is a bit of that. I wonder if I am too quick to process difficult emotions, too emotionally detached, but then I always remember how my body language acts up around things I enjoy; how my heart-rate speeds up around exotic machines, or how the hairs on my arms stand up at the melody of a haunting song.

And I’m reassured that I am still capable of being moved, feeling and experiencing all the highs and lows of life.

I’m just quick to slam the visor down, and focus on my personal race, and ignore all the elements that don’t matter.

It’s hasn’t even been a year since I last experienced something relatively shocking. I wonder how many people would bounce back the way I have? Sometimes, even I have to question whether I’ve dealt with everything properly.

I do want to apologise for being mysterious. A lot of people read this blog and will be wondering what the hell I am talking about. What was taken from me? Why am I in such a state over the loss?

If you desire more context, I will simply say, it is a private matter, but is related to one my key interests and there is quite a lot of furore over them.

How much of a furore, remains to be seen, as of the writing of this post.

I may have had absolutely rotten misfortune in the past 96 hours, but I doubt the venerable goddess known as Lady Luck has abandoned me completely.

Even in time of crises, I know she’s always helped me escape with relative ease, even if I get a little singed in the process.

After all, life is a constant balance. Sooner or later, things will be fine again and I’ll be mourning the lack of excitement in my life once more.

It’s just a shame that the wonderful memory of my first volunteer gig Formula 1 is now bittersweet.

The happiness of your life, depends upon the quality of your thoughts. – Marcus Aurelius.

Good thing I don’t have that many in a day.

I hear you can lose yourself from overthinking.

~ Damocles.

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