Last week, in the world of pop culture, people invested an enormous amount of time in a picture; a picture of a dress that plays games with your mind due the way the brain processes color. The dress sparked animated debates, destroyed relationships and, for all I know, caused millions of support groups to form around the world. When things get messy, as the world is right now, it’s a lot easier to focus on the trivial. Everyone deserves a break from doing mental gymnastics and trying to make sense of the senseless. The world is not the nicest of places to be with its wars, starvation, disease, poverty and loss. Sometimes, all a person can do is look for a mindless distraction. I managed to avoid the all-consuming dress debate. My contribution was a Jules Winnfield meme because the world needs more Jules Winnfield. I may have also grumbled a bit about hypothetical kids on my hypothetical lawn.
The picture that caught my attention went largely unnoticed by the masses. It was taken by Miss Kitten as she went about her day to day life, spreading the joys of English throughout Sweden. Miss Kitten posted this picture and titled it “The Big Bewildered Bunny of Borås.” Instantaneously, I had a connection to the bunny. The bunny’s expression is captivating. So captivating that some of us started wondering why the bunny looks the way he does. Being the diagnostician that I am, I wanted to know if the bunny had a backstory (after research, it does but it’s not relevant to my perspective so I’m going to do what I do with shit like that – largely ignore it). Miss Kitten said she did not know (we both did agree that the bunny is a boy) and suggested that I create my own. Heh. Challenge accepted.
My theory: The Big Bewildered Bunny of Borås was likely a completely normal, well-adjusted bunny who was plopped into position in the park and was denied the opportunity of running away from the scary and freaky that is humankind. The years of exposure to the shitshow that is humanity has made the bunny not jaded but exceptionally exhausted and, well, bewildered.
And what evidence do I have to support this, you ask? In the spirit of full disclosure, I have yet to visit Borås. Usually, we just drive by it on our way to somewhere else. From what I know of Borås, it’s not overflowing with unusual people. It’s not globally renown for being a freak show. Borås doesn’t have to have a reputation as such to cause a bunny to become hopeless or confused, though. Wherever there are people; there will be weird. That is a fact. The same could be said of disappointment. And for those inclined to sport the rose colored glasses, I will even acquiesce and say there may be love or optimism. Essentially, there is a whole lot of shit, the bunny has seen it all and now the bunny needs a stiff drink, a big hug and (potentially) some reassurance that things are going to be ok.
I understand the bunny with his confused expression and wonky ears. I know the bunny’s struggle. I’m the Short Bewildered Bunny of North Raleigh.
Life, as I know it, currently makes no fucking sense at all. For three weeks, I have been walking around with a similar expression (my ears are smaller and not pointy, however) and in, presumably, a similar mental fog. All that I knew to be real and valid disappeared within the course of an hour. The bits and pieces are now mine to reassemble and, because life is just a funny, little prankster, I have no user manual. Furthermore, tech support is closed. My existence is now akin to the experience of putting together Ikea furniture; largely frustrating, lacking the necessary tools yet potentially fruitful so long as I keep myself from going completely barking mad in the process. Sincerely, it has not been a good month (never cared much for February with its assholian Valentine’s Day, its dreary weather and complete inability to decide how many days it wants). I may be smiling on the outside but on the inside…not so much. And for a person like me, lacking in goals is one thing but I have always had some sort of forward momentum. Now, not only do I not have forward momentum, I find myself regressing – moving backwards on the happiness scale, making blunder upon blunder, committing offense after offense. It’s a shame spiral of epic proportions and, as usual, the harder I try to stop the madness, the more mad the madness becomes. The mess. It. Is. Everywhere. :lowers head in shame:
Feeling unsettled and discombobulated has never suited me. Some people are more adept at managing these feelings and life in a state of flux. I am not one of those people. I need a certain amount of structure and order to foster a sense of emotional security and balance. I don’t object to confusion, in general, because it is my muse. I do mind when confusion is consuming, though. I especially detest it when I cannot identify the source or the solution. It becomes far too distracting and deprives me of joy. It causes me to do peculiar things like falling into silence and becoming a passive participant in life. My ability to make smart decisions lessens so I opt for making no decisions at all. I don’t recommend this particular approach if you’re an adult with a job or a child or any sense of responsibility. People may find that disappointing or frustrating. Also, the outcomes are subpar.
But the worst part of this all-consuming bewilderment is the toll it has taken on my psyche. I can think of dozens if instances as of late when I did not know what was going on in my heart, head or gut. I can also recall, clear as day, the times where instead of speaking, I stood mute, literally paralyzed by fear or confusion with words in my brain begging to be set free yet the body unwilling to cooperate. Instead of opening up, I shut down. The dreaded blank stare that frustrates my father so very much has made way too many appearances on my moon face. The catalyst behind the mess has triggered a shift from “This is who I am” to “Who am I, again?” Alternatively, “Why?” It makes me add another row of bricks to my wall that protects me from the outside world; the wall I work so very hard at knocking down so connections can be made with others as opposed to making connections with large sculptural bunnies who aren’t necessarily bewildered, they’re just looking for love (the actual name for the sculpture is Mate Hunting). Wait a minute – love is bewildering. Go on with your bad self, bunny friend.
Last week, before the snow that ate Raleigh arrived, I was at the store (of course) and was invited to go fuck myself by a very charming man in front of the shredded cheese. The invitation was offered out of the blue as I was just standing there. *POOF* In an instance where my forked tongue would be quick to issue a takedown, nothing happened but a smile. But I did walk away with a very confused expression and some concern for the shredded cheese. The man was boorish. I was unsettled. I cannot imagine how the poor shredded cheese must have felt. Think of what he must have said to it knowing shredded cheese was entirely incapable of defending itself. All that said, my response to the charming man was atypical for me. I do not smile and walk away from things like that. If anything, I leave entrails on the floor but I do it in a sweet, endearing fashion befitting the lady I was raised to be and the mother I have become. Yet, this very morning, the forked tongue rears its head in a playful manner and slices someone in half. Someone who, quite likely, had no idea I was joking and certainly doesn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of any negativity from me. :lowers head in shame further and tries to lodge it up ass:
After the three week ago incident, I promised myself several things. I promised that I would be kind to myself (whatever the fuck that means). I promised that I would be patient with those around me and myself. I promised that I would make no decisions in an emotional state. I promised myself the luxury of emoting when I felt like it and not emoting if I didn’t. I reassured myself that it was ok to be confused, sad and bewildered; to be lacking in the answers department. Then, I made what I felt to be the most important promise of all: my shit would not bleed on to others. I may be going through some confusing and trying times but these problems and issues are mine and mine alone. Others will not pay the price for my sadness, anger or confusion. Until this morning, I was doing pretty well, too.
So, where does one go from here? How does one un-bewilder herself, right the wrongs, find her path back to whatever her version of normal is? Should I make a pilgrimage to Borås and leave an offering of sculptural carrots at the feet of the Big Bewildered Bunny? Is it time to run away with Milkface and join the circus (No)?
I do not know.
For the past three weeks, that’s been the way I have been answering most questions because I’m an honest lass (to a fault). I do not know.
What I know is that I feel awful. I feel lost, confused, bewildered, baffled and an aching desire to hide under the blankets where I can daydream about pleasant things. I know my boss was right when she told me to take the afternoon off and do something nice for myself. I know that my friends are right when they offer me encouragement and help make my life easier with their general awesomeness. I know that wisdom lies in surprising places. My amazing five year old reminded me of that on assholian Valentine’s Day when I was feeling unusually low. I also know that I have survived worse upsets than this and in the end, we’re all ending up where we’re supposed to be.
Lastly, my next visit to Swedenland will definitely include a stop in Borås. I’m not a fan of the selfie. There are actually very few pictures of me in human form (octopus form – totally different story). I will, however, take a picture of myself with the Big Bewildered Bunny of Borås. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be a little less bewildered and help bunny feel the same.