THE LEVITY COMPLEX

“Ma’am, you have a problem…a serious problem…”

 

Yes yes, and ain’t it grand?

 

My only real problem–and yes I do acknowledge that this is a problem, not a trait to boast of as if it were a dark battle scar which adds a touch of strength and pride to my appearance–is that I don’t take things seriously. I really believe, for the most part, that life is something to be laughed at because the vast majority of the aspects of living are simply and marvelously hilarious. My reaction to most things is a laugh of some sort; a throaty belly laugh, a good-natured chuckle, an evil cackle, a snorting scoff, a tittering giggle (though I rarely achieve this level of absurdity,) and most common, a bubbling chortle at something insane, something perfectly lovely and insane, likely at my own expense. These laughs fall from my lips like sparkling champagne into a silver chalice, gently but insistently, wetly and prettily, causing great joy to those around me, excluding, of course, religious men who detest drinking and/or fun in general.

 

Back to my problem, while I realize that not taking things seriously is not necessarily a good thing, it’s also not necessarily a bad thing. It’s something that I’ve grown to realize will never change about me, not with age or maturity or life experience, not with pain or sadness or bitterness, and certainly not at the urging of others such as my straight-laced and straight-faced parents. It’s simply how I am, and I can either learn to love it or despise it, and so I choose the former. Likewise, I choose to except others as they are, whether I enjoy their company or not, because nothing I can do will ever make those around me statues of gold with clothes of velvet and jewelry of lapis lazuli, though that would be lovely since some of them I wouldn’t mind selling for a decent price, at least enough to refill my Starbucks cards with. People are ever-changing, but also to a certain extent static and set in their ways. I’m thankful only for the chance to experience maybe different kinds of people, and most importantly of all, to experience myself and my many facets.

 

***

 

A complex, speaking like a psychologist, would be considered any amount of ideas or habits which together compose a pattern of thinking and behaving, usually abnormal in some way. For example, the Oedipus complex occurs in young boys during Freud’s phallic psychosexual stage, and is characterized by the boy’s sexual desire for his mother and subsequent murderous hate of his father. The definition of levity is, according to dictionary.com, “lightness of mind, character, or behavior; lack of appropriate seriousness or earnestness.” So using these two ideas, I’ve created a bigger idea that intrigues me greatly–the idea that too much joviality and light-heartedness can, for some more “mature” people, be considered a disorder. As if those of us who laugh too much and wish to become standup comics are nearly neurotic, perhaps compulsively immature or juvenile. Those of us whose main goal in life is simply, but never frivolously, to have fun are no more than big children who need to “grow up.” This idea has been a running theme in my life, and I often stop to ask myself why I’m doing something when I can feel the tiny muscles at the corners of my mouth tugging downward. Is it because this action, whatever it may be, is expected of me. Is this something I must do to be considered an adult? Because if it gives me no enjoyment I can see no good reason why I would be participating in such a task. But as we are all aware, there are some things in life that we just can’t avoid, and which we dislike, which is precisely why it is our duty to make things enjoyable. Simple as that, my friend.

 

So am I nuts? Do I write as though I’m a screaming piddling child on a sugar rush? Occasionally I feel this way, but I highly doubt I’ll ever return to my actual dynamics of childhood again in this lifetime. Though I consider myself a grown-up, I also don’t. But nevertheless, I feel like an adult inside. I think like an adult. I make good decisions which are not always pleasant, and I know exactly who I am and who I want to be, and what I want and how to get it, and where I’m going and how to get there. The only things missing from my full maturity–that thing which my parents are apparently waiting to see in me before treating me with any semblance of respect and that thing which I know, or hope, will never arrive–is seriousness. Not wanting to laugh at absolutely everything. Not wanting to make fun of myself by wearing my graduation cap in public and posting that I would like to eat my own arm just to test how I taste on Facebook. Not dreaming of playing drums in a band one day, and not telling people I love them and kissing them on the lips just to watch their reaction. If giving up these things means becoming an adult, than I’m sorry, but I might as well start wearing dypers again. I wonder how wearing dypers feels.

 

So the name of this blog was sparked by this interesting idea. The fact that if you’re too silly, you’re not a grown-up no matter how mature you feel. The misconception that maturity and silliness are mutually exclusive traits. Can’t we be adults who giggle for no reason? I realize that the majurity of 21 year olds who laugh at everything are, indeed, not mature, but I think I am. I think I know where my life is headed, and I think I’m grounded without being bolted to the floor. I think I have a healthy sense of self as well as a healthy sense of humor, and isn’t that okay?

 

 

“Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence: on the contrary. He told us to be not only ‘as harmless as doves’, but also ‘as wise as serpents’. He wants a child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head. He wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim.”   –C.S. LEWIS

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