I admire youth. It is a wonderful treasure to have since there is nothing you did to have it, and nothing you can do to retain it. You have it when you have it, then it's gone. But youth is also an awful curse since you are cast into a spell of hope, which is often viewed as a bless, the last straw Gods put into the Pandora's box so to save human from drowning from the evil of chance (but can also be viewed as an evil. go figure.)

    It's admirable to quote classics and such so support a view you have as if these classics add much credibility and value to your opinion. Yet, I would have to argue that the same statement made by these 老男人 on this show bears sophistication that the junior speaker in his 30s is unlikely to follow and understand — it's cruel (and amusing) to watch the tease, but fundamentally I feel sad that myself has reached the age to appreciate these remarks, and found life and people to be such a messy business that they have lost all the halo of glory — it used to be that people are genuinely good and occasionally bad. No. People are genuinely practical and self-important, and accidentally considerate. That's just, that.

    Love, expectation

    I often look at Noah and wonder whether he is an odd case of growing up in a slower pace than my expectation (or my unconscious reference to other kids at this age whom I don't know much about but have drawn an irresponsible conclusion that they behave better or on par to what this age should be. How ridiculous is this statement if I'm looking at myself from a third-party view! So even as much as I'd like to take pride of my reasoning and logical thoughts, I myself fall as victim of being thoroughly irrational, unreasonable, and unfair, to Noah's case at least. So what credit do I have to criticize or comment on others!?). But the truth is, I was acting just like him when I was at this age, and I know too well how he is enjoying being viewed as a little kid spoiled by mom and being the center of attention. He doesn't recognize this, but the feeling is too good to be passed by. And yet, if he is to follow the path I have come along, I know what pitfall he is to have, and how eventually he is to understand of himself (as I think I do of him at this moment) what he is really doing.

    After all, I believe nowadyas that everyone is living off an image himself or herself is projecting — thus the happiness of being in love is really that you are in love with the projected self who is a state of love, that you are being kind, being generous, being the center of a person's universe, and being appreciated for whatever you do as all intentions are being interpreted in a positive way. Of course, then the projected image does not fade, but the diff between this image and day-to-day actions will start to manifest, therefore fostering disappointment and frustration.

    A theory on frustration

    Talking about frustration, I was thinking about this yesterday, and it suddenly occurred to me, that the source of frustration isn't what you expectation isn't satisfied. You could very well expect a thing with your heart and soul, but it doesn't frustrate you a bit if you never feel in a position of having the slightest control of the outcome! Think about buying a lottery ticket, I don't think it's a frustrating experience at all when you lose. The fact that you already know your chance of winning is slim doesn't cancel your secret prayer of winning at all. If we take one step further, frustration is really caused when you think (I know, you think) you know how the situation can be better but turn out not to be! If you ever think you have put into effort of winning that lottery thus having a level of control of it, well, you will be frustrated.

    So whenever I feel the frustration towards Noah, it is really rooted in my belief that he could have done better, and he is in the position to make the outcome better. But doesn't it mean that eliminating this belief equals to giving it up — that nothing he could have done, so be it? This sounds not only discouraging, but impractical to execute. One can't give up all level of control; otherwise, one would have been paralyzed to walk in life since daily life consists of millions of decisions one has to make, and the sheer mechanism of making a decision consists of nothing but some sort of confidence/judgement of being in control. Therefore, it is only possible to assume that he is executing with a level of control — thus, I was right to feel frustrated (whenever he forgot his stuff in school, like on the 2nd day of a new semester, and out of the pile of Lost & Found in Wiley at the end of 2017 winter semester, he found two jackets, one sweater — it was just sad sad sad!) Now I guess the question becomes whether I should have assumed him having the control over the things he is not performing well!? That I don't know. It can be easily blanketed by the term of expectation — no expectation, no frustration — and yet, the only possibility of no expectation is when you don't care about it anymore.

    This is a long iteration towards such a conclusion which have always been obvious. Couples quarrel when they still care to resolve the difference; indifference to each other is a death sentence to a relationship. However, if this logic is sound, it means frustration is a logical outcome of a relationship! This sounds terrible! Isn't that any relationship is then inherently cursed? the cliché, of course, is that the two need to learn to resolve this.

    But this statement implies that frustration is bad, is a problem, is hampering the health of love. What if we recognize frustration (and same for other emotions, eg. anger, sadness, and so on) in a neutral light that it is just part of human emotions, it exists so to express a particular feeling, like a noun describing this is a cat and that is a dog. There is nothing bad about it, just one emotion you develop in a natural course, and need to learn to use in its context!

    But what does this mean!? Is frustration then an emotional syntax when I want to convey this feeling to the other person so she can understand what my feeling is? It feels that way. But it also always ties to a pointer of criticism that makes the other person hurt. Because we have said that frustration comes from assumption that one can control the outcome better. Well, the one is either yourself, or the other person, isn't it!? If yourself is in the driver seat, it's up to you to make it better (but it didn't), so you hate yourself; in most cases, it's the other one you feel could have done better, thus this logically leads criticism. There is a third option, that the other one is some God, and this is nothing but saying "Nah, no one has really the control", thus leading to fatalism I believe.

    Therefore, the only non-frustrating relation one can have is that one party is taken as completly incapable! A pet, a toddler, or what men used to view women in an inferior fashion (but this is just wrong!).... hmmm, interesting.

    — by Feng Xia


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