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Crisis: Sic Semper Erat, et Sic Semper Erit

Recently, I was doing some immersion multiplexing, and this song come up in the background behind the Cantonese podcast I was foregrounding (it’s a very weird podcast, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you like weird things):

  • [(34) gotta get thru this (acoustic) – daniel bedingfield – YouTube]
  • [Gotta Get Thru This (song) – Wikipedia]
  • [(34) 2013-01-07《深靈對話》- 淺談量子力學與新時代概念 – YouTube]

Anyway, so, Daniel Bedingfield. “Tune!”. Right? Right? Yeah. Great song. I even had a twinge of nostalgia as I remember being in my uni flat, my college apartment, if you will, with my friends Stacey G. and Jennifer B., introducing them to that UK garage sound.

And then I remembered. This song. That time of my life…was, in many ways, not awesome at all. My life at that time was a pressure cooker, assignment to assignment, crisis to crisis. And this song, “I gotta get thru this”, rather succinctly encapsulates a sizable proportion of my daily mindset.

Nostalgia is a bag of empty lies. And so is despair. And regret? Don’t even get me started; you’d be better off licking the floor of a dive bar than believing that pile of crap — no, really — neither activity is good but the former is less damaging to your happiness, health and wealth.

There is no time that your life was all gilded perfection. Nor is there ever a time when your life was unadulterated suck. It’s all mixed up. Sic semper erat, et sic semper erit: thus has it always been, and thus shall it ever be.

Like, I loved my childhood: it was filled with laughter, friendships, fun, toys, games, horses, puppies and sublime moments of beauty and wonderment — and also utter trucking bullshizzle. Pain, humiliation, dirt, fear, failure, crowding, isolation. I would never go back to boyhood, not even for a day. And college life? There are things I wished and hoped and prayed for in vain back then that I can now make happen instantly.

By the way, “Back to Boyhood”…sounds like a pretty boss second album title for my non-existent indie emo soundcloud fusion hiphop band, Supernova Cheesecake.


Your life is always a mix of danger and opportunity, crises and ease, solved problems you’re no longer even aware of (let alone grateful for) and new problems you mistakenly think have occurred because you’re a bad person.

Problems have nothing to do with morality. (Un?)fortunately, life doesn’t work like a fairy tale. There is no meaning; there is no conclusion; there is no destiny except whatever you ascribe, accept or believe in. Bad people aren’t ugly; good people aren’t indigent; pretty people aren’t bad; indigent people aren’t villains; ugly people aren’t mean. This isn’t an ontological or epistemological conjecture; it’s just a plain statement of fact.

What I’m trying to say is, there is literally no convenient sorting. There is no narrative. We sometimes wish there were, and (in moments of psychological immaturity) we occasionally fear there might be, but there ain’t any. It’s not there. It’s all mixed up. Everything is mixed up. But you get to sort it out, and you get to improve.

You’re not having problems because you are or were bad or dumb or unlucky or untalented or wasteful; that’s fairy tale logic and you are no toddler; you’re having problems because that’s what people who are alive have. They’re just fun little sprint missions for you to do, little challenges. You solve, you unlock the badge, then new ones come up. Just a little something for you play at. A puzzle. A brain teaser. A bone to gnaw at.

And it may seem like your challenges suck balls and everybody else has easier ones. But, as that saying goes, if we all put all of our problems in a bag and got to trade them wholesale (full set, no mix-and-matchsies) with other people, you would ask for all of yours back.

You have just the right problems you need to chew on, to grow with, to enjoy. You really do. What about people who have no Internet and no electricity? Well, they’re not reading this, so chill. This is about you.

Play an old song, and think back to what you were worried about 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago. It makes you laugh, it’s so trivial. Realize that, 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now, you’ll be saying the same thing. This is why grandparents are so chill. They knew. They know.  Your crisis, whatever it is, is like a jump-scare in a horror movie: it’s meant to entertain you, not terrify you, build you, not destroy you. Scare you for laughs, not scar you for life. For play, not for punishment. Yeah, even this current one that looks all big and bad. They’re all like that. Sometimes we’re a little slow on the uptake, and it takes us a while to get the joke. But the sooner we do, the better. We don’t have to be slow forever. We can all become quick studies.

Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your immersion. Enjoy your SRS. Remember the one true secret to happiness, productivity and sanity: live fully, completely and totally in the moment. Life isn’t a movie or a novel; you’re not a character; there is no narrative thread, just an infinite matrix of infinite options and possibilities. Drink it all in. It’s all part of the non-story that isn’t happening. Same game, new skin.

Outro: [(34) Ophélie Winter – Le Feu Qui M’Attise – YouTube]

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