Chapter 9: Obsession as a Perception of Love
I used to use loneliness as an excuse.
In all my years as a harem anime fanatic, it never occurred to me how unsettling the displays of love really were. I think in my joy of the shows, and the pretty characters breaking down the actions and the story never occurred to me. Until I started to experience more of life and understood how love is. I still struggle to express what love is and capture its essence. There are so many stories, poems, movies, and visual artists expressing love, but I've come to notice something curious about it. Love is really not the same from person to person. It changes and is expressed in different ways. I came to define love as being a spectrum, forever fluctuating and expanding. Still, in all it’s whimsical and poetic forms, love can be confused or mislabeled as a concept. Love can be used to lie, to hide, and to abuse, but here’s the thing... when used like that it’s not love anymore.
I’ve dated and been in one “labeled” relationship before. I’ve loved, as well as a poetic goddess can and then some. Love is not something I think truly fades, but I also think it’s not something easily acquired. The mislabeling of love I am familiar with, unfortunately. Which brings me to today’s musings about obsession. It’s often in our cinematic views and Hollywood inspired daydreams that we mislabel obsession with the word love. It’s pretty easy too, with how liberal we share our lives in various formats. I’m no stranger to social media, in fact, I’ve meme spammed all my friends, and even post frequently when I’m in a good mood. The joke is I’m the Kim Possible, of finding out information for a friend. When a friend is troubled I’m flipping and sneaking my way to acquire the information required. This is my Kekkei Genkai. My secret power. The unusual display of millennial loyalty.
There is a problem though, one I came to realize hitting the end of summer in 2017. It’s easy to obsess and call it love or infatuation. To check up on someone’s social media, to scroll through pictures, and to desire that person through the false intimacy that is social media. You see their lives, you see their posts, and you feel like you are still a part of their world. You're not Jasmine and Aladdin, from Disney's adaptation of the story. You might begin to craft a story based on all you have seen and put together a puzzle that was never really necessary for you to put together. Social media isn't a case for you to solve Sherlock, I'm sorry. In the same medium hitting a like button or viewing a story doesn’t make you a friend. You offer support, and you can enjoy the aesthetic of a person but moving past that requires effort, conversation, and active contribution to the social aspects of things. It’s the same thing for love. It takes work, commitment and a slew of other things.Often once a relationship ends, you check back in, or if you don't do your own snooping you ask your friend to do it for you. That's when the spam of screenshots starts piling up. Revisiting old pictures, see how their life is going, searching for ways back in or a reason within their social media for why you should be together again or why you aren't. Facebook and Instagram are good for keeping tabs. I'm not a stranger to its uses for that. However, those platforms are dangerous that way. It takes voyeurism to levels of a subconscious habit that leads to obsession. One like of a post does no harm right? Nah, it lets them know you are still wishing to interact with them, care, or simply want you to notice them. Seems like a i'm diving off the end of crazy right, like I am thinking about social media a little deeply. I'm not. I'm looking at it correctly, at least through the lens of emotional safety. Whether you are the person who checks up on their love interest or worried about someone you know doing the same to you consider removing, unfollowing, or blocking that ex. Ask yourself why you have them there. Did you promise friendship, knowing that like flowers your contact would die down to liking a post once in a blue moon? Examine why you need to see this person's life, despite the hurt or nature of your failed relationship. Ask if interacting on social media is healthy for what you label love or infatuation. Ask if keeping them there is worth your energy
It's not easy, despite it quickness to end, to remove yourself out of someone's life so thoroughly. Especially with the ease we share and socialize on social media. It confuses signals and relationships. Hiding the truth of things, under the crafted personas we exhibit through them. Obsession is scary, and dealing with it or having it can take away from the moments in your life that truly matter. In Ambiguous Anthology, the podcast I co-host with my best friend, we said 2018 was the year of the block button. I personally need to take that lifestyle more seriously, The emotional harm that i put myself through with ex-relationships, and friends for the sake of social pretenses is a waste of my Goddess energy. As we or you might come to know I have a limited amount of that despite its infinite uses in my life. Politeness is no longer an excuse I will use in social media, especially since it's my brand, my market, my soul, and my exposure. I don't want to share it with a colonizing five pump chump, I want to share it with people I care about and support equally. I want to express myself to people I think value that expression in a safe and meaningful way.
The delete button is a lifestyle get hip, Empress Jade your secret Kim Possible.
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