Sunday, 7 August 2016

Marilyn and Kurt

“Ever notice that ‘What the hell’ is always the right decision?” - Marilyn Monroe

I like that quote. It speaks of a willingness to take risk, to live life fully. It speaks of a certain solipsistic approach to life, one she certainly live, where she seems to not care about the thoughts of others, yet deeply cares about them underneath it all. Note that she poses this as a question, as if to seek the approval of the questioner, to have someone confirm that her recklessness is appropriate and acceptable.

In many ways Marilyn, born  Norma Jeane Mortenson in 1926, represents a lot of what I am dealing with these days. At the surface, I fight to live my own life, fight to do that which I think is best for me, while underneath it all I have this constant insecurity, seeking the approval of others, if not for my actions then at least for my intent. And, oddly enough, just as she ended her life early with a drug overdose...

The other phrase that runs constantly through everything I do is "Why bother?" The most famous user of that quote, in my mind, is Kurt Vonnegut, the famous American writer of Slaughterhouse Five. Vonnegut goes on with this quote to offer an explanation of why you should bother, even if you don't want to. Sans explanatory notes, I often think that. Why bother?

This morning was a great example. I went to bed a midnight last night, finally took a sleeping pill at around 1:00 AM, and slept until about 11:00 AM. When I woke up, I did not get up. Why bother? There was no compelling reason. I lay in bed until about 3:00 PM. When I finally did get up, I didn't bother with pants. Why bother? Except that my daughter will be here at 5:00 PM and I am pretty sure she would prefer to see me in pants.

"What the hell?" "Why bother?" Both questions which speak to motivation, a reason for going things. Sometimes you do things because you just can't think of a good reason not to, or even if you could, you don't really care. Sometimes you don't do things because the effort and outcome just don't seem like a fair exchange. Neither is a good answer, yet both are regularly the only answer I have for almost everything I do in my life. It's kind of sad, really.

1 comment:

  1. Because you have to be the exception. And you've also been the exception with this blog, so you have to bother so that you conquer. Who's to say this may be as good as it gets, therefore as bad as it gets, or that it may indeed get better. Who's to say? If you're the exception, you got to go with it.