A case of 'Truman Show' delusion


You may have noticed that it hasn't been quite as active around here as it was when I first started this blog. Back in those days, I was still riding the "high" of childbirth and the hours of sleep deprivation hadn't caught up to me. I was also then (and still am now) only functioning on half a brain. The other half is still tightly clenched in my son's little fist - a souvenir on his way out the womb. Apparently he won't have the coordination or understanding to let go for another 9 months. Awesome. Anyway, for a little while, my body hadn't processed all that and the nerves were still firing. I was like a headless chicken, but not as frantic. I had loads of thoughts and the excitement to match. Now, I still have lots of thoughts but not too much energy for much more than that. The adrenalin has coursed throughout my muscle tissue and now this bird is all but lifeless.

Just because I haven't posted with the same frequency of when I started, doesn't mean I haven't been writing though. I've got plenty of half-finished pieces - most of which are tripe and some that just need a bit of refining. What's really got me jammed up though, is that I've been experiencing this crazy coincidence lately. And it's been occurring too often to be ignored so now, I feel the need to address the issue. What's been happening is many times when I am working on something, the same topic appears before/during/after somewhere else. Examples? OK. A couple of weeks ago when I was questioning whether it was worth blogging if no one was reading, another blogger I follow wrote about giving up on his writing. On the same. exact. day. This other time, when I was working on a piece about the C&O Canal, I found out an old friend from high school had just gotten engaged there a few days earlier. Then right before hitting "Publish" on the follow-up to post-baby exercise, the New York Times featured this article on the body of a pregnant runner. It happened again twice this past week: once when I was composing a ditty on breastfeeding and the second time while finishing a whiny piece on returning to work. Turns out World Breastfeeding Week just ended yesterday (damn! that ship sailed) and another one of the bloggers I regularly follow recently addressed some of my thoughts on the SAHM issue. OK, so maybe they're not that huge of coincidences, but they make, like, five times too many that this kind of thing has happened. It begs the question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I hesitated in sending something out into the Great Beyond for fear that I'd come off as some Johnny-come-lately or worse, a copy-cat. But then I thought, Just because someone has already said a thing, doesn't mean it can be told again from a different perspective. I have my own sensibility to offer, right? I can't remember who it was it that once said, Adam was the only guy lucky enough to have said something good and could confidently boast that he was the first to say it. Anyway, that's part of what's great about social media and these interwebs: we don't feel so isolated, there's a whole slew of people who have "been there done that". It got me thinking, none the less and I've come up with a couple of possible explanations for the recent parallels:

1) I'm just SO influential, SUCH a trend-setter, that when I write about something, it's SO inspiring that everyone else hurrying to write about it (sometimes beating me to the finished product too, goddamnit). After some googling though, I've discovered that there's actually a psychological condition referred to as the Truman Syndrom, a term which was inspired by the critically successful Jim Carey film. In such cases, psychologists found patients believed their lives were staged plays or reality television shows. They were convinced that they're the stars of their own, unwanted television programs; the center of a fictional world. Now that blogging has become as ubiquitous and trendy as reality TV was in the early 2000's, these grandiose delusions are extending into the Internet. Despite the initial temptation to self-diagnose, I decided that I'm not crazy and that this can't possibly the reason for the recent deja vu. Next!

2)  My connection with the universe is oddly in sync because whatever has been on my mind has also been on the mind of others. My oneness with the cosmos is so integral that I can sense on subconscious levels.  In this case, someone merely thinks a thought and I can hear it. Being a twin - and everyone knows that twins have that whole extrasensory perception thing going on (cue the creepy circus music) - I naturally have this sensitivity. Thanks to my genetic endowment, it's quite probable that this is what I've been experiencing, but just for shits and giggles let's just explore one more option...

3) It could be something known as the cocktail party effect, which is basically (another) psychological phenomenon of being able to focus your attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, much the same way that a partygoer can hear their name called in a noisy room. Selective attention, if you will. So, in other words, the information is always present but only noticed by you when it's at the forefront of your mind. Rationally, this makes the most sense and is the least egocentric so I'm going with this one.

Most likely it's all just a coincidence and I should stop reading into things and leave it alone. Now that it's off my chest, I can move on. Thanks for indulging my ramblings. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.


Amy@eatsleepdecorate said...

HA! I love it! You are such a TREND setter girl! You can write about whatever you want...just write and don't think about what others will say. Love reading your ramblings! Have a great weekend!

Katie F said...

Don't worry if someone out there has said something similar - we read this blog to get YOUR perspective on things! Keep going - I'm really loving reading the blog :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ladies! So glad to hear you're enjoying and you're both right, I should stop worrying about dancing like everyone is watching and write like no one is reading... or something like that.


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