What a Breakup with Neuroscience Exposed About Human Nature

Three years in—it’s over. I was so excited when I was accepted into a neuroscience program, it was like the beginning of a new relationship with a hot guy who turned out to be nothing that he seemed to be. There’s a college story for ya from back in the day.

Think about this: does it make sense to burn 90% of your time and energy dissecting the problem and 10% of your time and energy actually living your life?

I sat across the table having Thai with a Gemini one day and admitted my foibles with psychology and neuroscience. He told me that his father went into psychology for the same reason I did, to examine the aftermath of traumatic experience. Failing to stay in my program due to falling behind in math saved my lucky ass. Spending years of your life lured into a mirror world of whatever predicament the monsters of your life chased you into and staying there is no way to live. A quote from Nietzsche came to mind: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”

I’ve spent too much of my life reading self-help, psychological bla bla, and listening to seminars about problems. I’ve even championed the cause as a career, unwittingly getting into project management because controlling variables was a part of the old game I was once familiar with.

Don’t do what I did, kids. Happy, well-off people do not sit around on their asses in their wingback reading chairs devoted to studying problems. They live life. They grab a surfboard and go off into the sunset every chance they get. They love the happy stuff. Can hardly get enough. I know. I once lived that way as a kid growing up in Hawai’i without a care in the world. My roommate made me a spam and super fluffy egg sandwich for breakfast this morning and it had me cracking up over how I grew up thinking spam musubi, a slice of spam layered on a brick of rice with a strip of seaweed wrapped around it, was the holy grail of lunchboxes. Unless there was laulau. That was a rare, exquisite treat. Manna from heaven to me. Steamed butterfish, pork, and chicken wrapped in layers of taro and ti leaves. You could’ve chucked a psycho-blabla book at my head and I’d look at you like a crazy fool. The adult I’ve become who has hoarded these books on her Kindle… Uh. Well, I’m trying to undo this.

So. I dare ya. If you aren’t doing so already, kick off your heels and oxfords ladies, and gentlemen. Go play. Look at pretty things. Be pretty. Read fun, positive, and inspiring books. Read children’s books, young adult books, fantasy, poetry, Lion’s Roar magazines. Be more you and be less molded. Doodle even if you think you can’t draw a stick figure for a lick. Heck, finger paint, I double triple quintuple dog dare you. I’d like to know one day in my life, what it’d be like to have sex on a canvas that cans of paint are spilled on. TMI? Oh well. Picasso had a point when he said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” The meaning in everything presents itself to you the moment you stop searching high and low like a panicked person in the morning who doesn’t know where their keys are. It finds you right where you are the moment you’re not forcing it to make an appearance.


2 thoughts on “What a Breakup with Neuroscience Exposed About Human Nature

  1. Emma, You are truly a talented writer from where I’m sitting i.e. my location:(Gemini Sun 29 degrees, Sag. AC and Leo Moon 9th house, oh, Libra NN 29 degrees 11th house). THE best “jeweled” perspective I’ve witnessed in a long time. Like a refreshing plunge into the ocean off Hawaii as I image and dreamed about, cause I’ve never been.

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