The uncontrollable release of all your personal shit.
I stumbled onto an interesting (by way of banality) tumblr account the other day. The whole page was an endless scrolling litany of grainy, black and white gifs of emo bands sludging around a stage, with what I can only assume were that band’s lyrics scrawled overtop.
This got me thinking. Or reflecting, I suppose, is a better term…
For the moment, let’s assume that everyone, from about age 16 to probably at least 25, had the tendency to inflict their many buckets of feels on anyone near enough to listen. Not all the time, of course. Just… you know… often… and through whatever medium was available.
I did this in the analogue age… through late-night, boozy monologues in my 20s, and through journal after journal of teeeeerrible poetry while back in college. Just awful, awful, wayward, angry whining… always about girls. Oh, the feels. They were so numerous.
Nowadays it seems that social media is a whole new frontier for frumping (frumptier? nah…).
Cryptically-phrased, emotionally manipulative Facebook posts.
Staged Instagram photos, glazed with sadsack filters.
Tumblr feeds festooned with gifs like I described before… eyeliner-wearing songsters staring into cameras and their eu de suicide lyrics.
Hashtags dripping with aggression – little hazy chirps designed to be searched for but never really understood – #whatever, #nopoint, #imfinegoaway
Yeah, I like that one.
I don’t really blame anyone for doing this. Like I said, I did the same thing (or at least the analogue equivalent) when I was younger.
But that’s just it. Now that I’m older… I have absolutely no desire to do it anymore. The very idea of it makes my skin crawl.
So here’s my question: Where does that urge go? Why do some people shed it in their youth, while others keep it going well into their gray years?
Have I really learned how to deal with my feelings better? I don’t really feel that way. I still get sad. Depressed. I still have the same basic self-hatreds… only now with a little more perspective. Do we only have so many maudlin whines in us? Some murky reservoir which we drain through our young-adulthood – dumping our feels into as many cups as we can find?
It seems so unhealthy, these cultivated shrines to our sadsackery. But maybe there’s something beneficial to it. To stew in those clumsy feelings. To wash around and splash them all over everybody.
Can you outgrow the need for catharsis?