Thursday, 20 October 2016

Obsession, friend or foe?

There he stood, staring at me, his mouth agape in awe at my destructive actions thus far. There he stood opposite me about the distance of a short city block, in total astonishment that this might be it. That this might be the moment when he’d give up, he’d stop trying to convince me of what we had and let me go. 

He stood, drenched in rain shouting at me about how he wasn’t my ex and he was (rightfully) sick of being punished for things that he hadn’t done. That if it was true, that I would never let another guy in, that I’d never trust someone again, never let myself be in a relationship, then my ex had a hold on me forever. I wasn’t free like I said I was, I was chained to heartbreak for a lifetime. 

He stood there gorgeously lit by the street light, handsome, vulnerable and strong, heart wide-open to me, like something out of a Harlequin novel. I was overwhelmed with passionate love for him and the urge to run back and yet, all I could think of was… 

If I were shooting this, where would I place the camera?

Yes. That actually happened. It’s true. Sometimes in my life I forget to actually be in my life. 

Obsession... It’s a tricky thing to maneuver and a big part of who I am. In my experience, there is a point at which a healthy one turns unhealthy. A point that could also be described as a tightrope wire that I feel I walk along and fumble over daily. 

The healthy aspects of obsession are what gave me the drive to dance professionally, write music, work as an actor, write my first screenplay and now build a production company with M (yay!). 

The unhealthy ones have resulted in my working far too late into the wee hours of the morning, catching colds that linger, eventually turning into infections and an unruly relationship with sometimes debilitating anxiety. 

The Merriam-Webster definition of Obsession is as follows: 
: a state in which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently especially in a way that is not normal
: an activity that someone is very interested in or spends a lot of time doing
: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling

Well, I’ve known I’m not ‘normal’ for some time now so that part of the definition seems befitting and it isn’t all that surprising to read. However I disagree with the persistent preoccupation part of obsession being necessarily categorized as ‘disturbing' and it’s subject described as ‘unreasonable’. Sometimes I’ve been obsessed with remarkably reasonable subjects and that preoccupation hasn’t always been disturbing… or has it?

It may just be obsession falls under one of those aggravating truths about life. That ‘reality’ is not so black and white. That obsession isn’t necessarily ‘bad’ for you, or ‘good’ for you… It can be both. 

So, it’s not simply… Obsession, friend or foe? 

But rather… Obsession, amazingly helpful at times and can result in some of the best experiences of your life but WARNING, it could also destroy you and isn’t all that helpful at 2am when you just. need. to. sleep. 

Nor is it helpful when the love of your life is calling out to you in the rain.

Not to worry though, thankfully I managed to stay on the tightrope wire that day and immediately upon thinking, ‘where would I place the camera?’ I mentally slapped myself back into the present moment and ran back into the arms of the man who would become my husband. 

Obsession, it’s a balancing act.

- J

*J, I may or may not be obsessed with you. - M

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Maira Gall