Also known as: Physical thrills and emotional thrills — which do I like better? And possibly some signs of aging.
The last few weeks of October were terribly stressful that it came to a point that I was more excited to going home and sleeping than going out. In fact, I went out one day, thinking, “I’m so excited to go home later and sleep.”
Perhaps I was just very tired and stressed then, but I felt that it was some kind of sign of aging. I used to have a ton of energy whenever I go out, and I can last long until the end of the gimmicks, but now I just get really tired. And I get excited over going to bed and having a full 8-hour sleep (which I rarely get now). Sign of aging? Or maybe maturity? What do you think?
Oh don’t get me wrong. I like being out with friends. I like having exciting times with friends and family. It’s just that I get tired of it more now than I used to.
Which brings me to this point, besides you know, starting to feel signs of aging: I’m not a thrill-seeker.
Nope, I’m not an adrenaline junkie. I don’t go out of my way to get an adrenaline rush. Oh sure, I like random thrills every now and then, but I’m not one who seeks it out intentionally. Case in point: the first time I rode the Space Shuttle in Enchanted Kingdom will probably be my last. I’m not exactly terrified — a bit scared, yes — but it’s just not something I would do several times just for kicks. I know this makes me seem boring compared to the thrill seekers, but that’s just me. This is also why I’m not fond of watching scary movies because I don’t like scaring myself.
Interestingly, though, I realized that despite the fact that I don’t seek physical thrills on purpose, I seem to like emotional thrills. Actual physical adrenaline rush — nah. But other kinds of rush? Like an exciting story, a surprise, and maybe even emotional roller coasters? I find that sometimes I actually quite like it.
I’m a talkative person by nature, so I often have some kind of “story for the day”. It can be something interesting that I saw, heard or found out, or usually, something that happened to me in a specific aspect of my life. It excites me to talk about things, and I get excited when others get excited about it. It’s such a fun feeling (on top of being in spotlight too, which I realize that I like sometimes) that I feel like I should feed this excitement all the time. To the point of seeking some kind of thrill just to make sure this excitement lasts.
Do you see a pattern forming there? What if there’s nothing exciting to talk about? What if there is, but you’re not supposed to talk about it? What if the thrills are dying, and there’s nothing really interesting to tell anymore?
Look for something new, then? I guess so.
I realized that I have that need to look for some emotional thrills in my everyday life, and when I can’t find them, I get sad. And I feel like things aren’t working out the way I want them to, and I feel even sadder. And then when something exciting happens, I tend to hold on to that for as long as I can, so I can be excited and so others can be excited for me, too.
And it’s crazy, because when I think about it, I’m just really, really making myself exhausted with all this emotional thrill seeking. It’s not like those thrills prove much, right?
I remember reading this quote from C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, and it hit me like a brick:
It is simply no good trying to keep a thrill: that is the very worst thing you can do. Let the thrill go – let it die away – go on through that period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow – and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time.
It is simply no good trying to keep a thrill — I’m learning this. I think thrills are short-term things, just enough to excite you to movement, but not really good enough to sustain you for the long run. Too much of the same kind of thrill makes it less thrilling, just like how eating your favorite food all the time can make you sick of it. There is fun in excitement, but always getting excited is not always best (in fact, being too excited can trigger an asthma attack for me :p).
Let the thrill go. It’s hard to do it, because thrills are exciting. But I like how this part of the quote goes to the next: — let it die away — go on through that period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow. It’s kind of hard to think of that, how letting a thrill go will give you quiet interest and happiness. But if you really think about it, after the adrenaline rush has faded, you don’t end up sad that you went after that thrill, right? I’m pretty sure you’d remember that part of your life fondly.
..and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time. I like this a lot. By letting go of a thrill, you get new thrills. I guess this is what people mean that it will come to you when you don’t look for it. Maybe if you don’t try to rush after thrills so much, you’ll find them in the most unusual places. Or like, how if you don’t allow yourself to eat your favorite food everyday, you’d look forward to getting it again after some time.
Okay I’m not sure if my examples are working out well. I realize lately that there were some thrills that I keep on trying to hold on to in my life, mostly because I feel like I should share them and I owe the people the stories. But now I remind myself that I don’t need to tell it to everyone, that sometimes it’s better if I keep silent about things, and that thrills aren’t meant to last long. I need to learn to let go of the thrills as they happen, to not wish that they’d last longer than they should, so I can find that quiet interest and happiness.
I guess a better example (and most accurate) is this: when you fall in love, the sparks last only for a while. When the sparks die, there’s this conscious decision of loving that will not be easy, but will bring in a kind of peace that lasts longer than the first fiery sparks of young love. To quote one of my favorite blogs:
… love should feel like coming home and not like being on a rollercoaster. Rollercoasters are fun for a few minutes, but you don’t want to be on one for the rest of your life.
Thrills aren’t bad. But I think there just comes a time in everyone’s life where we need to learn not to seek it too much, and learn that sometimes, peace and quiet (like a good night’s rest) can be more exciting, and there’s nothing wrong with that. :)