Monday, May 31, 2010

Rambling of the Sleepless (Part 2: Belonging)

So I'd been hoping to spare you all a second horrific blog entry, but insomnia it seems, has rallied against me. Perhaps I should amend that, because it's not so much insomnia tonight as it is the fact that I was murderously hungover all of yesterday and thus lolled around in bed until around 4pm and am now, as a result of that an the thought-encouraging events of the day, unable to sleep. I'm prepped for sleep, in my comfy pjs, logged into Second Life in our beautiful Clan gardens, my delightful SL partner snoring away in my ear (with my mic muted, and headphones volume down), and yet somehow...sleep has decided to vacate the building. There was a patch there, around 1am where it had seemed inevitable, to doze off and fall asleep, but that seems to have failed. Surprise anyone? In favour of thought, sleep has gone hiking.

I'm interested in the way my brain choses things to think about. Tonight aside, it tends to drift back and forth between things, touching on one thing before fading to the next. Sometimes they're totally unassociated ideas, sometimes they're linked. I imagine there's some sort of pattern of stimuli that encourages each thought to take its place. Wonder what that pattern would look like. Probably squiggly and incomprehensible to anyone except neurologists who have also made a thorough study of psychology and philosophy. What kind of degree would you call that anyways? Doctorate of Uber Brainnessity!

Okay, V, you're being silly now. Seriously. 

Tonight's brain game is circulating the concept of 'belonging'.
belong Look up 
belong at
mid-14c., "to go along with, relate to," from be- intensive prefix, + O.E. langian "pertain to, to go along with." Sense of "to be the property of" first recorded late 14c. Related to M.Du. belanghen, Du. belangen, Ger. belangen. Replaced earlier O.E. gelang, with completive prefix ge-.
I said somewhere in a tweet once that I thought it would be grand to have some sort of sense of patriotism towards one's land of birth, albeit simply out of some sort of sense of 'This is where I belong''.I meant that in earnest, it is nice, for anyone, to have a sense being a part of something else. You see it all the time in religion, with patriotism, clubs, families, even genders - I remember in primary school, we had a 'girls team' that had 'fights' with the 'boys team' during lunch time, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't just an isolated scenario. 

What strikes me as interesting is that we seek to belong to things, even if its only a sense of belonging in our own minds. It's like acceptance, only more fundamental, and can obviously be very individual. Let me rephrase that thought: a person wants others to accept them, but a person wants to belong to something/someone. The former is extroverted, while the latter far more self reflective. Make any sense?

What I find interesting from my etymological quote thingy from up there is the 'Related to...' bit. In Dutch, the word 'belangen', is best translated to 'longing' or, less strongly, 'to desire for something'. That in itself I think enhances an understanding of the connotational meaning behind 'belong', incorporating some sort of psychological meaning in the word derived from its origins.

Okay, V, admit it, you've lost your train of thought.

I suppose it comes down to the fact that humans are social creatures by nature, we like company, I suppose you could go so far as to say that we even need it. Even the most anti-social of us - and yes, I have bouts of sever anti-social behaviour, I know - need company every now and then, even if it's just a single person we can shout at for a while. Maybe it gives us the sense of belonging that we need? I have no idea, and maybe I'm completely off the mark, I'm not a good student of people, who continually surprise me, one way or the other, much in the same way that I'm continually surprised what people can weather, emotionally and physically, and come out on top of. People are weird, but they're also kind of neat. 

So if we're all striving to 'belong' to whatever or however or whoever, where does that leave those of us who are still in the drifting stages of our lives? Are we suppose to keep drifting until we hit something we fancy, or are we suppose to already have worked that part out, or maybe we just belong to the group of drifty people, all equally lost, some comfortable some not.

This is making my brain spin. I think I'd better leave it at that before I become more babbly and less thinky.


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