30 June 2012

Turning away from gossip

the tom cruise/katie holmes divorce spurred this post today.

ive been thinking a LOT about gossip in the past months. gossip, being the negative version of simply "catching up", holds basically zero value to me now. i trafficked it a lot in college and was still seeking it out and dealing it beyond that. but as ive moved away and lost my day-to-day connection to old social networks, the poisonous nature of gossip has come into clear focus. also, the true understanding that it is utterly useless and unimportant to talk about people in that way has become clear to me too. ive noticed this feeling in personal gossip as well as celebrity gossip.

while it was really easy to see the damage personal gossip does, it was possibly more interesting noticing my disgust at celeb gossip. i mean, truly, who cares if tom cruise and katie holmes are divorcing? am i shocked? no. but the details are all up to them. do i care that reese witherspoon is pregnant? yes. but i dont care about every detail of her pregnancy, just that she has a healthy baby...and id love to see his/her name and maybe a picture...at a release time of reeses own choosing. i will always love movies and follow my favorite actors at the cinema, i care about and enjoy the oscars, but that is largely the extent of my voyeuristic interests. im busy trying to improve my own life and it takes up a lot of energy. i remember it being fun to make fun of celebs and reality stars who were total nut jobs. but that doesnt better myself, it gives me a temporary boost while i compare my seemingly more meaningful and important life to their f-ed up one. but just like a sugar high, that temporary mood boost crashes and you are left feeling sick to your stomach.

and thats how i remember feeling about gossip, even as i was in the middle of passing it around. but it was like a moving train, i couldnt stop it and i didnt want to jump off. that woulda been too painful and disorienting. the real remedy to the poison cloud was leaving my old life. i would like to think i would have stopped being lame and weak at some point and gotten off that track on my own, but i really cant be sure. now i really do find pleasure in just catching up, maybe asking how another mutual friend is doing if i think i wont see her/him, maybe following up on someones illness or hard time but not using that to branch off on a hurtful conversation. and, as i say that, im not saying im perfect, nor have the gossip pangs totally subsided. sometimes, usually when i get pissed or frustrated or things just arent generally going well for me, i wanna spray vitriol. i like to think i can always curb the bubbling desire from actually bursting, but sometimes i do the catty girl thing and then instantly feel bad about it and try to make sure i dont get to a point where i act that way again in the future. its still new for me, and im still learning. but i do feel lighter and freer and less dark about that part of my personality.

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