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The Deja Vu - How do you cope with it?

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TibetanFox Feels Good, Man from Death Continent
Feels Good, Man
Mar 20th 2011 at 4:16:02 PM

One thing that's been bothering me somewhat as I get older is the increasing difficulty in finding novelty in everyday life. I'm getting jaded because almost everything I see has me going "Oh, that again".

Indeed one of the things that drew me to TV Tropes in the first place was a sort of "Oh, it's not just me" feeling when I saw that other people were also categorising and recording common recurring themes in media.

Of course, in my case, that habit has carried over into my everyday life and it's a real double edged sword. On the one hand, it's certainly helped me be a great deal more effective in social situations because I can quickly identify which gambits I need to pull out in order to get what I want out of people. On the other hand.

  • So many people just seem to look the same. One of the big pieces of advice I'd have to teenage guys who think their crush is OMG SO BEAUTIFUL is that you'll see another girl who is a dead ringer for her on average of once every six months. For people of unremarkable or average appearance the frequency can go down the point where Only Six Faces has some disturbing real world implications.
  • Even worse is people acting the same. I abuse behavioural profiling horribly in my job, to the extent where I've become able to pin about 90% of people to one of my behavioural profiles within seconds, often without even talking to them, just observing their appearance and body language. On the one hand, it's cool to be able to manipulate people so easily. On the other, it's kinda disappointing to see so little diversity in human behaviour in the general population.
  • News and current events, particularly politics, bore the hell out of me. It's almost impossible for me to look at an event in the news without at least 2 or 3 similar historical parallels coming immediately to mind.

I'm certainly in no danger of becoming bored of life and checking out because art at least manages to still provide me with novelty and fascination. But it seems that the pay-off for my all consuming obsession with figuring out how everything works is to be terribly bored by the predictability of it all.

Is this a normal part of growing older? If so, how does one keep one's self from being driven batty by the overwhelming deja vu, boredom and jadedness?

blackcat Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Mar 20th 2011 at 4:36:06 PM

Because it's fun. You don't have a handle on every culture in the world do you? Sure there is a degree of predictability but then there are endless variations.

edited 20th Mar '11 4:37:34 PM by blackcat

We never go any where without our swords and boas.
aishkiz Slayer of Threads from under the stairs
Slayer of Threads
Mar 20th 2011 at 4:55:38 PM

That depends.

I feel more or less the same about humanity — there's very little about it that's new or interesting. This isn't so much a matter of having over-analysed things; it's more that I don't think I was ever that interested in the first place. The natural world holds more appeal, and I like visiting mountains and canyons and glaciers and waterfalls and whatnot due to the variety such things display, but if you find that that too seems to run short on variety, we're right back where we started.

If figuring out how things work is what interests you, you may be interested in the sciences. Or maybe not. I don't know what you do. In general, though, having a passion for pretty much anything is good.

I'm a creator. I bring new things into the world. I work in a genre where originality and individual self-expression are highly prized above almost anything else — and, paradoxically, in which there is very little that is actually original or individual. There is nothing new that can be created, only combinations of old things; but instead I try to create things that have life. Sounds you could almost reach out and touch. Stories that could have happened yesterday, in a more interesting universe. Photographs suggesting a whole world tangent to our own. Et cetera. Of course, that's how I deal with it — everyone has their own way.

I have devised a most marvelous signature, which this signature line is too narrow to contain.
RalphCrown Short Hair from Next Door to Nowhere
Short Hair
Mar 29th 2011 at 1:44:52 PM

Right now I'm reading the Funk & Wagnall's encyclopedia. Once you can see the wheels turning, you start looking for the ways they fit together. How can you ever get bored with that?

Under World. It rocks!
Dolski from Next Door Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
Aug 10th 2012 at 1:38:13 AM

I've been thinking about this for a while. When I was a kid, all I expected out of life was to do exactly what mother did - get a 9 to 5 job, have kids and live in the suburbs. That was all I ever expected. A few years later, all hell broke loose, life turned upside-down and it's never straightened out since - I don't believe it ever will for me. Ironically, it's been horrible for more than two decades now, and so everyday I face the same stupid melodramas as I did the day before (and this leads towards feeling like one is living in a Soap Opera.... bleugh!). So, here is my Anti-Nihilist philosophy: You do what you can. And sometimes life sucks. That's okay. If it were always great, it... wouldn't really be great, right? There'd be no contrast. Right now, I'm taking the path of least resistance. I have hope for the future. Life can be pretty unpredictable, I think. Wait and see, I guess!

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