Thursday morning. Been up for awhile. Switched from French to Portuguese again on Duolingo. Gotta get ready for Carnival, after all. I was also inspired to switch back because I spent the rest of the morning researching Operator Condor, which is the name of the CIA’s scheme to meddle in Latin American politics during the 60’s and 70’s. Many of the secret government documents about it have recently been declassified. So, you know, just doing a bit of casual, light reading, as one does.
I was inspired to research this topic after watching the Colonia Dignidad documentary on Netflix yesterday. I wanted something about cults, but I also wanted to stimulate my brain a bit, so I chose a doc in Spanish and German to binge. I personally don’t know much German, but I do know a bit of Spanish (enough to watch a 6-part documentary with no issues) and was very curious about this particular subject. This colony was a German colony founded in Chile after WWII by a pedophile Nazi soldier posing as a religious preacher. He took a band of German followers there and they set up a whole self-sustaining colony. Then this guy got involved with Pinochet and the CIA and it got turned into a secret black ops site where they took political dissidents to be tortured and murdered. And now it’s a tourist site! It’s all very fascinating. As a person with a degree in History, I find all of this very interesting to casually research. It’s been awhile since I studied anything about the CIA’s shady activities in the 60’s & 70’s. I admittedly don’t know as much as I should about Latin America in general, but that’s why I’m here to learn. I used to be really, really, really into this stuff when I was in school. Now I’m back at it, and now I know way more about Chile than I did yesterday. Awesome. Mission accomplished.
What mission is that, exactly? Distracting myself from reality, of course. I don’t need to leave my house and go to the bars to talk to ridiculous people. I can stay here in the comfort of my home and research Operation Condor in multiple languages, like a boss. Then I can go into my kitchen and cook delicious food, like the pancakes I made last night. I don’t need to leave this house. I don’t need to go out into the world and look for trouble. I can stay right here and cuddle up in bed with a 600-page book full of declassified government documents on Chile that my brother just so happened to have on his book shelf. Sounds like a good time to me. Who needs bars when you have your own personal library at home?
You know, I get a lot of hate from people, but at the end of the day, I like who I am. I enjoy being the type of person who can confidently change channels on a whim. Today I feel like being a Kardashian with salads and pilates and glam. Tomorrow I want to be a human rights advocate who uses my multilingual talents to serve justice in this ridiculous world. The day after that, I want to be out on safari, rescuing rhinos from poachers and documenting it for National Geographic. Then I want to go sit in a cafe in Paris and dance to jazz in the streets of New Orleans. Why can’t I do it all? Why can’t I be everything I’ve ever seen on TV? Why not me?
As you can see, I’m working hard on those self-esteem exercises. They’re cheesy, but they work. I see myself through a different lens now. Have I mentioned yet that I like being 35? Because I love being 35. Three life cycles have passed. Now, this Lunar New Year, I shall begin a new cycle, a cycle of my own making and choosing. I am very excited for this. It feels like a special time. Out with the old, in with the new.
This is my brain on TV. Turns out, it’s not so bad. I’ve definitely noticed a significant increase in how desensitized I am starting to feel towards some of these subjects (ie: war, torture, sexual violence, horrific human rights atrocities, cults, death, etc) as compared to when I was in college. I guess it’s a life experience thing. It’s weird that I’m binging so many documentaries about this stuff now and it doesn’t bother me as much. In college, I would just get so emotional over these things when we would learn about them in class. I’m talking emotional to the point that it was so debilitating for me that I couldn’t even finish the semester. Clearly, there was a lot of other things going on there. I also hadn’t processed my own trauma yet, so I didn’t understand what was happening to me was that I was getting extremely triggered by the subject matter. I didn’t have the language or resources to navigate that time in my life. That’s why it was all so difficult. The good news is, it turns out I actually am a lot better at processing my emotions now that I was before. It’s been really difficult, but I’m feeling pretty confident right now. If I can desensitize myself to old triggers and use my passion for learning to put distance between myself and my emotions, then I’ve made a lot of progress in the last decade. Go me!
Stay tuned for me maybe finally getting motivated now that there are no distractions around to deter me. In the meantime, I think I’ll go watch The Motorcycle Diaries. Haven’t seen it in awhile. Might be fun to switch to Spanish for awhile and watch some new Spanish-language movies and TV shows. Love to be a polyglot! At least I’m motivated to do that, lol. That’s a pretty cool talent to have. 🙂
Now, if you will please excuse me, I’m going to go continue using the TV to dodge all of my real life problems now. Specifically the parts where I struggle to keep a job and can’t seem to develop healthy relationships with other people no matter how hard I try. At least TV allows me to imagine myself an exciting character who travels the world and makes friends wherever she goes while also getting paid for it because it’s a job. Alas. That is not me. I am here, sitting in my office, staring out the window wondering how I manage to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. But honestly, I really don’t want to think about that anymore right now. That’s why I’m going to watch TV!
Have a fabulous day!