19 February, 2008

Homeostasis and Transistasis

The force for stability, and the force for change. In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Dr. Akagi Ritsuko explains that these two forces are the basis of life. It's a simplistic explanation - I once used it to prove that stars were alive - but there's a certain poetry to it. Two opposing forces, in a continuous struggle, and the resulting chaos that ensues is what we experience as life. We find comfort in stability, yet we seek the thrill of change. To cater to only one or the other for too long is to tip the balance of life. Too much change, and we become wild and unpredictable, threatening to lose all control. Too much stability, and we stifle, threatening to forfeit our stake in this dynamic world. But as long as those two forces battle, and we can find a balance in between, we are in a position to continue enjoying life.

As for myself, I'm far more comfortable with stability. I like patterns and routines, because the familiarity is comforting. Unexpected surprises are a source of great anxiety, because I need time to warm up to things, and get to a level where I can deal with them. Yet, I also desire, even require, change every now and then. Change in scenery, change in activities, something to make me feel like I'm not living the same days over and over again. A great way I've discovered to introduce change in my life with a minimal amount of stress is to rearrange my room every so often. It doesn't really involve putting myself into unfamiliar circumstances which would cause a lot of stress, but it does allow me to change my perspective on my world, because every day I wake up in this seemingly new environment. It shuffles thoughts and creative energies around. And it's just plain exciting.

College was nice, because I had a chance to completely change rooms every year. But even that wasn't always enough. In my senior year, I remember changing my furniture around multiple times. For awhile I had the bed against the wall with the window. But in the winter, it got cold, so I moved the bed in, splitting the room in half, with my desk by the window. Later, I moved the bad back against the wall lengthwise, at the corner of the window, with my desk closer to the door. Earlier, in junior year, I remember quite a startling experience with a room rearrangement. I had originally set up the room in a way that sectioned off my half, which I liked, because it gave me extra privacy, but my roommate didn't like it, because it obstructed the flow of the room (or something). So one day, I come home from a long day of classes, and the furniture's been completely moved around - totally unexpectedly! It was like the Twilight Zone! I go back and forth on whether I like a room to be opened up or sectioned off, because they each have advantages.

Well, you should be able to tell that I've rearranged my blog a little bit. Namely, I added a third column. It's something I've been wanting to do for awhile, but it wasn't one of the default options, so I wasn't sure how I was gonna approach it. It just seemed like there was too much blank space on the page, and it would make more sense to move some of the "wall hangings" in the right column, into another column on the left, so that there's more activity, without having to scroll down, observing one "wall hanging" at a time, you know? So I finally did a search, since there are all kinds of modifications you can do to change the way your blog looks. I just wanted to simply add a third column. The first set of instructions I came to was way too complicated. (I know HTML, but I never really learned about styles and whatever else is on there, so I was a little lost). Luckily, I found a second set of instructions that was a lot easier for me to follow. Hopefully, the effect looks as good for you as it does for me. Let me know if something doesn't look right. And while you're at it, take a look at some of the new things I just hung up.

I didn't stop with my blog. I also ended up completely redesigning my room. I'd show you pictures, but my alkalines are dead, and I didn't charge up my rechargeables last night, since I wasn't expecting to use them. It's not necessarily finished, as these things take time - you gotta test certain arrangements out and sometimes certain ideas don't work out in practice. Of course, it's not completely rearranged, as there are plenty of things that are too much trouble to move (like my bed, my computer desk, the huge table in the corner, my desk desk, the TV dresser...basically all the major stuff...), but there are enough smaller things to move around to give the room a significant change of personality. This time, I really opened the room up, pushing things largely back towards the walls. It's nice to have a lot of open space to move in, instead of weaving through columns of junk to get from one end of the room to another. But that can be fun, too, sometimes.

I lost a lamp and gained a lamp. I stopped using a desk lamp a while back because the fluorescent bulb got wacky - basically turning into a random strobe. Actually, it was a really neat effect, when I turned it on and shut the rest of the lights off - a real Halloween setting. I considered saving the bulb for next fall, but I ended up inadvertently breaking it while trying to pull it out. I had a backup bulb sitting in my desk (for a long time), and I wanted to make sure it was just the bulb that was screwed up. It was. Now I have that lamp back on my computer desk (I have an identical lamp on my desk desk), which is good, because the heat/reading/really really bright and hot lamp's bulb seems to have just now gone out, so it's out of commission until I go and get a replacement bulb, which I hope happens soon, because it's a pretty important light for my room (mostly for reading, and partly for keeping warm).


  1. I'm a fan of the homeostasis myself. It used to be that I wanted to be comfortable with my sameness, except that it always resulted in an intense feeling of boredom after a while, where I'd feel like I need change. That was the reason I went to Summer Session, because summer used to be a breeding ground for potential discontented boredom.

    But in this newest era of my life, I've made a terrifying discovery. I don't need that excitement anymore. Who knows if it will last, though.

  2. Stability is hugely important to me as well, and it takes me a long time to adjust to change in most cases. It's not just that I'm comfortable with things the way they are; it's that any change that is initiated by someone else too often feels like a change for the worse, not simply something different or something better.