Monday, March 20, 2017

Serotonin

Recently, on a whim, I bought a necklace. It's a serotonin molecule...I've been mulling over the idea that happiness is just a chemical reaction. The things and experiences we value most in life are the ones that bring us happiness...but are those things really any more valid or real than drugs that stimulate the release of serotonin or dopamine? If I could take a pill to be happy, would that be cheating myself, or just efficiency? When most of what we do is erased within a lifetime or two, does it matter how much joy I got out of knitting, or how good I was at sewing, or how many people I enjoyed helping at work? The physical traces of everything I do will be up at an estate sale within 50 years or so, and the joy that I experienced was nothing more than chemically facilitated electric pulses shooting across my cortex, which will be slowly disintegrating.

See, if I had cable I wouldn't be thinking about this stuff because I'd have better TV to take up my time. But I don't have cable, so thinking about life, death, meaning and neurochemicals it is.

Anyway, it's been an interesting concept and I've been meaning to wear more jewelry, so I bought a serotonin necklace. It arrived today, and unfortunately, it was much bigger than I had bargained for...


...which disappointed me. I have a golden ratio necklace that's small and just looks like a little rectangle, so you don't really realize what a nerdy necklace it is. I've worn it several times and nobody looked twice at it until I was at a group for parents of gifted children. Then everybody noticed what it was. And everybody loved it.

I was hoping the serotonin necklace would be like that. Allowing me to indulge what interests me, but in a small, unobtrusive way that most people wouldn't recognize because it almost completely blends in.

One of the weird things about having a gifted kid is coming to terms that I might be like him. Smarter than I gave myself credit for. More perceptive than I thought I was. More in need of understanding than correction, and maybe not broken so much as just out of place. When I believe these things about my children, I start to consider believing them about myself.

Maybe I should concentrate less on being myself in the most unobtrusive way possible, and concentrate more on just being myself.

It will be a while before I wear that serotonin necklace, though.