Sonia Said: Why are pleasures guilty?
The definition of "guilty pleasure" that I'm going for here is one from Merriam-Webster Dictionary stating that a guilty pleasure is "something pleasurable that induces a usually minor feeling of guilt". Other sources tend to mostly refer to movies and songs that are not deemed of high quality by society. But I've been feeling like society has taken guilty pleasures to another level, quite literally making us feel guilty when looking for pleasure outside the norms of what's "allowed".
And what are these norms? It's drinks after work, especially on Fridays because we "deserved it". It's spending weekends binging on delivery foods and Netflix since we worked so hard. But I feel like it's become so much more than that, especially when leading a creative, outside of norms kind of lifestyle. When weekends aren't necessarily yours to relax and time spent not working is spent working also, on a passion, a dream. When we have to be hard on ourselves, making that work pattern since there is no boss to do it for us. And it's a mistake, I decided since spending some time, thinking about the life I chose and how wrong I'm living it.
"The only pleasure that should be guilty is when you're purposely wasting your time and not even getting any joy out of it"
I've got rules, alright. And they're ridiculous. Gym after work every day. No baths during the week, only showers (I still don't get why but here it is). No cinema on weekdays before work. Because there is my work during the day and then pay-your-bills work in the evenings. This is what we do, you guys, even (and especially) us "free spirits" making little prisons anyway because we feel pressured to. And when a little pleasure sneaks in, we feel guilty. Thankfully I was reminded that IT'S OKAY TO BE CAREFREE AND HAPPY and to do whatever you feel like. Two screenings of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again I've been in a strange kind of phase, reciting the lines like how simple things are if you just break it down. The Story of young Donna is so inspiring because it's so bloody simple! It's how every dreamer starts their life before getting sucked into the Western pressure of "everyone has to have something to show for themselves". And sure times were different. Houses were cheaper. People weren't that scared of strangers. The technology was simpler. But why did pleasure change, too?
Because we did it. There is a brilliant scene in Eat, Pray, Love (look at me, so confident to admit I love mainstream) where Luca Spaghetti mocks Western culture where we feel like we need to DESERVE pleasure and waste it on binging in front of TV while the Italians have dolce far niente - the essence of doing nothing. And it's time we got back to it, too. Because the only pleasure that should be guilty is when you're purposely wasting your time and not even getting any joy out of it.
My biggest guilty pleasure has been this entire year. After doing my MA, feeling physically and mentally run-down and doing things, not for me, but what I thought would help me succeed whatever that means, I wasted it completely. Why didn't I take time off instead and go to Kerkennah Islands on my own like I dreamed so many times? Why didn't I really do what I wanted to? Da-ah, cause just the thought of separating myself from a busy lifestyle felt stupid, and... yes, GUILTY. So I don't know about you, but I'm going to try and get back to the simplicity of dolce far niente as well as just being. So now, third screening of Mamma Mia! (still not ashamed) and then off to Morocco for two weeks and after returning, I'll have a bath even though it's going to be Monday! And I will not obsess over careers and relationships and mortgages. Although it will be two weeks spent with my mother, so maybe I will just a little bit. And that's something to feel guilty about.