I was recently watching Fight Club and it got me to thinking. Probably not in a way that most people would think, but luckily, I’m not most people. Anyway, my head is in a totally weird space right now.
There was talk of control. You work, you get stuff, you try to fill the void. Eventually you have all this stuff, you should be happy, but you’re not. The stuff, and the desire to get more stuff, controls you. Now, I’m not a materialistic person. I don’t have a lot of stuff nor do I want that much, but there’s still something to that idea. That whole hamster in a wheel being a slave to your life rather than a master of it.
What if trying to control life, trying to get and have and all that is part of the problem? Acquisition and busywork and always needing to make things just so could be the source of unhappiness. It sucks to think that you have no control and that whatever’s going to happen to you is whatever’s going to happen, but I suppose if you could wrap your head around it, it might not be so bad. If you just took what life gave you and were happy with it, maybe things would be better. Maybe not. It’s hard to know.
Then there’s the whole thing where The Narrator (Norton) has snapped and created Tyler as a way to have a different life, be a better person. He obviously hated himself and his life, so he created an alter ego. That alter happened to be batshit crazy, but people actually do that sort of thing all the time. They have aspects, faces, other personalities that they take on in order to get through life.
Most people don’t think about their alters, and it’s so common that unless you publicly call other parts of yourself by other names, it doesn’t even qualify as a mental illness. Now, sometimes, those other parts of a person are made up of denial, falsehood, all sorts of detrimental shit that’s just a way to get through the day. Sometimes, people create alter egos not just as a way to get by, but as a way to detach from a life they hate and find the courage to be something more. In the movie’s case it went to shit, but if done right, it could work out really well.
So what’s the key to happiness? Do you let go? Do you try to hold on tighter and carefully craft the outcome? Do you take what you get and learn to like it? Do you strive for more? Do you settle yourself with whatever you are now? Do you say “fuck it” and invent a new persona and rewrite your life? You have to wonder.