Last year I thought I was having a quarter life crisis. And if I was, this year is my answer to it. It seems fairly common, at least for those of us with a liberal arts degree (or two), to finish that last final exam with a triumphant arms over head ‘NEVER AGAIN!’ chant followed by the realization that you are lost without a clue what comes next. You are more lost than the day you took a train, then a bus, into the middle of we-speak-no-english Austria then proceeded to walk through a field for 3 hours looking for where you thought you knew you were going only to end up back at a train station to then board the wrong train that will take you 4 hours to get what should have taken 1. Ya, pretty damn lost. Not so lost you think you’ll die, but pretty sure you have no idea where you are going, should be going, or even if you want to go there.
I’ve been feeling rather uninspired lately. I’ve started and deleted many a blog post this week. Generally when I write these I get an idea, a gist of where I’d like it to go, then I sit down and let it flow. That is easiest for me, or at least I think that allows me to maintain my conversational tone.
Well maybe I should rethink that a little. My problem isn’t a lack of inspiration, it is a lack of focus. I can’t seem to keep one thought in my head clear before the next one bubbles up and takes over. Then doubt seeps in. How could anyone find this remotely interesting? Why am I even writing this? It is probably crap anyways. DELETE.
Start over. New topic. New direction. Probably crap. DELETE! Sigh. Repeat.
Recently I started to redecorate my bedroom. That sounds a lot more dramatic than it actually is. I bought some bookshelves and removed some unused junk from my room. It is slowly looking like a room an adult might inhabit and less like the home of a poor university student. That might be a stretch but I’d like to believe my room reflects who I am.
Bedrooms are funny like that, well lots of things are funny like that. You know those private places where we feel like we get to hide away our personalities, protected by a door, a set of stairs, another door, and a lock and key. We get to be exactly who we think we ought to be.
There’s something about perfectly coiffed hair paired with the perfect outfit that is matched with perfectly lovely accessories that just makes me, well, cringe. Doesn’t it seem unnatural, perfection. I mean how is there not a single hair out of place and how did you possibly find a jacket that so succinctly ties your entire look together? That doesn’t stop our world from being plastered with this ideal, pinterest is a breeding ground for perfection idealization. We all know that this is unrealistic. I’m, personally, am more comfortable looking slightly like a dirtbag at any time. I don’t want there to be stains on my shirt and holes in my pants, but I’d like to look like I actually wear the clothes I walk around in. I’d like to look like I actually exist in the real world.
I have a theory about the world, well, about the people in the world. My theory, simply stated is that the best people, the people that you most want to be around, are the ones who are unabashedly themselves. I’m sure you know people like this, they love what they love and they won’t apologize about it. They don’t care if it is dorky to like Star Wars too much, if playing the accordion is weird, if running for miles and miles is insane, or if telling it like it is is uncouth. They are just true to themselves.
The benefit of being true to yourself is that you aren’t letting other’s notions define or sway you into fitting preconceived ideas of what is acceptable. You are following your passion. This isn’t a new thought. No one is going to sit down and say ‘just do what everyone else is doing’ ‘be a sheep,’ but yet, we are still encouraged to fall in line time and time again. And so often the line we are told to follow is either mundane or totally insane.
I am struggling with this idea. An idea that I feel is going to be contested, hell, I’m contesting it even as I formulate it. But I can’t fight the feeling that even if I’m wrong, I’m still a little right.
Growing up my parents, family, and siblings (two older brothers) did an exceptional job of giving me a vivacious attitude towards life. I never felt inhibited, I was taught to play tough, be strong, run fast, and never ever do less than my best. This gave me a strong sense of independence and self; I never thought that I was less able to do something than anyone else. I was driven to be the best, no matter who I was competing with. Isn’t that swell? Sure, I mean, I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I love my, at times unnecessarily, independent style. It taught me that if I wanted to achieve I just had to work hard, it taught me that I could be the best at something, that I shouldn’t be afraid, and that I was a fierce competitor.
When people ask me what I want to do with my life, or what I want to do as a career my current supposition is that I want to write. I like to write, I like prose, I don’t know if I am especially good at it, but it is a challenge I enjoy. Stringing together a great sentence, finding a perfect word, explaining perfectly the way you feel or think, its fun. The next question that people in the know ask me is if I am currently writing. Sadly, my response has to be no. But that is lunacy. A writer that doesn’t write can’t be a writer, you’re just a person purporting to write. I may as well call myself a painter.