This is a little different than the usual post on this blog. Lest you worry that this is suddenly going to be all serious or, even worse, heartfelt, I have been working on a piece involving a piece of medicinal marijuana chocolate, a corduroy couch, and a playboy playmate. What can I say? This is my life.
I have at least three notebooks going at any one time. They are supposed to be for different things, but it all gets messed up when I have only one and I'm working on project A which is supposed to go in a different notebook but I need to write stuff down even though it's in notebook B...you get the idea. I was foraging through one of my older notebooks that I mostly used during my brief stint as a New York resident and chanced upon something that someone might find useful. Actually useful (though if anyone has taken anything from this blog thus far, I hope that it is to never try and wax your own asshole). The pages before this are filled with appointments, companies to which I should submit applications/resumes, grocery lists, and lots of other Things I Should Do. Bah! You know how I feel about those things. If a list on your hand isn't good enough, then you have too much stuff going on.
Everyone says that your mid-twenties are a time of great personal growth and blah blah blah. As if I would listen to that crap. Turns out that most of the time, the older people in our lives are wiser (don't tell Carol I admitted to that). The past two years of life have taught me a lot about, well, life. And isn't that what life is really all about? Here is the little blurb that I found. Maybe you'll find it inspiring or useful or take away something, but if not, then call me an idiot and move on with your day.
September 29, 2011
Your cheesecake cannot seduce me, New York.
Let's discuss expectations. I have pretty big expectations for my life, my family, my friends, and myself. I have never thought they were unrealistic until I realized that I have been consistently disappointed in something for most of the past ten years. Ten years! That's more than a third of my life that I have spent feeling shitty about things I can't control. Relationships haven't been perfect, people run late, I fuck something big or small up, and something constantly needs improvement. Get better, get faster, get stronger, get healthier, get more. Get get get. Take take take.
Did I mention that for the better part of a decade I have been exhausted? Really, truly, exhausted and annoyed with just about everything. We aren't talking about exhaustion in the "I just spent all day outside in the sun, working the garden, or feeling the breeze on my back as I zoom around on my bike all day" kind of exhaustion. I'm talking about the bad kind that leads to ulcers and dissatisfaction and acne. Or bacne. High blood pressure and just pressure in general. This is the stuff that leads people to kill themselves.
In moving from Washington to New York, I claimed - and somehow believed - that I had no expectations of the experience. I even told that to my therapist (oh what a fool's paradise we live in in the mind). In retrospect, I see how delusional I have been. I thought I was running to a life I had always wanted and away from one I was scared of. Truthfully, staying in my prior circumstance would have led to a long road of unhappiness. No matter how much you love something you have to be free in your mind, otherwise you will constantly look for freedom outside of yourself. I honestly forgot to look at life (LIFE! How can you forget about life?) and instead focused on this fantasy that I have somehow outgrown before I even touched down at Newark.
When do we become the people we thought we would be? When do we become the people we really are?
I have values that I never thought I would and I've lost touch with so many along the way. My disillusionment with life has been in code purple, or red, or sunshine yellow, or whatever the TSA has deemed as the worst. The more people I meet, books I read, discussions I have and ultimately, find a way to lead with my heart, the less I want the life I have spent so long trying to cultivate. You know that time I told so-and-so I was adopted from New York? I must have been seven or eight. We were sitting on the porch of the Walla Walla Country Club and I was already consumed with "making something of myself". It's really fucking exhausting to worry about how you're going to prove your worth to the world.
New York is awful and I can't stand to be around this many blind, aimless people chasing goals and careers and love. New York is wonderful because without being here, I would have never understood just what a shitty path I've been on. The world we see is the reflection of our souls.
I guess the most important thing I have learned along the way is that life is a choice. Be who you are instead of who you think you should be. Live how you actually need to live. Be honest with yourself. Stop pushing and fighting so much. Give up control, get lost, wander, cry, talk to strangers, and soak it up. Give up expectations and just let it happen.
Live like you are living.