When updating my Brainfoods page recently, I saw one of my favorite quotes from Essentialism.
“The ability to choose cannot be taken away or even given away—it can only be forgotten.”
At first glance, you might think this quote references societal/cultural rules. For example, most of us grow up believing in the following requirements:
Job after college
Family after job
Hopefully travel, etc. etc….
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Sometimes, when you’re not watching, the mess grows into something too large to handle.
Something has to be done.
You stand there, arms akimbo, surveying the room. What’s to stay? What’s to go?
The problem is that when things get out of hand like this, the cumulative weight of their needless existence catches in your bones, causes you to move more slowly.
Each item you pick up, take in, turn in your hands. You set it back upon the shelf, but grasp it once again before your hand can pull away.
What did it mean to you? Why is it still here?
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Maybe this is a stalemate.
When you set out on a creative quest, you’re told it will take longer than expected. And somehow you think it won’t quite hold true for you.
For me, it’s my book (link). I figured that when I finished the first draft last October that I’d be done with the rest come Spring.
I’ve never really had to work like this, creating something that comes wholly from me.
Past jobs came easily. I cared (sometimes), just not like this. I wasn’t throwing myself on the line. They were easy, calculated risks. I would succeed, all was well.
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Does everything that feels creative eventually fall to a place that feels dead?
My love for writing has grown disproportionately to my ability to understand what I’m doing here. This time last year, I was embarrassed to tell people about my blog. I was embarrassed to tell others I was a writer.
This time last year, I wrote with fervor. I pushed and pushed to be who I said I was.
Now I believe I am that person, but I have little more to show for it than I did back then. Now the shame is gone, but the fervor is, too.
What has changed, if nothing has changed? If I’ve grown in security but shrunk in creation? Don’t those results cancel each other out?
I’ve settled into the person I desired to be. I’ve accepted her. Does that mean I grow bored with her—the same way I treat most relationship partners when it becomes “normal”?
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This August finds me in a whirlpool. You know the feeling?
It’s not always a bad thing. But it is a thing.
Consolation comes from knowing that I was in this exact whirlpool last August, too.
It was something about sensing life was about to change, that life needed to change, but reaching that oblique “changed” point could only be done with blind steps into the mire.
Being here again makes me think about years, and seasons.
I’ve heard that the human condition follows its own harvest year (not necessarily congruent with regional climates). So…
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One of the more annoying questions I ask myself is, “Yes, but do I really feel that way?”
Why is this so annoying? It implies an attempt to be “connected” to myself. Seems innocent enough.
But here’s a new idea I’m toying with: If I feel something, that’s how I feel.
No questioning, no over-analysis, no resistance.
Second-guessing emotions tends to stem from an undercurrent of doubt that runs beneath many of my decisions.
Am I making the right choices? Is life stupid? Is my boyfriend delusional? Am I delusional? Are we all lying to ourselves about everything?
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I’ve always believed that enlightenment means being serene in the face of everything. A financial loss won’t throw me. Tired mornings won’t throw me. A lover leaving won’t throw me. All these things I will smilingly accept once I find the secret to feeling...read more
There are seasons for all things in life. I think someone wrote a song about that.
Moments to work like a hound, moments to rest. Times for drinking, times for health.
There’s falling in love, there’s solitude.
Lately I’ve been waking up, grabbing my journal, and finding I don’t have much to say. Classic writer’s block seems a doubtful culprit since there are no deadlines or responsibilities with my casual morning writing.
What I fear, then, is emotional block. If I can’t dump my straying accumulated thoughts on to page each morning, are they even there?
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