I’m trying to step left and do things differently in my life. So much of my existence has been defined by work and making money. Left to my own devices, with no idea what I want to do for a living, I have to take a look at what I end up spending my time doing.
When I worked, it was like I earned my free time. I am a rebellious person by nature, so I thrive on resistance. Basically, when I’m doing something I hate, I write the best words and music. When there is no opposition or resistance in my life, well, I’m pretty mediocre. Or at least I feel this way.
When I’m writing, everything stops. I’m not aware of the passing of time or any big obligations. I’m so grateful my mother started me writing in a paper journal when I’d barely learned to talk. The habit of keeping a journal and just writing out whatever I’m feeling or perceiving is cathartic. Without that outlet, I would be destitute.
I live a pretty solitary life right now. I see people at least once a day, and I see my husband and my dog, but I do spend a lot of time alone pondering my existence. Writing fills up the time, and helps me reflect on what is going on in my life. I can write down insane ideas and read them later to double check whether I’m coherent or not. We need to bounce the crap in our brains off somewhere, whether its other people or a piece of paper. I think writing gives me that sense of being alive. If I’ve left something on a piece of paper, I feel as if I’ve created something outside of me, and my voice and ideas won’t die in the trapped island of my brain.
So back to my first paragraph. What do I spend my time doing when I’m predominately alone? I end up writing a lot. Walking a lot. Cooking some, meeting up with people some, taking baths some…but mostly writing and walking. These two things anchor me in ways I cannot explain. Writing never really seems like an empty gesture to me. I just can’t capture what it feels like to express myself in words…I’m waxing sentimental here…but without writing…sheesh. I’d be so boxed in.
You would think with all this free time I’d be down at the soup kitchen or something, giving away what I’ve been so freely given, and I plan on doing so. But I’ve spent the last couple of years working like a stiff at jobs that really blew, so I’m trying to be thankful for this respite. We all need space, and time to reflect. After living in the city for years, I always had this go go go mentality. It is so hard for me to slow down, and when I don’t fill my days with activities, I feel completely useless. And then I get completely knackered because I’m always running around, and I have no gauge to measure my progress.
I’ve always been outwardly structured by school or a job. Somewhere along the line I learned that going to school 9-3 or working 9-5 makes you a better person, and sitting around wondering what the point of life is, staring long and hard into the sunset, being a human being rather than a human doing, is worthless.
But what are we here for if not to experience life to the fullest? To feel what it’s like to be in this crazy suit of skin, interacting with other wacked-out people, trusting that there is some element of synergy to the universe? And really, what is life without human interaction and self-expression? If I had been born in a vacuum, and never interacted with another human being, I think I would have ended up like some type of non-speaking pod person. One thing I find very meaningful is being around other people like myself. They’re harder to find out here where I live right now, but I know they’re around. And if I’m not around people like myself, I can learn why I’m different and what makes me tick by hanging around people who are my complete opposite.
But what I’m getting at here is that socializing with other people is a rope to measure myself by, bounce my inner voices off of, experience things not just through my own eyes. Writing fills in the gap. I can interact with the universe through writing as well. So the combination is really what makes me tick. Human interaction and reflection or creation through pen and paper. That is what makes my life meaningful. Throw in some hiking with my dog or other people, and the soup tastes just right.