Showing posts tagged with “life”

In Vermont we know that the Earth spins when the weather comes on hard, usually layered, never glossy or flagging. Bruise-colored, steel-colored, quilted with thuggish thunderclouds or smothering snow clouds—til it lets go for awhile, showing the sunny blue or galactic black beyond. I don’t believe one can live fully if one is afraid to die, and I don’t meet many Vermonters who are. Being outdoors in all seasons, they take nature for what it is, all-encompassing and yet cyclical, fecund, rhapsodic, but then chilling and killing, until the next year. Though you drive carefully, of course, you don’t expect to count as an exception. Like the maple woods, you will turn dramatically orange in the face some fine day, and then quite white and very still.

—Edward Hoagland, “Vermont: Suite of Seasons” from National Geographic

You have to be with someone where you think: if the world was full of people like you, I could not be monogamous.

Simon Van Booy, writer, former english professor, inspiration and friend.

I’m all for the banalities of life and humiliation and everyday tragedies, but I also think people have big moments and they have bigness in them. And they want to see that bignesss. I want to see it.

Greta Gerwig

Living on the edge.

It’s a strange thing to be on the edge of a decision that could change your life, particularly one that is out of your hands. Few things in my life have made me feel so anxiously, blissfully insignificant.

Before I left on my road trip, I posted a quote from the movie Grand Canyon, about how being on the edge of the Grand Canyon has this same result. Realizing how tiny one’s problems are, one’s life is. It’s depressing, and yet, freeing. Leaving on that road trip, in a way, was an exercise in this in so many ways. A friend made fun of a me a bit for having a going away party for being gone a month. “In New York City, there are people who live within blocks of each other and never see each other for longer than that,” he said. I certainly couldn’t deny this fact. An ex of mine lives two blocks away from me, and I’ve seen him twice in the past seven months.

I remember, when I was in high school, my e-mail signature was something relating to fate or destiny. My chemistry teacher asked if I believed in fate. I had sort of a muddy definition of it, not so much that our entire lives were predestined, but that particular things were fated to happen. I think I thought this because even as a middling high school student, I felt as though I was bound for greatness. Even though I had never kissed a boy, I hated showering, I had a slightly-above B average at best, I was trying desperately hard to fit in, I felt like I would really be somebody someday.

Mike and I were talking about predicting the future this morning, and I decided that I would rather not know. It’s not that my future scares me or intimidates me, but I can’t decide if knowing the outcome of things would suck all of the joy out of doing them, or make it that much easier. If you knew you were destined to not get your dream job, would you spend life as a terrible employee, miserable everywhere you go? If you knew you were destined to marry someone, would you put up the same walls and defenses?

The weirdest thing for me is knowing that this change could potentially dramatically change my life. Normally it’s difficult to foresee this aspect of change - even if we expect something to change, we can’t always recognize its impact. I don’t think I ever thought about how much it might change my life to go to on college over the other, or to decide whether or not to date somebody. These things surely impacted my life, but my level of acceptance of that fact or recognition of that fact was low. But here I am now, knowing that a big part of the nearest future of my life lies in someone else’s hands. I can hardly focus, and am anxious for each day to rip by at high speed. I’m a ship without a map that can see land in the distance. I’m the person who hears a knock at the door, unsure of who it might be.

Intimate relationships cannot substitute for a life plan. But to have any meaning or viability at all, a life plan must include intimate relationships.

—Harriet Lerner

It’s cute how I’m 26 and still have problems falling asleep before a big day, right?

My therapist last week said I’m doing some “mental furniture rearranging.” I’ve never heard that metaphor, but I like it.

For some reason it either takes me a long time, or something negative to react. Lately, I feel like I’m taking steps to get my life together - or rearranged, as it were - that I should’ve taken months, even years ago. Trying to focus more on the fact that I’m finally doing them than on the fact that it took so long, but I want to also remember how this feels and learn from it.

I’ve had really mixed feelings towards dating, for a long time. Not so much dating a person, or even more than one person, but the actual dates, especially the first few. I get really exhausted of making small talk or rehashing my life story. I tend to want to jump ahead to the good stuff. I know that when you meet the right person it doesn’t feel tedious, it’s exciting. But it’s the tedium leading up to finding the right person that gets to me. My justification was always that I have so many friends I don’t see enough, and I’d rather just spend my time with people who I know are worth the effort. I see my time as a currency of sorts, and I get very careful about who I pay it out to. Lately, my attitudes towards dating are changing, and not just because I’m learning that the more you go on them, the better they get. Because I’m doing all this mental rearranging, I like the clean slate the first few dates afford you. I can pretend I dress more girlish than I normally do, I can make the decision to be honest and upfront from the start, and because you haven’t messed up yet, it’s easier to be fully confident, etc, etc.

I still can’t quite figure out the career thing. I know what I want, it’s the knowing how to get it that’s challenging me, but I’m making steps in that direction, too. I finally kicked off my book project, I’m having a friend design a portfolio website for me, and I’m going to relaunch T-Sides in October/November. Pursuing a grad degree is basically a given.

I think it’s pretty telling to see what kinds of words people overuse in their writing. Lately I overuse “just.” Usually because I am trying to justify something. But now I’m taking care to cut back on using it. I want to, need to stop justifying things and just do them.