Monday, August 29, 2011

Re: Shine

I was re-reading some older blogs in efforts to be inspired - inspiration to blog, inspiration to do things I ought to be doing besides reading old blogs, just inspiration. I don't think that I was inspired. I feel stagnant - like staid water. Nothing good comes from staid water.

But I was struck by a blog entry from February of this year (Shine). I think it mostly still stands true today. I suppose the depressing part of this fact is that it is half a year later (holy crap!) and I am still working on these same struggles. But perhaps the more hopeful (dare I say I am trying to be optimistic?!) perspective would be that I am still striving for the same goal - this desire/need to become a person who is sure of herself without the stench of pretension.

I maintain that this is no easy task. It's a frustrating goal because it involves so much introspection and balancing self-criticism with self-praise (this is something that surely should happen somehow). Constructive self-criticism, if you will - is this possible? It's much easier to simply criticize oneself, without constructing anything.

I used the metaphor of an antique mirror in the old post. Working to replace the warped glass - well I'm pretty sure that the first step in that process is shattering the old glass. Maybe this is where I am right now, carefully removing shards of glass one by one. Now to install that new self image (which I imagine is tricky) and then polish. Shine, damn it! SHINE. It is something to aspire to. And it's not easy.

A more touching quote than the last:
"Too late for second guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap

It's time to try defying gravity
I think I'll try defying gravity
And you can't pull me down"

Sunday, August 28, 2011


On this lazy Sunday morning, with a pot of perfectly brewed coffee and a good book, I should be content in a reverie, lost in the morning’s coolness and the sounds of late summer crickets humming loudly. Later I’ll study and go to the grocery store and continue to search for something to fill my newly open schedule, but now I should be satisfied with the moment of calm and leisure that is presented to me. And I am… sort of.

But I don’t do well with calm and leisure, not really. I get anxious. I want something to do. This sort of calm lacks a sense of planned adventure for which I long. In this moment I fear that this is my future – that I will not be propelled into a life that I want. (Not that I truly know what the life I want is.) I am afraid that at some point I will be forced to accept a settled sort of position in life, and then life will lose its luster. But maybe that shine is fading already. Dreaming is becoming difficult day by day.

Some of my favorite memories have involved looking up at the sky. The clouds in Scotland; sunsets in Tanzania; the stars in Rome, GA. A certain goodbye kiss. Canvassing the ‘hood.

I think it has to do with the temptation of hope. These moments and images entice me to want to dream. But dreaming is beginning to seem more and more impractical.

Maybe it’s because past dreams have not come to fruition. And yes, mostly that’s because I’ve chosen different dreams to pursue. But there have been one or two distinct moments when I have been abruptly awakened to reality, dreams being ripped from my mind in a second. Sure, I have gone on to find new opportunities and experiences that I’ve frankly loved, but still I am apprehensive to dream again. I am afraid to want anything truly; I find myself simply accepting whatever falls in my path – and dismissing the things that don’t that I might have wanted.

I’m losing a sense of desire and reverie that I think I once had. I’m afraid this lends itself to a growth of apathy.

Free Will Astrology for Scorpio this week: “Rather, he’s content with the simple, familiar pleasures. I urge you to follow his lead as you imagine and create your own fantasy world this week. Love what you’ve got.” How do you balance loving what you’ve got with building a future? How do you encourage contentedness while staving off apathy? Can you?

Friday, August 5, 2011


Someone asked me last weekend what my “dream job” is. (This is what I get for being in grad school.) I guess I once had a “dream job,” but alas, I have now abandoned such ideas.

I realized today that, of late, I’ve been living my life at about five months at a time. I suppose I aspire to live one day at a time, but that would require freeing myself further than I seem to be able to do. But five months at a time fits nicely with the academic calendar. Five months at a time seems to be just about the right amount of time to create an experience. I am working these five-month periods of time into something that resembles forward motion. Five months at a time I am piecing together a life.

I feel that these pieces of my life have been colorful and textured and many. Sewing them piece by piece, eventually, I assume, it will turn into a whole product – a beautiful, cozy, comforting thing that I will appreciate and cherish. This quilted life works itself as it will; and I shall hopefully find a way to blend the less desirable pieces among the more brilliant so that it is delightfully appealing.

Now to just pull together this immediate piece – what will the fall look like? The fall hopefully will be something in an orange-y yellow. January will then deal with itself in a pale blue. I suppose come May I will have to choose larger swatches of cloth.