Find meaning. Distinguish melancholy from sadness. Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at its most spectacular moment, flowers and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but “steal” some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be. – Albert Camus, Notebooks, 1951-1959
This is a quote I need to read over and over and over again. I am constantly telling myself what I lack, what I’m not doing enough of. Writing, for instance: even when there are a million other things I need to get done, I can’t seem to excuse myself for the breaks I take—the breaks I have to take. But regardless of other priorities, I need these breaks for the sake of the writing itself, otherwise the process starts to feel like pulling teeth, which is never pleasant. I have to remind myself that not all of my thoughts are going to easily connect into something bigger and more intriguing than their separate parts, that sometimes it’s okay not to be struck by that addictive flow-state that comes over me when I’m writing something valuable. I won’t always have a lot to say, or I won’t know exactly how to convey what it is that I’m feeling. That doesn’t make me less of anything–it just makes me human.
Luckily, someone e-mailed me this mindless survey and asked me to post it, and for the sake of my early days on good old Xanga, when filling out surveys about oneself was the height of cool, I will do it. You should do it, too, because while it’s a wee bit self-involved, it’s also undeniably fun.
What’s your favorite musical? I don’t really like musicals. Grease is eternally great, though. How do you get to sleep? With a lot of help from friends in the form of pills, and a good dose of anxious tossing and turning. What happened at the last party you went to? I haven’t been to a real party at someone’s house in a long time. Have you ever smoked a cigarette? Once or twice and I hate them. And I will make that obnoxiously clear if you smoke one around me. What’s your hair like at this present moment? Messy, in a slept-in ponytail. Are you more comfortable sitting or lying down? Sitting…in a bed. What’s the worst film you’ve ever seen? Hard to choose. Are you an untidy person? No, I’m tidy to a fault. Have you ever been a fan of N*Sync? That shit raised me, for better or for worse. Do you watch a lot of television? In the last year or two I’ve gotten really into TV, because it’s so good these days! But I used to really dislike it growing up. I preferred imaginary friends. Do you think you’re fat sometimes? Ha, loaded question. Do you like to flex your muscles? I leave that to the men at the gym. Do you think you’ll ever get plastic surgery? Nope, unless some serious accident requires it. Have you ever completely misunderstood what somebody was saying? Too many times to count, I’m sure. Favorite kind of cake: Carrot cake! Eeeeee. Was it a boy or a girl to text you last? A ladyfriend. Name something you are doing tomorrow? Stressing. Do you sleep on your stomach? Nope, fetal position, mostly. Where are you going to be at 4 PM tomorrow? Probably somewhere on the Upper East Side. Come find me. Last time you saw fireworks, with whom & where? The Fourth of July with my mom. Because I’m that cool. Are you missing someone? Only in the vaguest, least-noticeable sense. Do you like horror or comedy? Both, but comedy more. Life terrifies me enough. Who did you last share a taxi with? My best friend Julia. The cab driver told us he loved us. Dogs or cats? DOGS. What were you doing at 12 this afternoon? That time has yet to pass, I’ll probably be eating an un-thrilling lunch and reading. Do you think you will be in a relationship 3 months from now? Not at this rate. What’s your favorite season? Why? Fall. I prefer cooler weather and no humidity, and because I look the least like a walking vagina around that time. When’s the last time you did something you knew was wrong? Really morally wrong, I’m not sure. But I do something I know is pseudo-wrong like daily. Did you have any unread text messages this morning when you woke up? Yes. Who was the last person you hugged? My mom. Do you think you would be a good parent? Eventually, yes. But not anytime soon—I’m still learning to parent myself. When was the last time you cried? When we put my dog to sleep a few weeks ago. Bawled like a baby. Who was driving the last time you were in a car? My mom. Does any part of your body hurt right now? Nope. Do you like your bed? We have a love/hate relationship. Have you ever broken someone’s heart? I think so, or at least upset them with my lack of mutual romantic affection? When did you last talk to your brother or sister? My older brother like a week ago, my younger sisters probably via text sometime this past week, and my little brother never…whoops. Do you ever want to know who you are going to marry? I guess? But it’s not really weighing on me. How much cash do you have on you? None. I rarely carry cash, much to my own dismay. Are you tanned? I’m naturally olive-ish but right now I look more like a once-olive-skinned person who’s dying. Did you get any compliments today? Last night, a sweet e-mail. Have you ever gone to court? Not really. Though when I was seventeen I got caught at a party underage drinking and had to deliver a paper to court on why drinking was BAD. Do you get jealous easily? Not anymore, but I definitely did when I was younger. Now I tend to just get overly excited for people I once would have envied. Sometimes though I’ll see a beautiful stranger and loathe them, in a loving way? Would you ever want to swim with the sharks? No way. What are you doing Saturday? Going for a run, and doing loads of work. What is in your back pocket? Nada. What were you doing at 3 AM this morning? Sleeping, surprisingly. What do you usually do first in the morning? Check my phone, like a good little addict. Are you any good at math? Horrendous. Do you have a little crush on someone? Not in any recurring sense—i.e. there’s no one I’m constantly thinking of and desiring. How old is the last person you kissed? 25 Why did you kiss the person you last kissed? Because I think they’re a great human who cares about me and visa versa.
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