Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I'm all over the place.

This blog is supposed to be an experiment in bringing together the many disparate areas of my life, but too frequently silence is the only result. One of my goals for this, my twenty-fifth year, is to keep pursuing balance, whole humanness, simplicity. I planned to continue to clear clutter (in the musty closets and in my musty mind) and to more actively trace the connections between my various passions and activities. But too often I feel more borderline schizoid than whole in the sense I'm reaching for.

How, in a fast-paced world chock full of opportunities, does one weed out the excess? I love to play the piano, but I usually opt to look through a magazine for recipes rather than to struggle through a new prelude or dash off a familiar tune. Which reminds me that I love too cook (!), but find it difficult to keep on top of meal plans with my grad school responsibilities. Which reminds me that I'm such a student, such a reader, such a writer, but never manage to go the next (and necessary) step of researching conferences and journals for submission. Which reminds me that I love to write creatively, but let's not even walk down that path...

Which reminds me that I love to go hiking (but without the heavy packpacks, love), but schedules and gas prices keep us from even occasional weekend treks. Which reminds me that I have so many faraway and wonderful friends, but do I keep up with them very well? No. And I love to stitch things and paint things and glue things, but do I do this very often, or set up an etsy shop to at least fund my hobbies? Nope.

Part of me thinks it's an issue of risk-taking and extravagance. I'm stingy sometimes, with money (have to be) and with experience (don't really have to be). Why is that?

But it's also the impossibility of keeping everything as a top priority. My mind only holds so much at a time, and I tend to get engrossed in projects or ideas one at a time. And when I'm not in the midst of a project, I have a horrible time choosing which one to do next. The pace of grad school usually solves this problem for me, but I finished an assigned novel this morning (White Teeth--fascinating) and have spent the ensuing three hours on laundry and fiddling about, unable to choose whether to throw myself into hemming napkins or writing a story or writing an abstract for a conference proposal or taking a walk down to the beach and risking cold rain.

Maybe it would be easier if I didn't enjoy so many things, but I do. In my efforts to simplify and focus, I can't just chop off the inconvenient tangents that mean a lot to me. And I've already chopped off most of those that don't (like going out much, or shopping, or ever getting my hair cut, or organizing the freezer so things don't fall out of it and bruise my toe when I open the door). So what's left?

This is a rant, but I'm going to post it anyway. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I for one would have enjoying you relating to the reader your experience of having just finished White Teeth.

    Auctor ignotus,