Recognizing necessity for change but responding with inaction is, for all intents and purposes, useless. Only turning thought into action, or ideas into words, enables an individual to enact change (be it “good” or “bad”).
Why is it so difficult to spur emotional and psychological response into action? Is it fear of change and the unknown, or a misguided sense of perceived helplessness? Is it that something has remained stagnant for far too long, and in its wallowing rendered itself incapable of mobility?
You know better.
And so She goes. I am proud of Her, She who might be so many people. Still, that isn’t really the point. It is the way in which one (or anyone, for that matter) awakens the dreaming self and sheds the living nightmare.
She’s saying she’s going to leave. Privately, I think it’s a good idea.
I wouldn’t call it writer’s block. Even if I’m churning out literary garbage, I’m writing for one audience. This in itself is not sad, but the fact that I can no longer be as open and honest while putting my thoughts on paper (a damned journal, for God’s sake) really is.
If you can hack into something, you can break a lock. If it isn’t locked, it’s almost just there for the taking. People are curious, and a journal can offer a Pandora’s Box of information. It really just boils down to trust.
If I am not a night owl, then I am an insomniac.
On occasion, I have been so lucky (and by lucky, I mean incredibly unfortunate) as to be a victim of TMI. It’s the conversational equivalent of a drive-by shooting. Something lethal comes out of nowhere, guts are spilled, and you realize that you were either at the wrong place at the wrong time, or (much worse) somehow, you subconsciously gave someone the impression that he/she could simply drop this bomb on you.
I have heard things that shouldn’t be said to….anyone with ears. To quickly offer a non sequitur, ” I have never heard something that stupid come out of a person’s face.” -Speaker Unknown.
You see, TMI is not stupid. It’s just damaging to the recipient. Sometimes, if you are quiet, people will think you want to hear their innermost thoughts. I believe that in some cases, the TMI offender does not particularly care who their audience is, so long as it is a human being sitting within hearing distance. In other cases, it’s deliberate (because apparently seeing someone genuinely horrified is funny). Stupid? No. Awful? Yes.
If I were Larry David, I would immediately have a response ready to break the silence, like, “OH, my yamulke almost felloff that’showsurprisedIwas!!!” That being said, if I were him, I would probably also attempt to be understanding, and end up saying something specifically offensive to that person, their culture, and their belief system.
Anyway, at this very moment, there are three very bothersome things to which I have recently become aware but am unable to discuss. Seriously, it’s the whole “You can’t tell anybody, but….” and then you are sworn to secrecy, and rue the moment you answered the phone or engaged that person in conversation.
So you see, without disclosing information (and traumatizing anyone else), I have managed to let loose the frustration that is the icing on the TMI cake. Forgive me my rants—they are the closest thing I have to Confession.
A million things. I think it started when I tossed my planner and started writing my To Do list on my hand. That was in 7th grade. Since then, I’ve used diaries, notebooks, and notebook paper (folded up into an impossibly small square, and stuffed inside a wallet) to keep track of my life.
If I look back many, many, many years ago, I can recall the feeling of impatience as a summer morning sloooooowly turned in to a hot, busy, active afternoon, and ever so gradually in to evening……and then…..night. I wonder now, how it was ever possible for me to want to rush time. When I was four I thought that Christmas was a random occasion, perhaps coming around every two years when my parents decided it might be nice to decorate a tree and get everybody together for a long overdue gathering.
Now I lose track of half a year, and wake up in September to find that my lists are getting longer, things are moving faster, and I can’t remember to do my laundry unless I put it on a piece of paper. What is that?
If I hadn’t written down my life on lists and in journals, I might not believe in all that has happened to bring me here to 2009, out of college, out of home and on my own.
I used to write because I thought it would be nice to be able to look back someday. It might sound silly, but I was right. I am curious. If I can hardly remember to buy paper towels and get an oil change, what else have I forgotten?
Pulled quotes from Eleven Minutes. Why do we save quotes? Why do we use clichés? Why do we employ euphemisms in our clichés? I believe we do this because we have found words that are the closest possible articulation of the invisible, shapeless, things that we feel, or would like to feel. They are a slightly more safe, eloquent and seemingly knowing response, or worse, a substitute for our drawing a personal, mental blank in the face of an uncomfortable situation. Things like, “I’m sorry for your loss,” or, well, anything about love, really. What hasn’t been done and what hasn’t been said about love? Nevertheless, I am undone. I found the following words of a fiction character compelling.
From Paulo Coelho’s novel, Eleven Minutes, the heroine and protagonist chronicles life as a prostitute. In this experience, she has a distinct awareness of the ease with which she can wholly take on a contrasting variety of personas, employing illusion to silence and sever ties of a reality she is unwilling to confront. Of course, it becomes blatantly clear that that which is real has a way of emerging, no matter how hard one might try to bury and bind it. In the safety and pain of emotional and psychological solitutude, she only allows herself to write of two real women that do battle in an internal struggle between her mind and heart:
“I’m not a body with a soul, I’m a soul that has a visible part called body.” -Maria’s diary
Connection between people does not always require words, nor does it even require physical contact. I wholly believe that simply knowing everything about someone, or even experiencing the closest physical contact, is not sufficient to declare the presence of a bond. It is a relationship of some sort, but, as Coelho puts it, but a relationship unaware of the thread of our experiences (our grief and our joy, our hopes and our dreams) that stretch endlessly from the beginning, past, present, and future being of one’s self….to another’s. The threads that never meet are strewn by, never catching a glimpse of the other.
Secondly, I favor this far more—
“No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it.”
I for one, do not believe that everything happens by chance. In the freedom with which we live our lives, there are occasions where our life may collide or brush by another. If I were to think of life in terms of a thread of experiences, thoughts, and feelings, I would think while it is possible to connect, then we must travel side by side, rather than securing ourselves together with knots and ties.
I tried to explain this idea to someone once. It isn’t a fact, it’s just an opinion. When I saw that this person felt that connection is a forcible knot, I couldn’t see that sometimes it is possible to trust that a person is there, voluntarily, and steadfastly close.
So, to say what’s already been said, we went down two different roads.
Addendum: 11/1/2010, Eleven Minutes was lost on a plane en route from Los Angeles to Houston.
What’s the difference between anxiety and panic? Your brain knows, though until now many scientists didn’t. Recent research by Wendy Heller shows that the two states originate in different cerebral hemispheres—and that previous research had often confused them.
Scientists studying anxiety had produced conflicting reports of its site in the brain, says Heller, because they failed to distinguish anxious apprehension (worry) from anxious arousal (panic). In an effort to sort out the two, Heller and her colleagues compared the brain activity of a group of people who often felt anxious apprehension and a group who tended toward anxious arousal. Even at rest, the worriers had more left brain activity, the panickers more right.
That makes sense, says the University of Illinois psychologist, because the left hemisphere controls speech production—worrying is primarily a verbal activity—while the right side plays a greater role in regulating panic’s physical effects: increased heartbeat, sweating, and production of stress hormones. Heller adds that the brain’s distribution of duties offers an extra benefit: When blood flow to a particular region increases, the brain performs better on associated tasks. So some amount of worry sharpens our verbal abilities, and a moderate level of arousal improves our processing of visual and spatial information. “If you’re in danger, you will see better and navigate better,” says Heller. “The locations of these states in the brain isn’t an accident.” – Anne Murphy Paul (January 1, 1998).
Instead of opting to spend another day thinking about all the things I intend to do tomorrow, I pulled all the papers, binders, and folders (after six years) and uncermoniously dumped them on to my bed. Now, if you are like me, then you will understand how this sort of thing can happen–that a hundred pages of receipts, documents, and bills with dates, balances, phone numbers, account numbers, and web sites….can just become a pile. Or at the very best, left in a conveniently vacant drawer.
It’s not that I don’t pay my bills. It’s not that I don’t care. I just do it all online. I can’t honestly say I’ve ever enjoyed taking the extra fifty seconds to handwrite a check, when I am fully aware that one click of a button will complete the job for me. It’s convenient.
Shredding and sorting is not.
So, being a night owl, and something of a “project” person, I pulled out the remains of my financial and academic past, silenced my pack rat instinct, and let the old stuff go.
If only everything else were that simple.