Jeez, Louise! Joy in existing.

  1. Who am I?
  2. If I had just 4 months to live, how would I spend that time?
  3. What would I like to have contributed when life my life is complete?

Three questions posed by the Rich Roll podcast. Three pretty obvious “la la woo woo new agey self development” questions. Maybe not? To me, at least. I’m no stranger to that woo woo shit. But, are you surprised that these three questions absolutely fucking paralyze me? Especially that “who am I?”—who is anyone? FUCK.

I try consciously to notice love and joy in every moment of the day (I’m looking at you sweet ‘lil chirping birds in the trees outside the Children’s Museum this morning), but I also get easily caught up in negativity and expectation (both societal and self imposed). My emotions fluctuate a lot in day, hell, in a hour sometimes. Digressssss. During this podcast, there was mention of the things that stirred happiness in your six-year-old self. I suppose that’s a good jumping point from my gravy brain, so I am going to attempt to suss some of this out.

As a six-year-old, I was talking to trees. I was standing on stumps and singing to grass. I was outside a lot. I was riding a bike (I want a new bike—this is something recently on my mind). I drew pictures of super tall women and portraits of my family. I watched movies and kept to myself a lot. I wrote in my diary. I recorded songs from the radio onto cassette tape. I begged my mom to buy me poster boards from the grocery store and I would spend an entire afternoon making a GIANT collage from old Metropolitan Home magazines (We lived in a trailer; I resented the shit out of this magazine and I know my mom never willingly subscribed to it. There was this weird time bubble in the 80s and 90s when magazines just appeared at your fucking house—it’s a fact).

The past couple of nights Eliot and I have spent an hour or so working on collages made from old National Geographic magazines Joe picked up at a yard sale (from the 80s, no less—I’m just putting that “coincidence” together at this moment). I found myself in that sweet spot where you lose time. Even cooler to get to experience it with your eight-year-old kid. (Will he sit down and write something like this one day?) I have a lot of ideas and feel cool about making simply for the sake of it.

I’ve been caught up the past couple of years in having a “plan” financially to get out of my day job. I’m not entirely divorced from that mindset, but it has almost always included a way to make money from art—not that I’m downing that—but it really helps you to lose the whole purpose of making art in the first place. I think most creative minds can attest to that. The making, the doing, has to be the first priority or the rest of it is just an inauthentic wank off fest.

To quote David Lynch: “Enjoy the doing. So many people do stuff but they don’t enjoy the doing of it. And I always say, that’s your life going by. It’s important to enjoy the doing of something. Jeez, Louise!”

So, I suppose I do find joy in making. Joy in existing. Joy in creating. Joy in expressing myself and convening with nature. Joy in consuming the art of others. I am pretty sure that answers all my questions in one. I’m not shocked they are all interconnected…I’m sure that’s the point of the entire exercise. I need to do all or part of these things every day with that intention alone—joy.

How do these questions make you feel?

When keeping it real goes…accordingly

There comes a time when you have to start taking your own advice.

I have always sort of made myself the counselor for all my friends.  Partially, because I view myself as a good listener, also because I have been through some pretty heinous things in my life so I have some experience under my belt to help back up said advice.  Of course, I give this advice because I genuinely give a shit and want my friends to be happy.  But I also give it because it deters me from thinking too deeply about my own bullshit and hypocrisy.

It is so hard for me to see the deepest faults in myself.  I am not saying this out of some egomaniacal corner of my brain; I just have a lot of trouble being honest with myself.  I don’t even know if half of it would be considered faults so much so as it is just being human.  I am not a perfect person, nor have I ever claimed to be (not without irony at least).  I have declared 2010 my new year without bullshit.  Not just saying, “I don’t give a fuck”.  I do give a fuck.  In fact, I give too many fucks.  Enough so that I have sacrificed my true self to hold on to things in my life that no longer move me forward.  No longer make me happy.   Things (and people) that just keep me comfortable and stagnant.  I don’t want to stop caring all together.  I just want to care for the right reasons and completely real with myself (keepin it 1-hundred).  I don’t want to take myself too seriously either.