deliberate distractions

it’s without pleasure that i’ve noted my recent aversion to working with purpose on the things that matter most to me. i feel as if i’m hiding from what i know i should be doing–and what i ultimately want to do. i think it’s safe to say that i’m in a transitional phase, on the verge of something potentially great, but not quite there yet. it’s as if i can dimly sense that the destination is within reach, but i still can’t see the path clearly, can’t anticipate what’s around each bend and am feeling my way towards an outcome that still feels a bit blurred and distant.

however, i know i won’t ever get there if i keep hiding from the work that i know i need to do, hiding from purpose and meaning, blanketed by an obscure fear of failing at the very thing you’ve been told your whole life that you’re good at, that you’re gifted, that you’re–wait for it–special. the phenomenon of feeling like a fraud, that the work controls you more than you control the work. that you’re a vessel for something greater rather than the composer of a magnificent symphony. that things, that words flow through you, like a stream in ways that don’t always make sense until many months and several revisions later and the story starts to unfold. it’s an act of faith and frankly one of optimism to write in such a manner, but it’s quite simply the only way i know how to do it. to give up complete control and succumb to the story that controls you.

to banish all fear of judgment, all fear of failure, all fear of somehow being wrong–or worse, being bad. it’s almost like theater, a suspension of disbelief and skepticism, if only for a few hours at a time. it finally feels like it’s time to do the work that is inside of me, to claim the story as my own to tell.

thoughts on valentine’s day

it’s a week after the fact, but i felt compelled to write this anyway–it’s no longer timely, but it is still true: i’ve always had a strong aversion to valentine’s day, even though i’ve spent most of my life as a part of a couple. to me it simply feels like a great deal of pressure, this idea of being forcefully romantic on a set day along with everyone else in the western world. not to mention that i’m a bit phobic regarding traditional romance–it’s all but guaranteed that i will turn into a complete basket case even thinking about the prospect of a dozen rose, red dresses and fancy dinners out with the masses. add in a white tablecloth, chocolates (ok, i take this back–i lovingly and happily accept chocolates any day of the year) and any sort of jazzy slow jam and it’s the recipe for me having a complete and utter meltdown/freak out/unpleasant and decidedly unromantic reaction.

i usually warn people of this tendency to reject anything that veers towards this traditional version of romance, which is fairly true of me on almost any day of the year, but looms monstrously on days with forced romance–i.e. valentine’s day and anniversaries of any sort. i love love but i despise this set notion of what it should look like. quite simply, i would much prefer to be surprised with tulips on a random tuesday.

this strong predilection seems to catch people off guard. i’m fairly girly in a few ways, love pink, glitter, select flowers–the typical things that make people believe i might want this type of overblown outpouring. i think what i dread most in this holiday is feeling generic, not truly known. it becomes so quickly clear that someone knows nothing of you when they give you the very things you hate but that girls as a whole are supposed to fawn over. it’s not necessarily that the thought isn’t there, but perhaps it really isn’t if one opts for the easiest, most stereotypical ways to show affection. there’s certainly not much effort in it, at least from my perspective, although it will probably not come as a shock that i’ve been accused of being difficult more than a few times.

so dear reader, i’m delighted to report that this valentine’s day was a bit different than my norm, which consisted of ignoring all elements of the day, save for perhaps a few sweet treats for my colleagues and love letters to my closest girlfriends. while i expounded upon my long-held aversion to this hallmark holiday ad naseum, my efforts to avoid this so-called holiday were usurped and replaced with an evening that turned out to be ideal for people watching, one of my favorite activities, especially when there’s a bottle of wine and a cushy seat involved. i laughed a lot, made mental notes of all the surprisingly strange people i saw and managed to avoid almost all the cliches of the day i despise while still participating. the best of both worlds, involvement and observation rolled into one. and there were absolutely no roses.