…Yet, for me, Twitter foments neurosis, Facebook sadness, Google News a sense of foreboding…. I can’t help but feel that I am the worst version of myself, being performative on a very short, very depressing timeline. A timeline of seconds.-Craig Mod
My boss sent this article to me.”Thought of you,” she said. I was impressed by how much she gets me. I guess I complain a lot to her. Perhaps telling her I was taking some time off to run away to a mountain with no cell reception was another clue.
I’ve spent this year writing, and not-writing, my book. I’ve envisioned telling a story about skepticism, faith and recovery. This has given me a lot of time to procrastinate and hate myself and reflect on how I use my time. In the frequent moments I am 100% sure I will never finish writing this book, I try to recall why I started at all.
1) I made a promise to God.
2) Since I was a child, I’ve looooved writing.
At the age of 8, I started keeping a diary and wrote stories and poems. Painting and drawing were my other friends. I mean, I had actual friends, too. But if it came down to reading a new book or going to the skating rink with a friend, I really did prefer staying home. This is usually still true.
There was also something about the quiet that I really enjoyed. That childish luxury of being transported by words on a page. It was something I wish I had the superpower to do for others.
God bless my parents who are not readers but would have to listen to an 8-year-olds messy synopsis of whatever book she had just finished reading. I was just so excited about it all. Having that experience, you know?
Good books made me pretty contemplative about life.
This child-like state allowed me time to consider.
To consider is a beautiful thing. The word comes from Latin words meaning to observe or examine the stars, or heavenly body, constellations.
Which is exactly what child-like boredom provides me with, the space in time to sit and consider. The way you’d lazily gaze at stars and let your mind wander, contemplating their existence. Contemplating your own.
So, when I’ve been sitting down to write this book, it feels as though I’m just transcribing my experiences. So flat. Not real magic. I know this is partly because I lack the technical skills of writing, but also, most shamefully, I’m not convinced the story is worth the trouble of retelling. I end up ok. So far, I know how the story ends and it is not that interesting at all.
We tell stories to each other everyday. People really only like the bad ones. The messy endings. For example, a favorite movie of mine is Celeste and Jesse Forever. Spoiler alert: They don’t end up together. I LOVE THAT. Or they like the neatly packaged ending, cliched and tired.
The blogs and videos I post that get the most engagement are always the ones I hate writing and making the most. It feels kinda prostitute-y, you know? Parading the miserableness only because I survived it. Wouldn’t be much of a story worth telling if I was still in it, I guess. If I hadn’t changed.
Anyway, all of this doesn’t mean anything and is only loosely connected to what I want to say which is: I have found myself so stifled by scrolling screens and news headlines that I haven’t had the chance to truly consider, in child-like boredom, to contemplate and observe with genuine wonder…. if this is still a story that I truly want to tell, if it’s something that would make anyone else consider…
So, I think I need to work on that. I’ll need a little quiet to get there.
…“boredom” is a goal, the antipode of mindless connectivity, constant stimulation, anger, and dissatisfaction. I put “boredom” in quotes because the boredom I’m talking about fosters a heightened sense of presence. To be “bored” is to be free of distraction.
title: stone temple pilots, big empty