Tuesday, December 07, 2004


A week or so ago I entered into one of the most laborious efforts in my clean-up process: sifting through the papers. I threw out a lot of magazine articles: recipes I never tried, exercises I never adopted, top-ten-ways-to-do-whatever-the-heck-I-thought-needed-to-be-done-at-the-time… I threw out English lit papers from high school, and drafts of theory papers from college (I kept the actual graded papers, in order to remind myself that I once knew which theorists belonged with which theory and how to convince my professors that I knew what the theorist was talking about). Theories crack me up anyway. I think philosophers and sociologists (and members of any other -ologys and -osophys) must be really fast writers. They somehow capture the randomness of those moments where suddenly your thoughts reach clarity, they get it down on paper and occasionally even add accompanying graphs, and they must be able to give themselves enough of a road map to return to that clarity from time-to-time. I have some of those moments of clarity, and a few of them have been captured in these papers I hoard. But for the most part, I don’t write fast enough. It’s like when you’re dreaming, and the dream is so real and you are actively involved in everything that’s going on, but the moment you wake up you can’t remember anything that was happening seconds before.

But, as usual, I digress from my point of writing. I ran across an article that was worn with age. It should have easily gone in the trash with multitudes of other “dream life” articles, but I just couldn’t bear to part with it. I’ve had the article since high school or early college (If I were at home, I would check, but why delay writing just to clarify minor details?). So the chick in this article lived off of $6,000 a year – and she had a cozy little apartment and funky clothes and a smile on her face and all that jazz. Apparently she exchanged rent for yard work to her landlord, ate free meals at the restaurant she worked for, didn’t have a car, etc. etc. I’m pretty sure she probably started out debt-free (big help), enjoyed the cheaper things in life (which I do, although I really like the pampering stuff too…), and surrounded herself with other poor people (which I have, though in my current state of employment, I fear I am a bad influence). I have held onto this article about a real bohemian, who enjoyed life to the fullest by living simple and stress free, because it is where I strive to be. Backwards, ain’t it? I spent lots of money on college (and continue to every month), so I could live in a manner that would have been easier to achieve had I never gone to college in the first place. But then again, the –ologys and –osophys I studied have produced the bohemian mind in me, if not the bohemian lifestyle. And I think I’m doing my best with what I’ve got. I moved back home to pay less rent. I live in a city where the not-having-a-car-thing is not really an option. And I am vowing to downsize my so-called career to a manageable pace.

I picked up the book Citizen Girl Sunday evening. Hi-lar-i-ous. Not so much because it is genuinely funny, but more so because it is genuinely my life. I’m not crazy ~ other people really do feel my pain. So I continue to reexamine my priorities, consider cutbacks (rentals vs. first releases, folgers vs. gingerbread lattes, launch.com vs. new CDs… ok, maybe scratch the last one?), and brace myself for the mighty wind that’s blowin’. I continue to organize my chaos (without and within), set my gaze on finishing that freakin’ Masters paper, and come up with ways to work out a budget without working myself to death. I’ll get by with a little help from my friends ~ my stress is really quite menial compared to many. For now, I’ll go refill on the free beverages supplied by company, with my choice of four different sweeteners. I’ll defiantly take a lunch break and go read a book. I’ll take a deep breath, and I’ll press on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i did the same thing recently - clipped dave eggers columns from spin and some interesting no depression articles and threw away 20 pounds of magazines...they pile up way too fast.