Stay cool, stay calm.

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Nothing’s gonna touch you in these golden years

Life is GoodWalking around campus and listening to Bowie’s Golden Years can do wonders for clarity. And even if it isn’t clarity and even if it’s just the sunshine, it’s good to get some perspective.

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend

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Behold! A lady who doth THINK too much.

Too Much Brain In My HeadI’m pretty sure it is Euripides who tells us not to think too much. I tend to believe him because he’s old and Greek and a writer… not that believing him prevents me at all from thinking too much.

I walk through the grove of eucalyptus trees and pass beneath the blue net installation that cuts through the downward path. They go unnoticed; it has become habit. My feet push against the gravel, but I feel nothing. I fall into a dull routine, and my mind wanders as gravity leads me down the hill. My body, ducking and weaving between students, operates on muscle memory as thoughts move fiercely within it. They flee into the crevices and corners of the brain, shuffling through its spaces and settling into the tissue. They pace back and forth and back again, twisting and turning through my head. They push against action and impulse, against the figure that contains them and the bitter walls pulsating within my chest. It is too much– the weight, the weight. I close my eyes. Within that moment, brief and brutal, I feel the full force of my thoughts. They weigh heavy against my body, throwing it backwards. My eyes open. Shielded by my own pitiful self-involvement, my body crashes violently as it heads down the pathway, unable to reconcile itself with the madness of my thoughts. “Watch where you’re going” — a voice growls deep and tumultuous from behind. My feet lead me quickly away. It is too late to apologize, and so the natural route of my walk continues to propel me forward, thoughts mulling dangerously under the surface.

This was the first of many indicators. Within the past week, I have tripped multiple times. I have collided into bikes and skateboards in my obliviousness. People wave at me and it takes minutes to break out of my line of thought. Sometimes I won’t respond at all. I feel like I’ve been moving around in this strange subconscious state. I think so much that I forget to pay attention to anything else. It is absolutely ridiculous.

Sometimes we just need to stop thinking so much. No, I won’t even pluralize that. It’s not fair– sometimes I just need to stop.

I think it’s pretty obvious that thinking (at least in the ridiculous, excessive sense that I have clearly adopted) isn’t the solution. Clarity has never fled more fearfully from me.

I am already strange and neurotic and absurd and confusing. So far as I can see, thinking has only added to the confusion. I have a theory: it is not the amount of thinking, but rather the intention of that thinking, that complicates things. I mean, what am I really trying to figure out? What can I possibly reason through? Is it even helping? Why do I even need to rationalize all this anyway? There is a blunt irony in the complications that arise as I think about thinking. It is exhausting.

But I am trying to be still, and it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do.

Euripides also said that thinking too much can lead to madness. I figure it’s time to step away from myself for a while and just let things unravel as they will because I’m pretty sure Euripides is right… and let’s face it, I’m mad enough as it is.

Indeed.

L'information Scolaire, Robert Doisneau (1956)

L'information Scolaire, Robert Doisneau (1956)

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.

— Charles Dickens

Let’s keep it together (Can we keep it together?)

I think this week was something of a trial-run for spring quarter. Oh, what a trial it was!

I tried to write it all down. In retrospect, it was shameful and pathetic. So I deleted it. There wasn’t much. Basically just me freaking out, thinking too much, pulling all-nighters constantly, reading vigorously for literature classes while neglecting communication classes, and getting majorly pwned because I can’t seem to keep it together.

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I spent most of my COCU100 and COSF140b classes drawing that on Tuesday. I don’t think I have the mental capacity to withstand my upper-division lit/writing classes and still devote myself fully to learning about the dullness of visual culture and European media systems. Worst double major EVER. I have obvious preferences. Oh well. You can hardly blame me.

This week has been horribly stressful, particularly around Tuesday. And it’s odd because it fluctuates so much. I’m perfectly happy now, but I suspect much of that has to do with the fact that Granger paid me a minute, insignificant blip of a compliment. And I swear, nothing has made me this happy all week. I was beaming for the rest of the day.

While it’s completely encouraging and unbelievably satisfying, I hate that I am capable of changing directions so easily. There’s a fair chance that none of this really makes sense if you’re not in my position, or if you’re not a writing major, or if you’re not absolutely insane (as I clearly am). For that, I apologize. It’s hard to explain, and I don’t know if anyone really cares for the explanation.

I think it’s just a little terrifying that a tiny comment from a crazy old man can move me to happiness. Or that anything anyone else does or thinks or says to me can shift my entire world. I live and die by someone else’s hands. It’s horrifying, really. What little control I have over myself!

I don’t know how to put this. I hate writing about myself. I hate being humbled. Slight movements and fleeting words affect me like disasters. I take everything personally and painfully. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I mean, who am I allowing to define me? Who am I placing my faith in? My truthful, truthful answer is neither noble or right. Sometimes I don’t think I know myself at all. Seriously…I am being humbled.

And it seems I have a lot to learn.

The Lord your God is with you,

He is mighty to save.

He will take great delight in you,

He will quiet you with his love,

He will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17