One of the most compelling arguments for daily journaling is that the pressure of having to decide the scope and scale of how to write your life when any amount of time has passed can be such that it seems easier to just stop. I found myself filled with a restlessness this evening, and felt compelled to try again.
My sister and my cousin are going to be coming to Portland for a visit. I am happy to have them, and it feels very grown up to have them as houseguests and staying in my house. They’re over 21 now, which is going to make it a little different of a visit than other times she’s been up here.
My computer died. If I didn’t have a smartphone, I’d be freaking out, but as it is, I don’t feel cut off from other people. The bad part is that I don’t feel cut off from internet bullshit and distraction either, so it’s kind of like having the worst of both worlds: I’m still capable of distracting my time away but it’s a little bit harder to do actually meaningful things. I’m writing this on a roommate’s computer.
Endings of things are opportunities for reflections on things, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the other computers that I’ve owned. It’s been a really long time, maybe four or five years, since my computer has felt so capable that I could use it as a creative outlet. I’ve continued to use them to write music, to write words, but the last two laptops that I’ve used were so slow that any heavy lifting, like recording or audio editing, were out of the question. That’s been true for most of the time that I’ve had computers, and I’m really looking forward to that brief feeling of having a really fast computer. I decided that if I can get myself another job that pays better than what I’m making, and clear all debts, I will allow myself to finance one. Computers have always been important to me, and I’ve been putting some thought into learning more about how to create and maintain software, because the openness of the field attracts me and there’s just so much fucking money in it right now.
I do miss a lot, though. I miss my iTunes library. I miss my saved passwords. I miss typing on a keyboard. And, ugh, I love you apple computers but holy shit you are so expensive.
I’ve been trying to chill out and keep riding the Radical Acceptance wave. Self criticism can be like 80% of what I do with any waking day, so trying my hardest to shut that down leaves me with a lot of time that I’m not quite sure how to use. I’m trying to trust my instincts a little better, to believe that the things that are interesting to me are interesting because I’m interested in them. To eat my dessert first. To believe that I can just pursue the things I want to go after without putting myself through some remedial boot camp first.
This is not easy work for me. But, I don’t know, it’s not the worst way to live at the very least, and at the very most, if I can come to access a little more belief in myself, that can’t be a bad thing.
I went out to Blow Pony last weekend with Luke Skywalker, Jesus Christ, and his best friend. I lost Jesus and his friend as soon as we got in the door and never saw him again the whole night, but ended up having a good time with Luke. I also wanted to facepalm several times when I tensed up and got shy with the good looking, drunk men I essentially pay money to be near. Sometimes I get so crazy and sadsacky with thoughts of isolation and loneliness, that I forget that I can also fuck things up with good old fashioned dorkery and awkwardness. There was something almost refreshing in the universal cluelessness of the mistakes I was making, and fortunately was having such a good time otherwise that I could just laugh about it the next day.
Applications are starting to head out the door in earnest. I’m really excited to maybe join a blogging platform that has an office downtown in Portland. They’re scaling up and it seems like a good fit for me. I think that if I can get an interview, I can get the job. My confidence is much higher than the last time I was looking for a job. In the end, my current job only adds so much onto work history and work experience, but I understand a little better what cover letters are for, and how to speak up for myself. I think I’m shedding some of the false humility of insecurity. Humility is good, but being humble because you are afraid to value yourself ahead of others is dumb.
I went back to Southeast Grind, and I’ve begun to park on a couch and ostentatiously read Moby-Dick in public like a real asshole. There was a point where I was reading Moby-Dick and listening to some classical music and sometimes glancing around to make sure that others were noticing how hard I was braining and I was so ashamed to be That Guy, but then I was also wondering what other guy I would be, and why do I have to be ashamed when there are so many other guys to be and some of them have to be worse… Eventually I lost track of which voice was self-loathing and which was self-accepting, and which I hoped to win and which I was afraid would.
Sitting in a coffee shop is not really first nature to me. I like spending time in them, but they’ve always been transition spaces for me: places to while away a half an hour before an appointment, or before arriving too early, or waiting for someone. I have a tendency when anxious to not be able to settle into a place. My body is not restless, I might be sitting as still as a stoner. But inside, I have a waterline slowly rising, asking “When can we leave?” The worst is sometimes when it happens during a music concert, and even if I’m really into the music, all my inside seems to want is for the concert to be over so that it can start picking it apart, indexing, pickling, storing, forgetting. When the waterline starts to reach my head, I have to flee.
Reading in the coffee shop is good practice. For what, I don’t know. But I haven’t gotten this far by knowing what I’m doing.