I live in an unorganised reality, very full of longing, very full of dreams.
I took some time off work today to go down to the beach in the late afternoon. I called S and told him about my six month plan called the Dice Woman. He was super into it.
You see — I often feel out of touch when I talk to people from London or New York because everyone (less so in London, but I feel a lot of corporate pressure there as an identity validator) places an immense amount of value on your career. And it's funny because people are creative but I haven't really heard anyone passionate recently. Just hungry people hustling for "success", which seems to mean Instagram clout and maybe some awards. Are you more interested in manufacturing a story, or living it?
I have these lofty ideas. I'm a hippie at heart, a loosely bohemian thing. I felt so cheesy confessing to S but it's the truth. I feel so far away from it all sometimes while I'm here. He asked me what R did and I couldn't even tell him because conversations here aren't dominated by what people do for work. Work is a thing that you "do", indeed, not necessarily the backbone of your identity or the core purpose of your existence. What a tragic religion we've made out of labour.
And I said that too — that it's difficult to describe myself these days because I can't see anything or anyone, especially myself, in absolutes.
I think other people are more anchored to an organised sense of reality through relationships with their parents and childhood friends and their college boyfriend or whatever. And I have none of that so I find myself here once again, in the institution of dreams. I remember. I remember it all, us as we were, all the previous me's. I am remembering yes, that I can do anything before death.
"I feel like I'm digging", I thought. "Like I'm shoveling dirt out of a hole in the ground and the treasure I'm seeking to find is myself, that which is truthful, serene and beautiful about myself: what is buried somewhere beneath all my emotional blockages, barriers and beliefs about myself that have come with the years. I believe underneath this earth is me as I was before being engulfed in the noise of the world and have continued to be, in silence."
Silence, or the experience of it, is like an excavation, an unlearning.
It forces you into a connection with yourself.
When you're simultaneously greatly terrified of something and deeply desire it, is when you know you're coming close to what it means to be human - something we forget after biological childhood. The psychological child is within us until we die, and if lost - has to be found. Without what we might call 'the inner child' there is no life, only existence. And mere existence is only as good as death, I have no interest in it.
Among Millennial workers, it seems, overwork and “burnout” are outwardly celebrated (even if, one suspects, they’re inwardly mourned). In a recent New York Times essay, “Why Are Young People Pretending to Love Work?,” the reporter Erin Griffith pays a visit to the co-working space WeWork, where the pillows urge do what you love, and the neon signs implore workers to hustle harder. These dicta resonate with young workers. As several studies show, Millennials are meaning junkies at work. “Like all employees,” one Gallup survey concluded, “millennials care about their income. But for this generation, a job is about more than a paycheck, it’s about a purpose.”
"If I was going to repair my brain, I needed to practice doing nothing. So during my morning walk to the office, I looked up at the buildings around me, spotting architectural details I’d never noticed before. On the subway, I kept my phone in my pocket and people-watched — noticing the nattily dressed man in the yellow hat, the teens eating hot Takis and laughing, the kid with Velcro shoes. When a friend ran late for our lunch, I sat still and stared out the window instead of checking Twitter."