There my thoughts went--ssshhwwooooop! Gone.
Today I decided that I am mad.
Yes. I'm mad at graduate school because it sucked the life out of my writing. I'm mad because it feels good to be mad at something other than myself. I'm mad because I DON'T KNOW HOW TO WRITE ANYMORE! I'm mad because I can't even THINK...and grad school seems like the best culprit to place the blame on.
The only problem is that my anger has holes in it. My arguments don't hold up--mostly because of this teacher, who helped me survive my academic struggles in more ways than he probably realizes...and also because of some really incredible people/writers/fellow students that I met along the way. I'd like to blame the past 2 years of school for my serious lack of equilibrium and my inability to write--but... let's face it: it's not completely true.
Today, as I walked down the sidewalk along the lake with wolfie pulling my arm out in front of me in her desire for squirrels, I started thinking about the many ways my life has changed since I last felt "normal." Ok, ok...I've never been "normal." By normal I mean: when I last felt like I understood myself and my position in life. Grad school would make for a great scapegoat for obvious reasons. But I kept walking down the street with my beautiful wolfie pulling me along behind her and asked myself: when was the last time I felt normal?
The image that came to my mind first was of me sitting in the camper that I lived in while building my house. I collected rainwater to bathe in and wrote on an old clackity-clack typewriter because I did not yet own a computer or, for that matter, even have electricity. I lived with my dog and my cat and spent my days building and working and writing and with a few of my very best friends.
After that it all got complicated--not necessarily bad, just complicated. And busy.
For the past month I've been working a lot, but making my own schedule. It's been a pretty serious transitional time for me and lately I've been trying to figure out who I am OUTSIDE of school. I'm trying to figure out who I am as a writer and an artist--and, well, as a person too.
Today I worked at the gallery and was amazed by how absolutely hectic/crazy/spazzed-out people are. I was just watching people talk to me--their words flying a mile a minute, their eyes darting, bodies jerking--trying to talk and do ten things at once.
Interacting with people makes me feel exactly the same way I did when I stepped off the plane after 9 months in India. The feeling: What the hell is wrong with these people? What is their hurry?
But this is the American Way. And, I'm sorry, but the American Way sucks. Uuh--it hurts to watch. No wonder I feel like I'm floating off into space. No wonder I can't keep my feet attached to the ground or my mind focused long enough to get through even one coherent thought.
Whatever the cause of my difficulties with writing lately...I've decided that I'd be a lot better off if I gave myself the space I need to work out my issues of being deathly afraid of competition, being deathly afraid of failure, being deathly afraid of not starting, being deathly afraid of....I don't know what my fears are all about or, for that matter, where they came from in the first place. I never used to be afraid of anything (except worms and snakes, that is). ha! Worms and snakes are nothing compared to these new-found fears that seem to have crept in on me when I wasn't looking. Anyway, these so-called fears are getting on my nerves. I'm bored with them and they get in the way.
Alright. Fine. My anger's gone. I'm not mad any more. Writing is good like that.
I just wish my life would slow down long enough for me to catch up with myself. But who knows--maybe that's what's happening now.