You know I wrote a couple of weeks ago that I wasn’t going to post many more entries for a while because of my morning pages. Well, when I talked with wanderingapricot about this, she said, “I may just have to look at those morning pages then.” That is not a good option (they are A: rambly, and B: so personal as to be probably boring to everyone but me), but lately I’ve written some things there that I thought might make good blog entries.
So here you are, Bright. Maybe now you’ll be more careful what you wish for. ;b
My subconscious fights back
As you all know, I have very vivid and bizarre dreams, and I usually remember them upon waking. This week I’ve had several that are more bizarre than usual, not because I’m talking with giant walking kiwis or swimming in the stars (though those both would be pretty cool, no?), but because they’ve been bleak or violent. Normally dreams like that make me depressed, but these didn’t. Here’s one.
I woke up one morning and Mommy said I had a chance to get a job with a famous CEO. She said working for him would ensure my path up the ladder of success, so I had to go try. She had heard that he was looking for someone who would eat a certain kind of sandwich in front of him, so she told me to make the sandwich and go to his offices first thing in the morning to make a good impression. This sandwich was dreadful. He’d enumerated certain ingredients he wanted in it, including tofu, bacon, and mixed greens with balsamic dressing. [I hate tofu, FYI.]
I made the sandwich and brought it to his offices at dawn’s first light. I sat in the waiting area, eating this horrible sandwich as slowly as possible so he’d be sure to see me doing so when he walked by. But he never showed up. I finished the sandwich and kept on waiting, but still he never appeared. Eventually I really had to use the bathroom, so I went to the only one in the building, which was in his office.
The office and the bathroom were ONE room, and like many VIPs’ offices, the office walls were all glass except for an opaque lower half. So I had to pee in there, visible to anyone who walked by and peered through. I had locked the door but I knew the CEO had a key. Luckily he didn’t come in until after I’d finished. At that point, I was so frustrated I started yelling at him all about how I’d waited for hours and hours and eaten this disgusting sandwich and everything. He looked slightly surprised but then said, irritatingly smoothly and confidently, the way guys like this do:
“Oh, you misunderstood what I wanted. But hey, no problem. I can see that you’re good. You’re already hired, have been ever since I first heard your name yesterday. Now I’m quite busy so why don’t you just go home and I’ll have someone call you in a few weeks when we’re ready to take care of the paperwork. You’ll be paid starting now, of course.” And he turned to walk away.
I was so mad, I moved to his desk and started throwing things at him, really aiming to hurt him, not just to vent. Then the dream changed, and I was at a holiday party at some other wealthy businessman’s house, with a bunch of other businessmen (only these ones were nice). We were waiting once again for that stupid CEO to show up, but when he did, he was George W Bush, accompanied by a much younger woman, both very drunk. He was again rude and condescending to me, and I was so furious that I began picking up the bottles from the bar and hurling them at him, one after another. The other guys backed me up.
Of course, dreams being the way they are, my throws were weak and poorly aimed, so I had to throw bottle after bottle before I could hurt him. Finally I spied a sample-size whisky bottle (for some reason this seemed particularly appropriate) and that found its mark. It either killed him or almost killed him, and that is what I had been trying to do. Then, as they took him away, I started to worry about the trouble I’d get in. I didn’t regret what I’d done, but I knew the authorities wouldn’t understand, and I didn’t want to be incarcerated for the rest of my life because of this.
When I woke up and told this dream to Erik, he said I must be tired of having people tell me what to do. This is true. But I also think the rage and the violence are telling, because I never demonstrate either of these in real life. In fact, I’m so opposed to such behavior that I don’t even know if I want to act this way; I could be suppressing it and I’d have no idea. But it’s clear from this dream — and another one I had last night — that this level of anger does exist against the restrictions and pressures in my life, and that I feel strongly that those restrictions need to be not just removed, but totally annihilated.
Should I stay or should I go?
I’ve been back to San Jose for what amounts to one (nonconsecutive) week out of the past three, and my travels have made me think about moving back to the Bay Area: do I really want to, when would I want to, and what I would do afterward. Part of me can’t wait to get back to where I grew up (South Bay) and became an adult (East Bay), but the thought of really moving there makes me incredibly uneasy. Like, gut-clenching, breath-holding uneasy.
I think my reluctance to leave isn’t so much due to LA’s marvels (though I do like LA so much more than I ever thought I would), but because I’m just starting to figure out my life here, in this physical-geographical place. I’m deeply afraid that if I move back so close to my family and to the suburbs, the new (truer) me will get swallowed up by my past habits and I’ll have to find myself all over again. I don’t want that to happen, but I don’t feel confident that it won’t.
In fact, I realize that a lot of what I dislike about LA actually helps me stay focused on my goals, because it gives me opposition and boundaries. For example, though I get a little tired of the obsessiveness of certain LA subcultures, I also benefit from how active they are and I draw inspiration from what I see them doing. LA is very diverse and very populous. The Bay Area is too, but because I don’t want to suffer through another hyper-urban environment so soon, I’m afraid I’d have to move to someplace less vibrant and less active, where I wouldn’t have all this energy to draw from. And I know all too well my tendency to stagnate and become complacent.
It’s all too much… for real this time!
Some time ago I read and fell in love with Peter Walsh’s book, It’s All Too Much, and its advice on decluttering my life starting from my goals and working outward to the actual physical clutter. I did his quick-and-dirty tidying exercises, but after that, things sort of got lost… yes… in the clutter.
But Walsh has recently written a second book that hit even more close to home, called Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?, all about the connection he’s seen in his work between material clutter and body clutter, aka extra weight. Walsh doesn’t prescribe diet regimens or give fitness tips. But he does point out, sometimes gently, sometimes fiercely, that there is a very real relationship between the care we take of ourselves and how well we care for our living spaces and our possessions. And he’s spot-on in one of the main points of his book, which is that there’s no way to eat healthy if our kitchen and dining tables are a mess. Which ours was, until this week.
Having finished Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?, I am more determined than ever that: (A) I have the power to shape my life, and (B) I have to start now. Erik is totally on board with this — not just the decluttering scheme but the underlying concept, which is that we can make our lives the way we want them to be — and together we’ve wrought an amazing change in just a few days. I’ve almost entirely stopped turning on the computer except when I need to (for instance, this is the first time it’s been on since… Monday I think? though I do check my email when I’m at work), we’ve been cooking and cleaning up after ourselves, I’ve started walking again on the mornings when I don’t have yoga, we’ve both been decluttering and tidying every day, we get to sleep on time… it’s just so wonderfully pleasant and sustainable, I can’t get over it. Now if only we could get the kitties to stop shedding, my happiness would be complete. JUST KIDDING.
As part of my resolve to live the simple, uncluttered life I want, I hereby publicly declare my intention to buy nothing unessential for the next six months (one of Walsh’s ideas). Yes, that’s right. NO MORE SHOPPING UNTIL OCTOBER. Or until the apartment becomes completely decluttered. I can go shopping, but I can’t buy anything unless it’s something I really need. Walsh says that unless you can embrace this concept, you’re not serious about wanting to declutter. I think he’s right, because when I read his first book, I felt really uncomfortable with not shopping. But lately I’ve been so uninterested in material things, shopping hasn’t even been fun for me, so I think I’m ready to properly begin the process now. You heard it here first.
No. More. Shopping. Until. October.
The horror! The horror!
I am retaking the Writing for Sequential Art class through UCLA Extension (the class is almost all returning students, which is cool but means that once again I am surrounded by geekery), and as part of our first assignment, we’re required to develop a pitch for a comic on a subject we drew out of a hat (so to speak). So… guess what I picked? HORROR. Which, as you know, I never watch or read, and have no interest in.
Strangely enough, I am really excited about my horror-comic pitch, and have an idea I really like (we’ll see on Monday what everyone else thinks). In some ways horror should be perfect for me, right? Because I am scared of everything, or at least know what it’s like to be scared of everything. And I tend to be too literal, but the literal things that scare me are pretty stupid, so to make a convincing horror story, I have to use metaphor. Which so far is very exciting. Perhaps best of all, because I’ve never had any experience with horror, I have no hangups about it (“I can’t do this”/”This is something other people are good at, not me”). So… yay! Begin my career as horror writer! ;b
I’ll keep you posted.
And that’s all for now, folks! Thank you for reading, those of you who are still awake after reading all this.
[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]