|Whew! This one was hard. Personally, I didn't find it as informative as the book had suggested it would be. I tend to write about the same things a lot so it's not like my three entries were all over the place, not really. Still, it was a stretch to connect them, which I guess was the point. I feel stretched. I'll share my thought process as I worked through this, and then below is just a short freewrite. Is there something there to be expanded upon? I just don't know. There might be a character lurking underneath.|
I will say that this was an "interesting" exercise. I either loved it or hated it, and don't feel that I'll know which one for a bit.
The three journal/blog entries I picked at random:
This one, whose overall theme was "feeling on the outside, like a weirdo in the world, while simultaneously understanding that there are others just like me who are moving around in the world quietly, reading the same things I am, thinking the same things I am, wanting to meet/talk to someone just like me only we don't know of one another's existence, with the added bonus theme of not living up to my potential in any arena."
And this one, whose theme was "sugar, as in too much of, how it calls to me and always has, with a subtheme of gluttony and greed versus organic, healthy desire."
And then this one, whose theme was "poetry, and the state of being hyperaware of the mysteries and wonders of Life whist those around you are slogging in the details."
So. How to connect loneliness, gluttony, and peace?
One might say that I have been drawn off course by a siren's song and that song, for me, lies in attention. Flattery. Praise. Or maybe not that so much as approval. Yes, it's more like that. It doesn't have to be outright enthusiastic praise; a simple nod of approval is enough to activate the craving. It's like sugar to me, like candy and ice cream and chocolate pudding all in one except it doesn't even make me fat or give me cavities.
If I'm in a situation where no one knows me, perhaps in the car dealership waiting on a repair, I become starved for approval, for recognition that I'm "special." I can manufacture it in my head, though. I can envision someone glancing at the book I read as I wait and immediately recognizing that it's not this season's best-seller. They can see that I'm not like everyone else. And in the same way, I am only halfheartedly reading because I'm simultaneously glancing up from my book to see if anyone is watching me. Look at me, notice me, see me!
I wonder about "normal" people, about how they have a healthy respect and desire for praise or approval but they don't seem to be as greedy for it as I am. They don't seem to be bottomless pits of need, or empty wells that are merely being filled one bucketful at a time. When they find someone who appears to really see them, who approves of them unconditionally, they don't become consumed with gluttony as I do. I drive all of my partners away with my possessiveness and jealous need to consume every piece of them. I demand to know their every thought and emotion. I get panicky if I don't hear from them every few hours.
It has always seemed as though it's only when I'm In Love that I can really live. It's only when someone reflects back to me a version of me that is in accordance with my deepest beliefs about myself that the world seems to be a wonderful place. When no one loves me, everything's dreary and it all seems futile. But when I've been chosen by someone and given that approval and admiration all is beautiful in the world and rife with poetry. With someone else I can enter that world that seems ephemeral and foggy, like a misty neither-her-nor-there place that is not Life or Afterlife but a little bit of both and while I'm in this haze I cannot fathom how "everyone else" manages to slog around in the mud of details and chores.