It’s getting late now. Too late. I should be sleeping. Or reading. Or, if everything had gone as planned: writing. Writing my assignment. But I don’t feel like it. I really don’t. This one assignment is not why I started studying philosophy. This assignment is an unfortunate tag-along. This assignment is something that needs to be done, but is hard to get done. This assignment needs to get out of my way.
I’ve been questioning some things this weekend:
- Why am I studying philosophy?
- Why do I call myself a writer?
- How can I describe myself in 192 characters (Ello bio)?
- Can I find love? Is love to be found?
- How do I do something that feels like me?
Unfortunately, few – if any – of these questions have been answered.
I study philosophy because I think it’s exciting. But I also study it because I don’t know what else I want to do. Lately I’ve been drawn back into thinking about journalism. But I know that is my romanticized idea of journalism talking sweet nothings inside my head. My The Newsroom-idea of journalism. Where every episode of my life will involve some major event in the world, where I will feel that I can make a difference in the everyday lives of all people. I know that’s not going to happen. If you’re talented, and lucky, as a journalist, and this is – of course – just an estimate, you can have an impact on the world around you 3-4 times a year. But your impact won’t be on the everyday lives of all people. Not even all people in one country. No, if you’re talented and strike upon something worth people’s time, you might (really) impact a couple thousand people. But that’s a lot already. And that’s something to be proud of. I know I feel a bit proud whenever I get a comment saying people like what I have written. To have one person say that is special. To have ten, or a hundred, or maybe a thousand, that’s borderline-unreal. But I would like it. And it would force me to write every day. I really need to be challenged in this area. Too often do I just let myself relax when I’m not feeling “in the zone”. Drop the zone, dammit. It’s not about being in the zone. It’s about getting there, or trying to get there. And if I can’t get there, maybe I can achieve something great from my struggles to get there. Just write.
I think that is the reason why I call myself a writer. To remind myself what I really want in life: To write. I love seeing words form as I type them. I love knowing: those are my thoughts, those are my words down there. This is mine, and no one elses. When it all comes down to it, I really love having things to myself. I’m horrible at sharing. There are only a select few whom I really consider my peers, persons that I think highly enough of to share everything with. Come to think about it, I don’t even know if there is a single one? I think I will always be on guard. And that’s why writing is so precious to me. Words, I consider, to be mine, owned by me when they’re thought-out, when they’re being typed. But once they’re typed, they’re no longer something that I can lose by giving them away. I will always (well, most of the time) have a copy for myself, so I can remember what I have written. And even if I don’t it doesn’t matter all that much. Once something has been typed, it’s out of my hands really. I only truly own the words in the process. I only truly live in the process, is what I am trying to say, I think.
So maybe I should describe myself as living in the process of processing words. Isn’t that when I feel most at home? I mean: isn’t THIS when I feel most at home? Right now, seeing the words happen as I think them? I don’t even care all that much about what they say; I trust myself. I believe there will be some kind of meaning to the words when all is said and done. I’ve just noticed the great failure I sometimes make: I look around. I shouldn’t. I’m not the kind of writer who can look around. I don’t function well with that kind of inspiration. I’ve never been one to think in pictures; I think in words. And I see now, looking at the words is when I feel inspired. Not when I look at the table, the mirror, the candles, the rain outside. All that is just trying to distract me. What keeps my mind going is the constant flow of words on the screen or paper. Seeing the process, and the progress, is what helps me a long; what triggers my mind. All those other things are stealing my focus, and I hadn’t realized it until now. I hadn’t known about this, until this moment when I looked at my bed and lost focus. I think this can be a great, great discovery for me.
Maybe that’s the way I need to think about love as well: I need to focus. When I want to write, I need to focus on my writing. When I want to love, I need to focus on the love. Could that be the problem I’ve been having? Not being focussed enough, being too all-over the place? I think it might. I do think I sometimes come off as a bit uninterested because my mind goes racing in different directions, or I just get interested in some little feature of a person, instead of seeing the love. I should focus on the love: the connection. If there isn’t the connection, how can I even get myself to thinking about the other person? The other person is only there because of the connection; be it love or friendly. I need to respect the connection, see it and respect it. I need to feel it, and I need to live in it. I need to stop my mind from going back and forth. I need it to stay with me: in the moment. Because I can’t go back and forth, I’m bound to the moment. But as soon as my mind leaves me stranded there, I’m helpless.
And when I’m helpless, how can I expect to find something that feels like me? My chances are really small of finding myself in a place where I can see myself clearly if I’m not even a hundred percent present there. I need to be there to see me, which means I need to be there to act, to show myself if this is something I can manage; to be able to evaluate. I know ‘evaluation’ sounds a bit clinical when talking about a person; especially when talking about yourself. If this was a psychology class there would be no problem in analyzing and evaluating another human being. But doing it on yourself always seems a bit cynical. As if you’re just some kind of machine with numbers that need to be checked to make sure everything is running as it should. But this is the way I need to go about it, I think. I need to start putting myself in better situations, and realizing when I am in these situations so I can stay in them; stay with them. I need the moment, and once I find it and stay in it long enough I will find myself and find something that feels like me.
This feels like me.
And I haven’t felt like this all weekend. All week. All month. I don’t think I’ve felt like this since the last time I told someone I would become a focussed person. It’s time I got back to that.