I’ll pretend this ship’s not sinking.
Because, really, it’s not.
As expected, I’ve had Go West in my head for a few days now. As also expected, I haven’t minded much.
So here’s the thing: one of the reasons I came back to Jersey and with the intention of moving back to Manhattan was that I thought I had to figure some things out. It’s a phrase I used several times. I expected some deep self-analysis and introspection, perhaps? I’m not sure, exactly, if only because such phrases have always inspired me to eye-rolls. Like the whole “I need to find myself thing.”
(I thought I had to find myself once. So I started looking, and after not long at all, I did. Find myself, I mean. I was under my bed, and boy was I surprised to see me)
And so I’ve been thinking. As I’ve been writing. I’ve been thinking about MAs and MBAs. I’ve been thinking about NYU and Regis. I’ve been thinking about What I Want to Do With My Life.
As though I hadn’t been already.
It’s been a joke among my friends lately that I’ve become a bit of an academic gypsy, except without the whole eyeliner thing. The word “nomadic” has come up. A few people–including my own mother, in fact–remarked further upon the idea: that I can’t “keep running from” . . . well, I don’t know. People say “things,” but nobody’s exactly specific.
But the thing I’m realizing is that I’ve been doing what I want to do with my life. I’ve been talking about Hollywood and LA to people, and how much I disliked the “city” itself, but I loved USC. I went to Denver because I knew I sought city life but also missed nature; I thought Denver would be a good place, but after only a few months, I started missing home and Manhattan. And I really missed home. I missed my family and friends. And I was thinking of here, of Jersey, as home.
So I came home.
All those things, I wanted to do. I wanted to be here right now, and here I am.
Saturday night, I went out to see my buddies play. This was a common activity when I lived here a few years ago; I would go out to Philly usually at least once a month. I would knock a few back. I would dance. I would smile and hug my friends and laugh.
Which basically describes this past Saturday night. I did all those things.
I was just talking to my sister, telling her I felt anxious. Telling her I didn’t know what I was doing. She asked me how much thought I’d given it, and I told her: “A decent amount.” To which she replied: “Well, then, why don’t you stop? You’ve got too much time on your hands. Get on with it.”
I keep hoping for clarity from confusion, self-knowledge like some beatific epiphany–but if I heard someone say something even remotely like that, my first response would be simple:
“What does that even mean?”
The other night, I dreamt I danced twice, once in practice and then again as performance. The following evening, though, I knocked one back and I smiled and I danced for the simple sake of dancing, because, really, what other reason would one need? Is this anxiety I keep feeling just the universe’s way of telling me to stop trying to control everything and just let life happen?
I don’t know, but I’m not sure I should give it much thought, either.
After all, there’s dancin’ to be done.
Feets don’t fail me now.
January 26, 2009 at 5:40 pm
Let yourself dance, Will. You’d be surprised what comes of it.
January 26, 2009 at 6:29 pm
I think the boat is only sinking when you think it is. Knowing that I find it hard to keep a float. I think the important thing is to be happy or try to be happy while your finding your place in the world. Just remember that your place in life might be fluid or that you may have already found it. I’ll try to remain calm if you will. 🙂
January 27, 2009 at 2:32 am
A few years ago, I went through a finding myself phase. It was, as it often has been, motivated by my confusion about work/careers. I picked up a book by Po Bronson called “What Should I Do With My Life?” I’d read a decent number of these types of books from my stint in Career Services at Regis. It’s an okay book–heavy on the “finding” yourself bit and tries a bit hard to be inspirational. Ultimately, it fails because everyone has to write his/her own story. What inspires one person is completely demoralizing to another. And, let’s face it–even the ones who say they’ve “found” it eventually lose it again.
Because no one really knows what they’re doing. We try to convince ourselves that we do. There are books and songs to tell us how. But, ultimately, the biggest lie is thinking we can figure it out. All we can do is put one foot in front of the other. What we do matters more than what we think or say.
I’ve thought a lot about home over the years, and I’ve learned that anywhere can be home as long as you’ve found it within yourself. Perhaps, you’re clinging to the home of your past because some part of yourself is still lost. You’ll only find home by being more you. And you can’t do that just in isolation or by wading into the past. Those things are part of you–sure–and worth examining…but it’s easy–too easy–to get stuck in those things…to get stuck in your head and the past. You will find it by opening your heart and mind to every possibility that exists.
January 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm
What is it about Jersey? It’s where I always ended up going back to as well to “figure things out.” Of course, that’s also where my parents lived and where I could have a free place to stay until I moved onto my next endeavor. I think I kind of resented Jersey a bit for that (on top of all the other reasons why I never grew to like New Jersey – I was never a fan). I guess being the place where you recover and recuperate doesn’t naturally lend itself to positive feelings.
Oh, and from what I remember, Pat’s is totally overrated! 😉
January 30, 2009 at 9:15 am
This guy is selling his ebook for $2,000 and he already sold five. Damn clever! Oh and, cool blog you have sir. Jack