A vow

There are kids yelling outside my window. It looks pitch black now that the tree in front of my house has sprouted full green leaves blocking out the city lights. I think it is an elm. The window is open hoping to catch a breeze after a muggy afternoon. I am tired but I can’t sleep. My mind is turning over everything I know about myself and my life looking for the faults and areas of improvement. It passes the time. I’m not really worried because objectively I know I am in a good place. Maybe not a great place, but I face no immediate calamity, no urgent unrest. Things could be better but for what they are they are largely out of my control. Best to forget about it. But what do I fill my mind with then? I’ve read two or three chapters out of two or three books, listened to one album start to finish twice, and played with my cat. My mind still reels looking for that hook to sink it’s teeth into. Insert applicable Elizabeth Gilbert quote here. I’m bored in plainest terms, and although there are many fertile moments born of such lulls there are also many anxiously depressive ones. This is something I am hoping to address over the next several days. I say address even though I keep promising myself this isn’t another self improvement project. I’m planning on taking a twenty-five day & twenty-five night vow unto myself, to live my life fully for me without distraction, and to devote all of my free time & energy to just being. It sounds alternately like a noble, selfish, or ridiculous goal depending what alternating minute it is. The kicker is I have no more a clue what any of that means than you do really, some vague notion and pretty language, but I’ve decided that there is only one way to find out. I’m commiting, tomorrow, after work, if I don’t get cold feet. I said that I hoped to address my oscillating anxiety and depression that particularly overtakes me when I am alone and unoccupied. I hope to also finally put to rest all these fears that I’m afraid to be on my own which is why I fall in love too easily. I would also just like to do it because it sounds fun. A little extreme, a little dramatic, with a touch of mystical. Just my style. When I feel like it I relate the impulse of this concept back to two seperate very vivid memories I have from pre-pubesence when I want to weave this into my origin story and make it part of my personal narrative. Today I don’t have the patience for that. I’m obsessed with what I am actually going to do for the next twenty-five days and if it’s enough or too much. I don’t know who is holding the yard stick on that one maybe that is something I will discover too. I wrote earlier that I don’t want this to be an exercise in austerity or virtue, I may make lifestyle changes to support my vow, but never out of a desire to curb or bolster the natural impulse of self. That’s a warning to myself so when I start imagining my life as an inspiration porno, where I get up at 5 each day to greet the sun with yoga and vegan smoothies and quit drinking and abstain from sex, I can check myself and say no this isn’t what this is about. I’m not looking renovate just to enjoy the existing character no matter how quirky or delapitated. On the other hand I am guilty of shrinking myself to fit in. I’m naturally an intense, big, bold person. I might be super into getting up at 5 everyday, so I shouldn’t shy away from it because it seems kind of pretentious or out there. The main principle I’ve already come to accept about this dedicated practice of self is not to try and predict it. I can only be present with me as I am now, so no sense prescribing certain steps or curriculum ahead of time. I trust my own ability to provide for myself as needed. I guess this whole writing exercise was a trick to get me to say that to myself and ease my busy body mind. I also wanted to let you know I won’t be writing here as much/at all during this period. Probably part out of a sense of duty and part ego. I’m not sure which part is which or if it matters. I’m sure I will talk about my experience after, but I need to cut out needless distractions meanwhile. I said to a friend earlier this year “funny how doing less means I actually have to do less.” I’m not sure exactly what that looks like yet though, another question. Lots of questions, largely unimportant if there are answers. Hopefully this period will open some new ones too. I’ll end with a question for you that I will be asking myself in dreams tonight.

What would you do if you had twenty-five days & nights to be entirely yourself?

*********

P.S. I wrote and scheduled  a much different version of this post earlier today. I was originally going to trash it in favour of giving you the more conversational approach, but I’m going to leave both for amusement sake so you can see better how full of (beautiful, poetic) shit I am.

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One thought on “A vow

  1. Go to Austin. And San Marcos. A lot of swimming. Try to feel old ghosts and ask them when and where and how. Only the most special talismans. Try to follow those heroic transmissions. A lot of music with the windows rolled down.

    Feeding off the energy of one node and getting bounced like a pinball all over the city. Up some mountain for full-tilt boogie cinematography.

    That’s what I’d do šŸ™‚

    –Paul

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