Friday, February 29, 2008

I Haven't Fallen Off the Mountain

Hello all! That is, if anyone still checks this, because I know I haven't posted in a while. I'm on break now so I finally have a bit more time and mental energy to process. I've been doing a lot of thinking about who I am and how to live out of my whole self. Not that I think that I've been highly confused about my identity before now, but that I'm taking this time to go deeper. Jasie and I have been working through some things in hopes of tapping into my ability to communicate from my emotions. I think I have rather deep emotions, but I rarely talk about them, or more on point, I rarely talk to others from an emotional place. Not until I can talk about something rationally do I feel comfortable. Thinking as opposed to emoting comes much more naturally to me; it always will, and there are a lot of good things about that. But it's also safe. I don't have to be vulnerable, and that is what I am trying to develop.

Something else I've been thinking about as I try to understand what it means to be a person is (don't be too surprised) my perfectionistic tendencies. For example, I think that in order to say, "I'm a writer," I also have to be able to say, "I'm a good writer." However, I'm beginning to see that this just isn't true. I could replace the self-concept with lots of other things: sports, any job I have, teaching, sketching, even something like reading out loud.

I find that I'm good at something and I put pressure on myself to be good all the time. As if this one piece of bad writing means I'm not a good writer at all. And therefore not a writer at all. I'm terrified I'll write something awful and someone will read it and say, "This person considers herself a writer?" and I'll be exposed. Certainly I will be exposed, but as what? A normal human being who occasionally, if not frequently writes stuff that should only ever be used as kindling?

Or the cultural message of Professionalism whispers in my ear, " You're not a writer. You're not published." And I think, "What if I never am published? I've put all this energy into writing. This whole time I thought I was a writer; I guess not. I can't be; I'm not good enough. Or worse, I never found something I was passionate enough to write about -- I mean something that takes real dedication, beyond essays and blogs, articles and reviews... you know, a book." And if one day I do write a book, where does it stop? "Oh, that book was just a fluke." Or, "It was published but never sold many copies." I am a writer. And I'm allowed to be in process.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

More Pics from Bern

Einstein Museum

Old men playing giant chess at sunset. It doesn't get much better than this.

Fun twirly things.


Party in our room! Yes, Jon is painting a gnome.

These are some pictures from Bern. Just a few hours by train to the German-speaking part of Switzerland. It's a great city.