i feel empty of words, things to obsess about. yesterday i got the sense that my life is empty. i have nothing for me that i do. it comes and goes. in truth, i do not know what i am doing exactly. i am coming up with things to occupy me, trying to focus on being a mom. sort of. i've been running errands, cooking, cleaning, hosting, going to events, avoiding balancing the checkbook, crafting, learning to knit all over again, and in some ways, on some days, trying to learn about unschooling and midwifery. i pick up the books occasionally and thumb through them, or get momentarily absorbed and then distracted. that's actually a much better description of my entire life right now: mild absorption followed by distraction, usually the result of mild absorption in something else. this skipping about makes it difficult to sense the general texture of my life, leaves me feeling as if i do not in fact have the slightest idea about what i am doing. i am doing so much so half-heartedly or with spurts of enthusiasm that nothing appears to be the thing i am doing. i keep inventing new projects for myself. haven't i always done this? is this perhaps just who i am? it doesn't look like anything specific. i saw a children's book recently about career options - one of those "when i grow up" things - each of the options was this one thing, this singular, defined, limited, specific-yet-general occupation like baker, teacher, firefighter, etc. i realized that i internalized that sort of thinking growing up. we probably all do, but it is not a reflection of how the world operates. most professional careers are inter-disciplinary to some degree or at least have specialties that make a job so much more than "scientist" - try instead "explosives expert" or "biochemist researching drugs to halt the spread of lymphoma in females." no three-year-old ever wants to grow up and become a systems analyst. frequently i examine objects and wonder about how someone was paid to think them up - like the new method of dispensing gatorade in convenience stores: the bottles hang from their lids. someone had to think that there was a better (or, er, different) way to dispense them in glass coolers and they somehow set in motion this whole process of inventing and designing and patenting and selling and distributing and installing these big hunks of plastic. one might also consider the whole process of drilling the petroleum out of the earth and shipping and refining and shipping and using and shipping it to create that big hunk of plastic. how fucking useless is all that? just to reinvent the goddamned shelf. all those little people doing all those tasks (and all the people pushing paper to make those tasks happen: managers, receptionists, ceos, administrative assistants, janitors, computer technicians) for what? couldn't their time be spent doing something much simpler and interesting? growing food, building a tool shed, cooking, cleaning their home, painting a picture, playing an instrument? all that sounds much more valuable to me, frankly. and that's what i do for a living. and yet i am compelled to devalue those essential tasks, probably due to the lack of value for them in this culture. here i am, hiding out in the bathroom to write without distraction or interruption, feeling like my life has nothing in it that gives it meaning. how fucking asinine. the whole purpose of me wanting my children to unschool is so they can sense the value in just living and being who they are, without the compulsion to become a wage slave, supporting the weight of empires with their blood and sweat. i want them to feel like who they are and what they do is valuable, whether that is to struggle to support themselves with a less-than-desirable livelihood because that it is what is available while they enjoy doing whatever else they please, or if it be to struggle to make a life for themselves working in some more noble profession like a non-profit organization or as a researcher of history or culture or biology. whatever it is they choose or come to do, or all the multitude of things they choose or come to do, i want them to appreciate that as the thing they are doing, that as the life they are already living instead of waiting around for society to tell them it has begun because they have earned a degree, gotten married, bought a house, chosen a profession. we are many things at different times. we are changing all the time. we need - i need to be able to recognize that and embrace it as what is real and what is true. i am who i sought to become. the real trick of this truth is realizing that i always was.

No comments: