a sudden stillness. i am strangely and suddenly at ease with my life. despite our financial scares, despite aleksander's addiction to his "nanoway" and the television, despite jon's abrupt expulsion away from home and into a stack of books, and despite the current political climate, i am feeling a bit of peace . is it the calm before the storm? or merely a rest in my usual journey? if there are any thoughts, they are of a reflection of myself and the question ringing slightly in my mind of why it is that i judge myself against everything that i see and enter the realm of self-loathing so easily. is there some social conditioning that i cannot at this moment pinpoint that tells me that i am never good enough, that i must always look around, outside myself for the truth of life, the correct way of being? was i somehow raised to second-guess everything about myself from my hair and my clothing, to the art on my walls and the things that i create? i suppose honestly it is there. i can find it and point to it in a variety of locations. what else are we to do in life but to judge immediately upon arrival whether something is good or bad, like or different? and then there are all those media sources telling me constantly about what is beautiful and what is delightful and fabulous. and i buy into it. like everyone, i buy the hook and everything else. i swallow this bullshit whole and then apply it back to myself and realize that my home is not beautiful enough, my skin imperfect, my car not silver enough, my money too little. and it is the authentic me perhaps that is constantly battling all this, trying at every turn to convince me of my worth. and what am i worth? will i ever know? will i ever get the opportunity to write off the world and pat myself on the back and tell myself that i am doing just fine as i am? will i ever stop these exercises in self-annihilation? the picking up of people magazine, or the assessment of someone else's home, or the reading of the websites that tell me how horrible my diet is, how wrong i am to do so many of the things i do... i cannot even read a book without trying to determine if my writing is on par with the author's. i hate so much the competitive urge in me. i want to learn for myself how to be zen, how to appreciate the journey more than the outcome.