Ophelia by AJ Chu
The artist is 17 years old! Can I get an audible gasp?
This post is about swimming instead of bobbing around in the angry seas of your existence like a miserable piece of plankton. It is about flying instead of floating on the fragrant wind like a broken bee.
This post is about connecting to your life.
The complaint I hear most often amongst my peers relates to the brain-eating drudgery of waking up, going to work, exhausting oneself at work, going to sleep... days peppered with various obligations (buy dish soap; pay gas bill; exercise, maybe; try to stop treating your loved ones like burdensome extracurricular activities), but the formula's usually the same. You're going nowhere: you simply are.
For the past couple of weeks, I've been feeling weirdly severed from myself: not so much caught up in the common travails of a working girl, but more like the broken bee: lying in repose atop each little gale; passively blown about -- to bars, to meetings, to parties, to concerts. Enjoying myself, sure, but not reflecting on my doings or relating them to my future. Longtime readers know this is unlike me: I often worry that I focus too much on my future, and don't focus enough on unwrapping and relishing my present. Chalk my recent deviant behavior up to burnout, maybe; or quickly thawing visions of spring. Whatever the reason, it occurred to me that I used to suffer from this kind of disconnect all the time. And I do mean suffer: I'm not at all comfortable with bobbing and floating... honestly, I don't think anyone is. I don't need someone to provide me with a map, but I need to pick a direction and chase it down like a huntress: like a Wildewoman, and trust that the brush will recede and the path will become clearer as I run. I can accept my surroundings, but I must always be fully conscious of a higher purpose so that all of my experiences, obviously good or obviously terrible, have meaning. So that I have meaning. You feel me?
So here's the secret -- the practice that has given me an active role in my own life, and therefore the power to dream about what's next without losing sight of the abundance all around me. Get ready for it....
...Write. You need to process everything that happens to you, and if you're anything like me; acknowledgement of a life event, followed by acceptance, followed by an adjusted plan of action doesn't just light you up like a hot current. You need to make your own electricity. For real. Grab some copper coils and a potato and rig that sh*t up. Rather, grab a journal and a fluffy pink pen. Grab an Underwood Touchmaster Five. Make self discovery your mission. Make sense of self your b*tch. (I'm listening to Childish Gambino right now, I'm sorry.) Once you've established "unearthing the true you" as your main goal, and you've embodied the habit of working at it through writing, you're in it. You're engaged in your own world. Then when you have bouts of detachment, when nothing makes sense, you have something to come back to; a practice to ground you. You'll have enough faith in yourself to keep moving, and that's everything.
Now then. If the only snippet you hold onto from this saga is "Make self discovery your mission. Make sense of self your b*tch.", I'm, like, super okay with that.
XOXO. Missed you guys,