Monday, March 30, 2009


i am at an interesting intersection in perspective right now, in which i often feel like three different people before lunch.

today is my sick day. i am not really sick; but i haven't been sleeping lately. at night i am unable to stop my brain's rapid loop of nerves and anxieties. i watch 4:47 and 5:54 and 6:23 come and go. i throw the pillows off the bed, fetch them back, write an essay, put on a sweater, take it off, tack up a picture, rip it off my wall. even in these simple, physical actions, i can't make up my mind. what do i need? what do i want?

anyway, as you can imagine, a week without sleep feels like a head full of sand. so here i am. hi.

it seems like i am headed in opposite directions.

i worked on the arts festival recently for yu. like all political endeavors, it was not entirely satisfying. but a part of me thrived off the conversation and the purpose of it. i haven't had an opportunity to discuss my favorite music, my favorite books and films and words and punctuation marks, in some time, and occasionally i forget that side of me is there. i know anyone who read the last few posts would be confused by that claim, since it seems to be all i write about here, but i get to think about those kinds of things almost as rarely as i post (har.) i love hearing about what other people have listened to, what has inspired them, what they've seen that's made them think about things differently or understand things better. i love the wild, messy eccentricity of people who really care about their favorite forms of art, even though i am usually alienated and belittled by their pretension.

so that's a part of my dilemma. i sort of admire that name-dropping, poetry-spouting world, even though i'm not really a part of it. it excites me, and i think i produce better writing when i'm around it.

but there are drawbacks to that lifestyle. not all, but many of the people i know who actively pursue a life in art or photography or whatever seem less...reliable. they're creatures of the wind. they go when they feel a calling and don't sweat the small stuff.

but i am irrevocably responsible. i do not freewheel; it makes me nervous. i crave routine and habit and stability. i eat cereal and milk for breakfast every morning.

and this is part two of my dilemma.

i've dated many people. i guess four years in new york will do that to you. i find myself frustratingly between axioms: too religious and not religious enough at the same time. too religious to get together for drinks, not religious enough to swear off movies. too religious to sing in front of men, not religious enough to wear ankle-length skirts.

let's suppose that i meet someone who is "solid" - dependable and reliable, fun and nice. still to my right, but able to enjoy certain movies and books. another side of me emerges: the side that most of friends from high school and home know, more focused on religion and family and known quantities than hypothetical concepts. it is not, necessarily, a bad side. but does it belong to the same person who interviews women about kol isha and messes around with screenplays?

are the two mutually exclusive? can they coexist?

if i go in one direction, will i lose the other?


Blogger RaggedyMom said...

A lot of these things that seem like absolutes in the hypothetical realm may dissipate when you do meet someone compatible who also himself encompasses (seeming) contradictions. You know it's right when you don't feel like you have to choose a mode. And over time, you either morph into something similar as a team, or at least have greater respect and admiration for one another's spectrum of qualities.

For instance, I find that lately I am contemplating listening to Bloomberg radio and reading about cyborgs in Russian. Whereas my spouse now knows who the Jayhawks and Wilco are, and has incorporated a great deal of knowledge about frizzy hair management into his beauty repertoire. Mutual benefits for all.

In all seriousness, you're thinking about this too hard!

5:15 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

As usual, (Raggedy) Mom knows best. :)

5:21 PM  
Blogger the apple said...

I often feel the same way. Sigh.

6:16 PM  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

What is it they say about the center? Hard to hold? This is normal. You're used to dealing with people who crave the extreme because it's easier to identify. But most people lighten up as they get older and learn to compromise. Look at me (HA!)

10:18 AM  
Blogger Doctor Bean said...

Everything you're considering will become irrelevant for the right person. That person will adore you and treat you like a queen and won't be able to imagine a life without you. He might be religiously two blocks to your right or to your left. Who cares?

9:17 PM  
Blogger Malka said...

Ya, I'm with the wise folk who say when you meet the guy, you'll know about personality/religious sides.

And speaking of responsible routines: eating cereal and milk for breakfast every morning doesn't negate Rice Chex and duck sauce for dinner, does it?

(Incidentally, my favorite punctuation mark is probably the semicolon, quietly doing her cross-hands piece.)


Wait! Does the tilde count as a punctuation mark?

10:09 PM  
Blogger Kovi said...

Me being a windy, crazy free-wheeler, I can tell you this: the world needs people like you more than it needs people like me. I make the world interesting. You make it real.
I think in a strange way, your contradictions and eccentricities are actually what make you more of a dependable and constant person. I know I've always relied on you as a source of stability, despite your ever changing lifestyle, because the whirlwind that you are pulls in a little bit of everyone and everything around you and makes you a permanent part of it all. I've seen the same applied to me around OJ from time to time: people depend on me to know what to do or how to get things done or to make them feel secure simply because I seem so bizzare and unpredictable and confident. And though I can't seem to find steady ground in my own life, I succeed as a platform for people around me to grow off of.

11:37 AM  
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8:46 PM  

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