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dreams

I waking up feeling disquieted. Another night spent in perpetual dreaming. The past couple of weeks of sleep have left me exhausted. Normally, I am an infrequent and forgetful dreamer. I wake up wondering where the time went. I hardly ever remember whether I dreamed at all. The last couple of weeks have thrown me off kilter. When I fall asleep…I fall into dreamland al la Alice in Wonderland. Everything is confusing and exhausting. I encounter people who I hardly remember in waking life. I get into nonsensical situation after nonsensical situation. I dream about school…always a sign of stress. I wake up feeling tired every morning, as if I had just had a long adventure filled with trials and tribulations.

I can guess at the source of all of this. After almost two years in a catatonic state, my brain is beginning to rev up. I’m putting more and more tasks before it and it’s not used to such a flurry of activity after the hibernation. My brain is taking my sleep time to put together all the pieces—to connect the dots of my waking life.

I’ve always been someone of many desires…all vying for space, time, and attention. One of the upsides of my emotional struggle in the past two years is that, my desires were honed into a very single and focused idea. How to pull through and move forward. Everything I did, ultimately, led me down this path. And now that I think I’m at the end of the tunnel, I’m terrified to step back into the light, where all my desires, like nebulous ghosts, wait impatiently to swoop in and take claim of me.

Sleep is the canary in the mine. My brain is a great source of distress for my emotional life. I am reminded, going forward, that I will need to bridle my desires so they do not to disturb the inner peace that I’ve scrapped together in the past two years.

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Getting Older

An older woman that I admired once said this to me, “I do not miss my 20’s. My 20’s was a terrifying time. I didn’t know myself. I didn’t know the world. It wasn’t until my 30’s that everything started to fall into place. My 30’s has been good to me. I’m happy. Life is good. Given all the money in the world, I still wouldn’t go back to my 20’s.

This made an indelible impression on me. At the time I was struggling to keep boredom at bay working my “dream job”. I was in a city that drove me to distraction. I was stressed about life, stressed about my relationship, stressed by myself. I was smack-dab in the middle of my 20’s.

I had no idea that I hadn’t found myself yet. At the time I thought finding myself meant “succeeding” in life—which meant finding a career, sticking to it, and ultimately making a lot of money.

I did not understand what she meant. I wasn’t even aware of that there was a difference between 20’s and 30’s. I thought I had done all the growing that I was going to do. It wasn’t until these past 2 years, after I’ve fought and gotten to know some of my own inner demons, that I have begun to understand what she meant.

20’s is an harrowing and transient time. You are trying to find yourself; find a career; find financial stability; find friends after college; and find a partner to share this with. If you are adventurous or just really unsure of what you want out of life, this time can be all that more difficult.

So many of my peers have confessed their fear of entering their 30’s. So much of our culture tells us—espescially as women—that time is running out and that we are passing our prime. I’ve been programmed to think that leaving my 20’s and entering my 30’s is a bad thing. I had never thought it as she did—this powerful, successful older woman who seemed so comfortable in her own skin—that it was something to be celebrated.

But, on my 28th birthday, I sit here and contemplate¬† exactly what she told me, and I realize how true it is. I’ve survived some very personal trials this last year. And I’m grateful for everything that those trials has taught me about myself.

I am HAPPY. Happier than I’ve ever been. And I’m proud of myself for reaching this point. For the first time in my life, I feel great about myself and my accomplishments in life. And I’m so excited about life, what the future holds, all the new experiences I will have.

So as I get closer to my 30’s, I do so with anticipation and not dread. I embrace what is to come, because I am finally beginning to be comfortable with myself, my choices, my life.

Happy Birthday to me!

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Updates on life

A while back, I was a writer and book reviewer for Blogcritics.org. But when I got busy with life and work, I took a hiatus. Now with the start of a new blog and a new resolution to write and read more, I’ve decided to start writing with them again.

I’ll be reviewing a couple of books for them every month or so. Hopefully having reading and writing assignments as well as a new book club will keep me inspired to write and post.

I’ll be cross-posting my reviews here.

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Reader Block

I find it’s difficult sometimes to keep a writing schedule, especially on a busy week with lot of things going on. I realize that people who are able to keep a lot of balls in the air are the ones who are routined and keep a tight schedule. But writing is not one of those things that can be regimented. At least not for me, a dabbler in the art. I find times that I am inspired to write, the writing comes easier as opposed to times when I force myself.

One of the problems with writing for this blog is that I’m not doing the reading that I’d need to do to write here on a daily basis. Apparently I’m not alone. I happened upon this essay by Geoff Dyer: “Reader Block” which summarizes the problem. It even directed me to the proper term for the affliction: “the near-dyslexia¬†of current reading habits” coined by George Steiner in The Uncommon Reader.

Dyer is inclined to think that the affliction is permanent. I have always believed otherwise, hoping that the right book will make me fall in love with reading all over again. It’s funny how all avid reader suffers from the same problems. The accquisition of too many books. The feeling of having nothing to read, even though your shelves are filled with unread books. It speaks of the era we live in. We have too much going on. Too many streams of information vying for our interests, too many options, too many paths to chose from. The trick is finding the ability to narrow in our focus and ignore competing streams of information. One has to have a system, I hope to develop a system that works for me this year.

The other thing I have to remember is the ability to set aside time for myself. I spend a vast majority of my free time doing things that I “should” be doing. I train for an half-marathon, I work out, I clean, cook, and procrastinate on doing laundry. I read books that I think I “should” finish because I’ve already start them. I worry about other things I should be doing. I spend very little time centered on myself and what I want to do at the moment. I took a yoga class, ran and spent time relaxing this weekend, and while half the time I worried about how much time I had left (I had somewhere to be directly afterwards) I enjoyed how me-centric those activities were. I wondered why I didn’t do this sort of thing more often, and wished that I had more time and less places to be. The key I think for me is to remember to wake up early on the weekends and spend that time focused on myself.

 

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Writing v. Blogging

When I write for myself…the writing comes easy. It’s not always good, but it flows; I don’t second-guess myself.

When I write knowing that my writing will be read, I second guess everything, I loose my voice. It’s hard to enjoy the writing that comes. With practice, the self-doubt goes away. But it always takes time. I have remember to write for myself and not for others.

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