Apr 14, 2010

How Not To Be Seen

I got sick last Friday and stayed home from work. I don't know if I was authentically infected with something, or just suffering from extremely bad allergies, general exhaustion, and a profound lack of will power. But there was no rousing me from bed all that day.

That night, I stayed up late working on a "steam punk" costume for Alli, for a wedding she would attend Saturday morning.

The awful truth is, I don't absolutely love these super-cute themed social activities. It sometimes seems like a lot of childless folks treating their existential ennui with tossed-off arts-n-crafts.

Worse, they often strike me as somewhat self-congratulatory. Like, "Look how clever and creative we are! Take another picture. Facebook will love this!" Like, folks proudly taking the path less traveled by walking continuously one foot to the left of the more traveled path. Like, everyone making boat-rocking gestures while staying as stone-still as possible. "But it looks like I'm rocking the boat, doesn't it? It looks like it? From a distance? From the pictures on Facebook?"

On the other hand, I do absolutely love to make things, and I needed to treat my existential ennui with some arts-n-crafts, so I made the costume. I'm happy with how it came out, and now I can post it on the Facebook and hope I get congratulated on how creative and different I am.

Gosh, I do have fun. Don't I? I have the most fun!

Then, Saturday, I slept late to continue recovering, I did chores, and I watched a Monty Python documentary to raise my creative spirits.

Sucks 'cause, instead of raising my spirits, it reminded me how far from my goals I presently am. It put me squarely back into my grade-school mindset, reminded me of what I wanted when I started out. And now, it seems, I haven't only compromised on where I've landed, I've compromised on what I permit myself to dream, on what I permit myself to chase.

Why am I not pulling together big projects anymore? Why am I not assembling teams? Why am I not arguing against lowered expectations?  Why can't I think of a way to beat this creeping normality? Why am I surrendering to normal life?

So, then, all fired up with those thoughts, I spent Sunday with Barb, doing nothing. Went to a nice lunch, shopped a little, lay around the house, went to the grocery store. Monday, I got up extra early and had the oil changed in my car. I watched some Good Day LA, which is the worst thing I've ever seen. I went to work early, to remedy all the panic created by my Friday absence. And all week long, I was overwhelmed with too much responsibility at work, covering for my absent bosses.

You know, normal life.