Wednesday, January 31, 2007

All Aboard

woosh, there went january — and i’m happy to see it go. what a miserable month it was. i’ve read that deaths during the winter months, particularly the holiday weeks, increase by 5% over the norm. and it makes sense how someone with maybe six months left in them would just throw in the towel early, when it’s cold outside and lonely inside.

but this year, it’s especially foul in its incessancy: week after week, various coworkers would need a day or two off to attend funerals. my officemate lost her grandmother, then other coworkers lost their aunts, friends, even a father. then came my own great-aunt just last week, with her funeral on a rainy L.A. day, which made for an exceedingly gloomy and muddy burial. i wasn’t close to her, but seeing my extended family grieving saddened me. yet what saddened me the most was hearing that my landlord’s boyfriend had brain cancer. plus, i’ve been reading depressing books lately, with themes on death and sadness, loss and transition. damn joan didion.

on the bright side, i’ve finally emerged from the personal funk that i blogged about below. i tried dismissing it as boredom or another episode of restlessness when in fact it was a mini-depression borne of indirection. the not-so-secret crux of the matter, i’ve realized, is that i need a goal to work toward — something long-term and bigger than the regular baby goals of exercising more and paying off my debts.

the last big goal of mine involved applying to, surviving and finally finishing graduate school. that occupied a good two-and-a-half years of my life when i never felt the gnawing restlessness of indirection. surely, that was a stressful time that didn’t allow much room for superfluous feelings, with its spin cycle of assignments and deadlines.

but i do recall that the time leading up to my decision to apply felt very much like these current times, when i would loiter endlessly in my head, kicking tin cans around, supervising the committee meetings of the mind, with everyone yelling at one another, the chorus of disagreements, all terrorizing me into deciding: what’s next?

and while it would seem that psychotropic medicine should be next, i have decided to embark on a Secret Project that i cannot yet publicly discuss lest all my good intentions fail to materialize into anything worthy (again), causing me severe personal and public embarrassment (again). i have realized that too much of my focus was wasted on thinking about the things i’d like to do and how i’m not doing them, when my real focus should have been on doing the things i’m thinking of doing, instead of the other way around. duh. clarity is so divine.

rest assured that Secret Project does not involve more schooling nor is it an attempt to write the Great American Novel that i’ll get around to one day. it’s more lifestyle related, long-term and exciting and new, we’re expecting you. just planting the new-idea seed in my head has done much to evaporate the funk fog i had been lost in these past few months — replacing defeatist thoughts with constructive aims. yet it’s still months away from sprouting so bear with me.

and all the death and sadness of january have served as great motivators, helping me realize that the now counts more than anything else, so i better get started on making my dream life happen.

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