Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Stormy Weather

In my last post, Jessica commented, "Acknowledging my needs/loves as real does not mean I can always fulfill them." So, this is the brainstorm I promised, which is targeted towards solutions for that dilemma, one that I share. I'm not saying "you should do these things" because I don't even know if they're good ideas. Maybe I should go through and delete the weird/bad ones, but I felt like just leaving the list as it tumbled from my brain.
  1. Honoring my feelings =/= obsession. Sometimes I feel almost obligated to obsess over things, although it's a very uncomfortable feeling. Not to beat myself up for obsessing, or take it to mean my desire is some form of psychosis, but to calmly divert myself to another activity.
  2. There's this idiom, "the whole enchilada". Maybe small or partial enchiladas are okay, too? Like hanging out somewhere I kind of like, more often than I do now. Small goals aren't unimportant.
  3. Talk about it, which is what I'm trying to do here. Or put it into a creative outlet. This is sooo #4 of me, but unfulfilled desires can be excellent fodder for creativity.
  4. No emotional terrorism. Stop blaming myself. "Overcoming" is not a moral obligation.
  5. Are fantasies frivolous? Maybe not. At the least, they can tell us important things about ourselves.
  6. Acknowledge the social issues standing in your way. For instance, it's hard to acquire my longed-for career with the economy being what it is. Careful though, this one may place you in a constant state of impotent rage! (TM)
  7. I want a list to have 10 things. It doesn't have 10 things. Don't freak out!
In other news, the Carnival of Aces is still trucking! Check out the latest installment, on the theme of gender.


Jessica said...

I found all of the items on the list to be excellent jumping-off points.

The "emotional terrorism" one is especially interesting. "Overcoming" obstacles etc. really is a hassle sometimes. I honestly think it's to make everyone else feel better, not myself. Like a social obligation that I think is a crock, really.

As for the obsession and the fantasy items, that draws me particularly. I have fantasies of being a writer--but not just a writer, but a published writer, and not just a published writer, but a FAMOUS and BELOVED writer, winning everything from the Pulitzer to the Nobel.

Sometimes I think this fantasizing actually gets in the way of a happy reality of just being a writer. I worry that people judge my stuff as not very good, or are disappointed by it, and I quit before I even try.

This is not really a response to anything you wrote, it's just my own musings on the subject lately. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm letting daydreams get in the way of reality--by shortchanging myself, for one thing.

/cool story bro

Ily said...

@Jessica: I can relate...musings always welcome here. About the fantasy thing, I've definitely had fantasies about writing the Great American Novel (or play). Perfectionism can be an issue there. Sometimes I forget that even Nobel-prize winning novels probably had first drafts that their writers thought were crappy. Even great writers get frustrated and want to give up at times. And plenty of successful, published novels--an achievement that seems very beyond me--aren't good at all. So, I try to tell myself all that and ward off my perfectionism, but I'm always wondering if I'm even capable of finishing a book-length piece of writing, let alone writing something truly great.

They're tough, big dreams...really tough. Because like you said, they can interfere with your mindfulness and enjoyment of your life as it is. But I find that whenever I try to beat down one of my grandiose dreams, it just pops up again in some other sphere. So, I don't know if I can stop dreaming. I might just have to monitor the dreams to make sure that I'm not getting too perfectionistic because of them.

It's true: I don't know how to set realistic goals for myself, because it's not like there's a discrete border between what I can and can't do. But I feel like if I have no big dreams, then I can't make realistic goals either, because the realistic goals feel too pathetic to stand alone.