1. Excuse me, did you just say moreover during our out-loud conversation? I don’t think I can talk to you anymore. Either you’re too smart for me, or you’re trying to be.
2. There are a lot of really good days/nights that happen, but sometimes there are really fantastic days. The days that make you think to yourself, “Was that the best day of my life?” and then you think about it for awhile and come to the conclusion that it probably was and then you fall asleep ’cause you are really freaking tired after such a day.
3. The next time a parent/relative/friend/stranger makes you feel that you’re not contributing much to society, write a really bad short story, or draw a picture on some cement somewhere with sidewalk chalk, or save a baby bird that fell from its nest, or perform CPR on a person you just pulled from a swimming pool, or smile at a stranger you walk past on the street.
4. You know you need to go to the grocery store when you’re eating watery oatmeal for breakfast. Or dinner.
5. If you’re aware that the thing you’re waiting for is never going to happen, but you keep waiting anyway, well, you’re probably insane. But, while you’re waiting, for whatever it is, you could take up knitting or some other useful activity to fill up all that time you’re wasting. You could start a blog!
6. Lesson of the week: Flip flops are poor walking shoes.
7. Umbrellas are for the weak. I’m looking at you, city-folk.
8. I think the most useful thing about going to grad school is being able to say to people you meet, “Hey, yeah, I went to grad school.”
9. You may not be treating them like a real person — like they have thoughts and dreams and emotions — and that’s not going to end well, if anything even begins at all.
10. I feel like when people say, “Just be yourself!” What they are really saying, or what they should be saying, is “Don’t act like someone you’re not.” It’s not be yourself don’t be nervous, it’s be who you are.
You wake up and you feel it almost immediately. You try to shake it off, brush your teeth, eat breakfast; it’s still there. Maybe it’s in your house, along with all the good and terrible memories. You get in your car, drive away toward somewhere. Where can you go? Shopping? Maybe that’s how people become shopaholics. Addicts. Maybe they’re all the same. Maybe we could all easily become like them; we were just born into different circumstances — found ourselves in a better place when we popped out into the world, and now we all struggle to stay upright where our mothers left us.
You pull into the mall parking lot. You turn off your car, but you know you’re not going in, so you roll down your window and sit still for a few minutes. It feels a little better. But running away doesn’t solve anything. What you’re looking for can’t be purchased at any store. Time is the only thing that helps. Time passes you by out the car window; people march in and out of the store, lugging out bags full of things they may or may not need. You put your seatbelt back on; you’ve sat there long enough, let enough time go by, and it’s still the same and it still will be the same for quite some time.
You could call someone. A friend. But it seems that these days all of your old friends are busy living their own completely different lives. It just doesn’t work anymore. Maybe you need to meet new people. Maybe you need to move. Anything to avoid staying here and falling slightly down, becoming something else. What were you born to be? This? Maybe new friends can’t help you. Maybe a new city can’t help you, either. Maybe nothing can. Maybe everything is just a cover-up, just a distraction. Just like sleep. That’s why you feel it the most in the early mornings, when you can still hear the birds chirping in the dying trees across the street, before the motors start and don’t stop until well after nightfall. That’s why some days, when you don’t have a calendar full of tasks to complete before you head back to bed, when you wake up and look at the clock and realize how many hours are going to stretch out in front of you, you feel it. Life. Just living. What the birds and the squirrels would feel if they had brains like we do. Emptiness. Or, rather, not emptiness. A lack of something that is full of something else. An empty fullness we try to cover up with the society we’ve created. With the laws, the stop signs, the uniforms of employees and school children. With religion. With purpose; an easy purpose, one-size-fits-all, that can be found in several different very old books. And, of course, with shopping.