Lately my days have been about softening and opening. While I was in school, and especially during the last several months of writing my Honours thesis, I was actively burrowing myself deeper and deeper into a tunnel of limitation and narrowness. First thing in the morning and the last thing before I slept I was thinking about—worrying about, brooding about—how I was not able to conduct my project as well as I would have liked, that at every step there were limitations and imperfections in the process. Sadly, this is how I spend most of my year: occupying a space of consumption, of worrying and producing alongside unnecessary amounts of anxiety.
But this summer has me decompressing. My anxiety has lifted for the most part, and my stomach is almost back to normal. Most importantly of all, I notice cracks in my blinders: realizations that things—life—would simply be more enjoyable if I stopped worrying about what if I’m fucking up, or what if she thinks I’m incompetent, what if my work isn’t good, what if I overstep, what if I don’t get in, what if I don’t make it. What if I did what some others do, and instead be excited? As in, be happy when corresponding with a big macher researcher, and capitalize on the opportunity to network further and more fruitfully—and be content doing it. What if I enjoyed working at the lab, instead of worrying what everyone will make of me? What if I just have a good time when talking to people instead of bending myself out of shape (and out of my comfort and own self) entertaining them at all times? What if I spoke in a slow, relaxed tone instead of a shallow-breathed, slightly frantic, ever-cheerful, high-pitched one? What if I learned to stop saying sorry unless it was warranted? What if I just let myself learn this slowly instead of beating myself up over getting it right away? What if I could soften, surrender, and open up to relish the wonderful things, both great and small? (What if I could stop thinking what people with think when they read this, and what if I could just enjoy my expression of self and the positive things I am reflecting on?)
All this to say that things are good. Really good. Mostly because I am white, educated, and anglophone in North America, but also because I am making things work for me. Also because I have a sense of style and wisdom that I enjoy and that I think will serve me well. Worrying is a little less easy when you count your blessings and realize you’ve got them in spades.
Case in point: here’s my living room, at long last.
Je veux construir. Mon amie, Marie Paule, m’a dit que le problème c’est trouver la personne. Et c’est ça: je n’ai personne avec laquelle construir, partager. Mais franchement, en ce moment je n’ai même aucune idée de comment on l’aurait essayé.
I want to build. A friend, Marie Paule, told me that the problem is finding with whom to do it. That’s exactly it: I have no one to build with, and at this moment I don’t even know how to, really.
I want to have a little apartment–small, but mine. A home made my me. Where I would cook for my friends and host parties. Where I’d play music all day, whose walls I’d paint rich colours and inhabit with plants. Where I could receive guests… in short, a little house. I need such a space to be and live, to grow my roots into.
Until then, I’ll have to abandon the desire to find my rock, and must find my stability nowhere but in myself.
“I’m here. I have a beard. I’m doing my MA in sociology. And after I’m done I’ll be off to whatever’s next.”
Translation of something I wrote a couple months back.