Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Desire to Relax

Sometimes when I'm bored or looking for a new blog topic, I reach back into the past to look at old posts. This serves the dual purposes of helping me refrain from repeating myself and shaming me into being a better writer.

Recently, I decided to explore the depths of my Twitter feed. I don't mind telling you that I went through about a year ago and scrubbed some of the more ridiculous/embarrassing tweets (which, of course, cannot really disappear, this being the Internet and all). But I was surprised by what I left behind. Or maybe surprised isn't the correct word. Either way, I did learn something along the way.

It turns out that I spent a great deal of my grad school years (2010-2012) talking about books, which is self-explanatory. But I also mentioned sleeping and napping on an alarmingly regular basis. Given everything that I experienced in those two years, it's not shocking that I was exhausted. What gets to me more is the fact that I was so limited in my ability to verbalize what was happening to me. 

Maybe this was a result of writing so many words along the way (just under 24k in the final draft of my thesis alone, which doesn't take into account any papers, e-mail messages, workshop critiques, interdisciplinary coursework, or drafts of earlier stories accrued over the course of 24 months of enrollment). Had I used up all of my expertise in school? It seems possible.

Or maybe I was getting at something primal: a desire to recharge and BE for a moment or two, without the burden of conversation or interaction.

This is still something I crave. There are days when I would be happy to sleep for 24 hours straight, or at least spend my time alone, curled up in bed and watching a movie or reading a book or magazine (one of the five or six issues of Smithsonian Magazine and Writers' Digest currently backlogged on my desk, for example).

Because I live a life that is often jam-packed, I have to take time out to relax. It took me many years to learn that if I skip this essential step, I will suffer some undesirable and debilitating consequences. Unfortunately, I'm not an expert at it yet, but I'm still trying.


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