It would seem that when I promise to explore something further in the next issue of Weekly Findings, I'm playing kick-the-can and setting myself up to get distracted in the intervening week and to forget to think about the thing I'd planned to think about. Somewhat miraculously, then: This weekend, my subconscious found several opportunities to confront me with my authentic self (the self I may have a tendency to put on hold, according to Beverly Amsel):
UNCHARACTERISTIC AMBIVALENCE. I have become fixated on pixie cuts. Never one to think too much about my hair (especially since taking to the road; who has time for hair when there are adventures to be had—and limited space to store beauty products and tools), I'm suddenly writhing in indecision over my next style. Pinterest has consumed me for long stretches at a time and then abandoned me (after all, there are only so many photos of curly pixie cuts), once again, in the ditch of irresolution. (And, when lying in that particular ditch, all the hours spent perusing and hemming and hawing and not taking action feels a whole lot like wasted time—which probably contributes to the next item, below.)
OVERWHELMED BY MINUTIAE. What to eat for lunch? What to eat for dinner? I've found myself thoroughly vexed by the mundane decisions that come with being a human. Like, why do I have to think about yet another meal? I ate one just a few hours ago. I know enough about psychology to understand that when we're investing too much in the rightness or wrongness of basic decisions, there's some other fear (oftentimes about rightness or wrongness) that's masquerading in plain sight.
BORED WITH MYSELF. Though I'd like to blame it on our being parked in the same (dull) city for the past five months, I know this one is much more to do with my neglecting to take seriously my own curiosity. My interest in learning to casterboard? I need to pursue it. Feeling as though my creative well is dry? Filled with sameness? I need to get offline and wander a museum or bookstore (we did the latter this weekend, and I wondered why I hadn't thought to do it sooner).
I have to wonder: Is this inner discord merely growing pains, part of feeling my way toward whoever I am right now? Dr. Amsel has written quite a lot about individuation, "the process that occurs after separation [from parents] in which you grow your separate self, where you come to define who you are as an individual." For me, this process feels more delayed and hiccupy than I've have liked; isn't this what college was for? Why am I unsure about my appearance and whether or not a person is supposed to try out a new hairstyle before she gets married? Why do I fear that my having a strong or unpopular opinion will be perceived by others as an affront? Why is this skin too small, all of a sudden? Dr. Amsel shares a great insight:
What can make this individuation process difficult is that you have to deal with the consequences of becoming a separate individual in the world. For example, there may be feelings from others about your asserting your developing separate self. This is sometimes not easy to tolerate especially if there are negative or critical responses to your new voice. Frequently, it takes time and work to learn to tolerate all the new feelings that your changes evoke.
There's so much more exploring to do—but, I'll leave it here, for now. Tell me, what is the struggle you most need to put words to right now? (It helps, believe me.)
Notes from the week of February 7
MEALS EATEN, DRINKS DRUNK
+ pad Thai
+ quinoa bowl w/ za'atar avocado & egg
+ sautéed rainbow chard & cauliflower baked w/ sliced hot pepper
+ caprese salad wrap
READ & NODDED MY HEAD
+ "I didn’t want to deal with everything that comes with a wedding but I did want to be married" (perhaps the first thing I've read about weddings that actually resonates)
+ Season 1 of Amazon's haunting & riveting The Man in the High Castle
+ Season 5 of AMC's The Walking Dead
+ Food Network's Worst Cooks in America Collection (which had me laughing and crying alternately—this series surprised me with so many good, human moments)
+ a new metallic-y green glazed planter for my growing jade, which instigated a kind of musical chairs for all the plants in the front window of the RV
+ Toni, who lives on the other side of the RV park and is enjoying a robust online dating life
+ the mother of last week's four-year-old, only she doesn't know it yet: I'm going to bring her a beer and some chocolate one day this week