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Dream: 1.2.2017

January 2, 2017

I’m a freshman in high school. The school year is drawing to a close, but I’m panicking because I have a paper I haven’t even started writing that’s due soon. I haven’t carved out the time to write it because I haven’t been able to settle on a topic; I keep getting busier, with everything else that needs finishing up, so I never have the breathing room to think about what I’d actually like to address. So if I were to talk to my teacher, to ask for an extension, I don’t even have a tangible reason why I’ve made no progress. I’m stuck, but time is moving forward.

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NOTES:

2012–2015, on this blog, I averaged 109,055 words per year, in an average of 115 posts per year. In 2016, on this blog, I wrote 35,414 words in 50 posts.

I’m writing less.

Some of that is due to spending a lot of time reading (as I always have). Most of it, isn’t.

I’ve been keeping myself very busy doing things that don’t further any of my own aims. And then, when free time surprises me by appearing, I dither it away.

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I’ve been reading too much. Not too many books, so much as… too much time spent suspended in someone else’s life, being someone else.

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It’s only in dreams that I interact face-to-face meaningfully with anyone who isn’t Spouse. I miss that, but truthfully, it was almost-never very satisfying. Reading fiction, I get to participate in social situations that are interesting.

Probably some people’s real lives are like that, but mine wasn’t. People at work could sometimes be interesting, but often, outside of the job, they were utterly dull. Which makes it seem like it was the job that was interesting, not the person doing it, but that’s not quite right either.

On a job, you can talk process, because you’re all invested in getting things accomplished, and process is part of problem solving. Off a job, other people don’t seem to think about process much at all. But I do.

I enjoy hearing other people discuss processes I don’t even understand. If I can somehow participate, even better. (But then, why would such people listen to me, if I don’t ‘know’ anything? Well, they wouldn’t.)

It’s not just talking I miss. It’s being listened to. It’s being sought out as a subject expert. It’s discussing things of interest (with someone besides Spouse, as I have many more interests than he does).

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But I’ve spent… months and months, maybe even years, trying to recreate something like what was available when I worked. And I have utterly failed.

People don’t enjoy talking to me. And they definitely don’t enjoy listening to me.

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I need to try something else.

Here’s an image I thought of recently: I’m like a fish who’s been spending increasing amounts of time in marsh when the tide’s out. I’m gasping in the air, I’m suffocating, I can’t swim because there’s air where there should be water. But I keep trying to talk to… ducks. And they don’t understand me, and they don’t care, and I’m slowly dying, but I’m just so lonely that I keep trying, all day.

Instead, I should spend tide-out time buried in mud, waiting for the tide to come back in.

I’ve gotten my own rhythms all out of whack. I need to relearn what being a fish is.

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I think my dream was alerting me to how all these activities I’ve been doing have been like air, displacing my water. When I’m back to swimming freely, surrounded by volumes of water and space to move around in, my whiskers will again pick up electrical signals, I’ll again hear whispers. I’ll find subtle rhythms that are my own, long lost.

And I’ll write.

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