Unemployment and feeling stuck makes you think some pretty weird things. Lately, it’s been giving me a bunch of anxiety and I am not a fan. I’m usually more of a “Woe is me, everything is corrupt and the world is only getting worse” kind of a person, but this time it’s different.
My writing mentor (even though we’ve never met or talked), Augusten Burroughs, writes some pretty wonderful advice about love and life and everything in-between. In his book, “This is How,” he gave his readers some insightful advice: Who you are is made up of multiple things, but you do not have to define yourself with any of them. In essence, labels are straight-up bullshit. You label yourself.
This is not a quote. In fact, I cannot find an actual quote of what specifically this book taught me (I highly recommend it, obviously). Anyway, I want to hash out that idea here.
Assume all quotations in this piece are by Augusten Burroughs.
It seems everyone has at least one horror story from attending Catholic school. One of mine (I have many) comes from my 5th grade religion class.
Lately, I’ve been sauntering through life trying to figure out my next move . . . and it’s HARD. Leaving the film industry (even if temporarily) was so freeing, but I still want to take this creativity and put it towards something productive. On top of that, I need to find a
stable career that I find both fulfilling and healthy. If I cannot have time to myself to devote to stress relief, cooking, hiking, and writing (I used to work 12hr days 6 days a week), I know I won’t be happy or successful in whatever I choose. Now, that can mean a regular 9-5 or some strange freelance travel-writing position, but it can’t mean another job that requires 70+ hours of my week at something I don’t care about. That is just insane.
So here’s what I’ve been pondering in that time: “What determines happiness?”
IDEA: Can we create a society in which ageism is not a thing?
I am nineteen and sitting in the campus counselor’s office. Her room is sunny and overlooks the quad, where boys in shorts toss frisbees with shouts and girls in floral shirts clump together at a picnic table, laughter and chatter floating above their open laptops. I look down at my hands, fidgeting in my lap, as I wait for Alexa to sit down in the arm chair across from me.
The arrangement of the room is more suggestive of a conversation between friends than therapy–– we’re both in arm chairs, a small table between us. Her notebook lies on the table when she isn’t writing. On the first day she explained this to me:
“I keep it there because I want you to be able to know what I’m writing, if you’d like.”