Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

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The future plu? Perfect.

I was in a really good mood this morning. Just woke up feeling alive and strong and...happy. It's a good feeling, and I've missed it for awhile. I wrote that balls vs women piece that had been kicking around in my head for a few days, and went out for a nice 4.5 mile session in the park. The weather was awesome, cool and breezy like I like it, and there weren't many people about. I really wish conditions were like that more frequently, because it makes the whole experience joyful rather than a massive pain in the ass. Then I came home, took a nap (only got 5 hours last night) and was awakened by my orthodox cousin asking me whether I was going to come to his son's Bar Mitzvah in Baltimore, which I awkwardly tried to avoid. I just can't handle that level of religiosity, not with my irreverent attitude and dirty mouth, and there's an unhealed rift between us. He used to be an atheist like the rest of the family but converted in his 30's, and that was a huge blow to my father who had been uncle to him. Then after my father died my cousin came and asked if I was going to say Kaddish, which I certainly wasn't. He said he would say it instead then, and refused to be dissuaded no matter what I said. I found this very offensive, since my father was one of the most atheistic people you could ever meet. As the chairman of biology at Columbia he was, in fact, a go-to guy in defending evolution and I have old VHS tapes of him debating creationists on national PBS shows. He felt culturally tied to Judaism, and he loved Yiddish, but religion made him angry. My cousin has never apologized and I have never felt comfortable around him since.

So that brought my mood down some, but still I couldn't help thinking how much the writer lifestyle agrees with me. Putting in 8 hour days of creativity isn't work, it's joy. It's too bad I'm not good enough to make my living this way yet, but I vow that some day I will. I've never really had such a clear concept of "The Good Life" before and it's comforting to know it's out there.

I'm feeling pretty confident in my talents right now, which is good. I have a lot in my head that I'm not sure how to get out yet, or at least not confident enough to write, but when I do. Watch out. I think it's because of a good session I had with my shrink on Thursday. Confession isn't just good for the soul, it's great for the mind. Sometimes when you verbalize mental blocks you're having it helps you eliminate them. Once they are no longer lodged in your head but instead are stated aloud in clear language they seem to dissolve in the light of rationality. The monsters don't seem so big when they're out from under the bed. Writing here has helped hone the craft part of what I want to do, but good sessions with a psychologist can unlock the latent creativity by removing psychological blocks. If I had the money I'd probably start going twice a week, and if I find a job that pays well I actually will do that, since I think that it'd speed up the process of getting the images in my head out on to the paper with minimal interference.

I know a lot of people have had bad experiences with psychologists and psychiatrists and write them off. I don't doubt that the experiences were bad, since I've had those myself. Psychologists are people and they're flawed and those who don't admit that to themselves or their patients often come off as pompous assholes who know nothing. The thing is if you think all psychology is bunk it's because you've never had a really good shrink. A really good shrink knows that he's just as messed up as anyone else and he admits it. He tells you some of his flaws and blind spots, and then he proceeds to help you despite them and in spite of them. It's a really interesting and beneficial process and I feel sorry for people who've only had the bad kind, because you're missing out on a level pure self-examination that I haven't encountered elsewhere. I know that in the last 9 years or so I've gone from miserable and suicidal to relatively well adjusted and excited about the future and the world. Might I have made that journey alone? Perhaps. Or perhaps I would have actually jumped of one of those windows at 1:30 AM had I not had anybody to call.

Anyway things are going relatively well. I have a lot of writing to do and I'll try to get some done later. For now I'm going to go watch a movie and maybe have some lunch since I had very little breakfast. Today is a good day, and when you've had few enough of those in the past you know just how precious they can be.
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