Perpetually Unfinished
Monday, October 11, 2004
 
I need to connect with people.

I've put it off for weeks, now. Stayed in a summer mindset, been sluggish and gone with the inertia and figured things would pick up later. People have been back on campus for a month or more, and I've barely tried to reach out. It's just all work, and home with Alex, and meetings when they happen. I've talked to Kyle plenty, naturally, but it's always business, always details of this or that for Peace Project, and I don't know how to change that right now. I haven't talked to Peter for more than 5 minutes this fall, I don't think.

Lexi and Suj each came up to me separately tonight, after the NOWAR meeting before we started working on drafting the SCFC proposal, and said that we should get together soon for tea or coffee or something. I felt really good about that, and excited, and I hope I get to spend some time with both of them this weekend. But I'm going to be gone for 2 1/2 of the next 3 weeks. By the time I get back to Evanston it'll be November, halfway through everyone's fall quarter. That worries me. Will it be too late? Will it make fitting myself into people's patterns too much of a challenge?

I dunno. It's odd how sometimes I can crave connections desperately, like last spring, and then turn around and be completely content for months with spending oodles of wonderful time with Alex and talking to Eileen online and phonecalls with my parents. And I've been too slow to pull myself out of that, but I'm suddenly really regretting it. There are people I want to be closer to, and I'm not making any progress on that right now, and it's sad.

Well, all I can say is that I need to work on it, I guess. A little bit this weekend, and more when I get back. Friendships are important, and as wonderful and fulfilling as my relationship with Alex is, I can't just fall back on that and ignore everyone else. I need to be talking to and spending time with people I care about and people who care about me.
 
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Monday, October 04, 2004
 
You know, if I ever have a nervous breakdown, it's going to be because this feeling will push me over the edge. The sick swirling feeling of panic/guilt/frustration/stress, of "I know I should be better than this, and I hate that I'm not"; the sinking feeling that there are too many things to keep track of and that you've inevitably forgotten more than a few which will come back to haunt you later; the sensation of running faster and faster just to stay in the same place; the way that you berate yourself fiercely for losing your focus and putting things off, and squirm, and then dive into something silly and shallow and unproductive to get away from the way that self-flagellation feels. It's the feeling I get when I know that I'm making my life much harder on myself than it needs to be. There's no good reason why my life shouldn't be under control. But it just isn't.

I need to figure out how to change that. I need different habits, different patterns, different attitudes. I need to take more deep breaths. It is not as bad as it sounds, and I am generally happy, but at the same time, I know that my mental health and my stress levels could be a lot better. I want to be more at peace.

Six weeks away from here, and I'm writing for the sake of writing. But it's the middle of the night, and if I don't get to bed soon, the lack of sleep will just hurt my focus tomorrow even more, and things will keep spiraling.

I need to write more. I think so much, and I feel so much, and yet I keep getting the sense that I'm not thinking things through. My life and my thoughts are as cluttered right now as my desk at work, brimming and overflowing, covered in tumbling, unsteady piles. I need to organize my heart and mind.

I need to sleep.
 
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Nature attains perfection, but man never does. There is a perfect ant, a perfect bee, but man is perpetually unfinished. He is both an unfinished animal and an unfinished man. It is this incurable unfinishedness which sets man apart from other living things. For, in the attempt to finish himself, man becomes a creator. Moreover, the incurable unfinishedness keeps man perpetually immature, perpetually capable of learning and growing.
--Eric Hoffer





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