Thursday, February 23, 2017

For a rare change of pace, Chicago had a few 60 degree days this past week. As bizarre and disconcerting as it was, it was nice to be able to head out for a run in short sleeves this past weekend and decompress, which I desperetaly needed to do. There's been a lot going on personally/professionally/politically, and the yoga classes I signed up for this winter haven't been physical enough to give me much release (the classes ended up being more like long shavasana sessions). 

In much the same way I've always found the Clash more relaxing than say, Mumford and Sons, it seems I need intensity, movement, dance when stressed. 

If I'm really being honest though, I don't work out avidly. I'm quite moderate with most of obsessions, for better or for worse (another rarity it seems) and so I only find myself salsa dancing, doing yoga, or running from time to time. Even with my writing, I constantly feel like I should be doing more. I've been getting up at 6 in the morning to write for an hour before work but my progress on the page has been slow. It's okay. That's how it goes. It's still progress and yet, lately I've been a bit insecure about my moderate stance on most things, my contentness with slowly making headway.

I've been trying to think through it all, mostly wondering: is it bad that I'm content with how I operate? This might pertain to more things that just my lack of extremism but at what point do you try to better yourself, push past comfort zones and at what point do you just accept that for most of your life, despite moving out of your comfort zone, nothing has really changed?

There's a Longform podcast I listened to once with Meghan Daum, whose writing I love, where she comes out with the fact that despite a lot of attempts to better ourselves, we may end up fundamentally the same. She says unapologetically of her book, My Misspent Youth,  "The whole book is about how we stay who are." She's an essayist, mostly writing about herself, so one would expect transformations but I think that's precisely why I like her writing. There are no metamorphoses, no sea changes. 

It's a daily struggle but I think I'm okay with (what may seem to some) my modest efforts: posting here sporadically, writing maddeningly slowing, speaking mediocre Spanish, reading a few books a month, working out as needed. It's a stubborn view but it also keeps me quite healthy. Perhaps contentness and feelings of inadequacy can both exist at once, as long as effort is being made.

1 comment:

Celia said...

This resonates with me. We are who we are... I'm finding that the relentless push for self betterment (new years resolutions, lists upon lists, grand workout schemes) is something that I tracked more to in my late teens and early twenties than now. And it's a good feeling, this letting myself be.