Demolition job

1. In my fantasies I am right all the time. That doesn't sound too out of the ordinary; nobody daydreams of their own stupidity. The problematic part is how I sometimes fantasize about damning someone else for their ignorance. In the words of Toni Morrison: being tall because somebody else is on their knees.

This desire to lord over others with my correctness might be something rooted in my fear of being wrong. A thing called “atychiphobia” apparently. A few months back I even wrote a whole post poking holes in a younger colleague's writing. (I deleted it.) Sure, it was to rant about my frustrations, but I also used it as step stool to elevate myself with. All this despite me waxing poetic about justice and humility.

I keep finding in me the very things I claim to condemn.

2. Maurice Sendak

The other day I was writing about the people I admire. A lot of them are academics and writers, and their opinions tend to reflect the prevailing rationale. (I.e. popular opinion actually founded on research and logic.)

This is no doubt related to my constant consultation of Twitter for which popular thought to parrot. I swear to god, I'm constantly fighting this terrible impulse to either re-post or reiterate the things I read there. I'm even starting to see other people harboring the same desire in the number of times the same sentiment or joke is rephrased by different people.

But experts don't seek correctness; they seek truths about the human condition. At least I like to imagine they do.

ᴴᵉᵃʳᵈ ᶠʳᵒᵐ ᴹᶦᶜʰᵃᵉˡ ᴾᵘᵉᵗᵗ: ᵀʰᵉ ʷᵃʸ ᵗᵒ ˡᶦᵛᵉ ᵃ ᵍᵒᵒᵈ ˡᶦᶠᵉ ᶦˢ ᵗᵒ ᵇʳᵉᵃᵏ ᵒᵘᵗ ᵒᶠ ᵗʰᵉ ᵖᵃᵗᵗᵉʳⁿˢ* ʷᵉ'ᵛᵉ ᶠᵃˡˡᵉⁿ ᶦⁿᵗᵒ ᵃⁿᵈ ᶜʳᵉᵃᵗᵉ ʷᵒʳˡᵈˢ ʷᶦᵗʰᶦⁿ ʷʰᶦᶜʰ ʸᵒᵘ ᵃⁿᵈ ᵗʰᵒˢᵉ ᵃʳᵒᵘⁿᵈ ʸᵒᵘ ᶜᵃⁿ ᶠˡᵒᵘʳᶦˢʰ. ᵀʰᵉ ᵍᵒᵒᵈ ˡᶦᶠᵉ ᶦˢ ʷʰᵉⁿ ᵃˢ ᵐᵃⁿʸ ᵖᵉᵒᵖˡᵉ ᵃˢ ᵖᵒˢˢᶦᵇˡᵉ ᵃʳᵉ ᶠˡᵒᵘʳᶦˢʰᶦⁿᵍ.

3. I've been considering romance this quarantine and I hate it. It's been tough finding something to love about myself lately so I've resorted to imagining someone who does. And I hate it!

This might be what those advice columnists meant when they said, “be the kind of person you want to meet.” I am not that right now.

4. It just occurred to me that perhaps viewing the things on my to-do list as tasks to be crossed off is unproductive. They are actions to be accumulated and each action grinds me into shape.

It makes sense, because to carve a form you need to be intentional about what to keep and what to whittle out.

With the random actions I've been busy with, I've buried the shape in scrap.

5. Thinking about all of this — the obsession with correctness, longing for the unconditional acceptance of someone else — makes me wonder if I've been doing things for the wrong reasons.

It might explain why it's been so easy to pull me down. I've been hoarding habits that occupy too much of my time, cramming in information that fill too much of my mind. I've become too heavy for myself.

If my actions accumulate into character, then I should be strictly selective. Intentionality really is the key to everything.

People are constantly developing patterns, or conditioned responses to work and personal life. I can tell I need to demolish my current patterns. This old version of me.

*ᵂᵉ ᵃʳᵉ ᵖᵃᵗᵗᵉʳⁿᵉᵈ ᶜʳᵉᵃᵗᵘʳᵉˢ ᵃⁿᵈ ᵐᵘᶜʰ ᵒᶠ ʷʰᵃᵗ ʷᵉ ᵃʳᵉ ᵈᵉᵖᵉⁿᵈˢ ᵒⁿ ᵗʰᵉ ᵖᵃᵗᵗᵉʳⁿˢ ʷᵉ'ᵛᵉ ᶠᵃˡˡᵉⁿ ᶦⁿᵗᵒ ʷᶦᵗʰ ᵗʰᵒˢᵉ ᵃʳᵒᵘⁿᵈ ᵘˢ.