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I may be having a “pity party.”

No, actually, I’m pretty sure that I am. I have good reason to be, though. You see, it began about three days ago when I realized that I had written anything on only one day out of the last week or so. It began as taking a bit of a break to re-charge after moving two major writing projects from the “new” side of my desktop to the “working/awaiting revision” side of my desktop. The re-charge stretched into a week, though, with no words being tapped out on the keyboard. I’m not saying “no words of substance,” mind you…I mean no words.

The pity party didn’t stop there, though. Oh, no. Once the ball is rolling, its not so easy to stop the momentum, after all. I watched Yes Man with Karen this afternoon. The movie, in case you haven’t seen it, explores the theme of quality of life by propagating an odd pop-culture metaphysical approach that essentially breaks down to cost/benefit analysis, and packages it with some crude sexual humor…you know, like most Jim Carrey movies do. The sad and immediate result of the movie is that you leave asking the question, “am I really living, or being a slave to my day-to-day?”

I suppose that you could confront that question in many ways. A self-empowerment approach would be to push yourself to take charge of your circumstances. A faith approach would tell you to be content with where you are. An reckless approach would tell you to run. A prima donna approach would lead to you say, “I’m a (fill in the blank), and I have too much talent to be confined to this servitude!”

The correct answer, though is (cue drumroll)…umm…you tell me?

See, I’m not writing this boasting of an answer. I’m not writing this to provide any amazingly witty or thought-provoking lucidity into the problem at hand. I’m writing because I haven’t written in a while, and I feel I might go a bit crazy if I don’t silence my day-to-day noise and let some words to come out.

That’s difficult, though, isn’t it? Silencing the noise of our daily lives? Breaking free from responsibilities long enough to pursue what you want to do? I want to brush up on my French and my Greek. I want to earn a PhD. I want something I write to be the next Great American Novel. I want time to ponder and contemplate and think. In short, I want to live my life as though I weren’t confined as an adult. Sometimes, the daily things we enjoy so much stop being enjoyable, and the success we achieve stops being all that important. Those are the times you’re left with exactly the question that Yes Man asks, albeit poorly: am I really living, or am I just existing? Am I creating or just consuming? Am I trapped by religious ethics, or experiencing a spiritually vibrant life?

Am I writing a legitimate blog post, or just a whiny stream-of-consciousness on which I really shouldn’t click “publish” at all?

That last one’s tough. Its probably the latter, but I’m clicking “publish” anyway, because having words out there is more important to me right now. Those of you who managed to read this far: have you ever experienced this? How do you move forward? I’m interested to know.

And no more whining, I promise…well, at least not for the immediate future.


  1. Wow, Dave, we had parallel intrapersonal dialogue this weekend!!

    Are we REALLY living…the question I asked myself for the first time, in a long time, this past weekend; and then DID something about.

    Did you draw conclusions? How can we make sure that 40 doesn’t creep up on us and we still haven’t done “that thing” we said we’d do??

  2. I’d like to say I’ve “drawn conclusions,” but this is ultimately something I still wrestle with. I’d like to be able to shed responsibilities and focus on my dreams until my dreams become my responsibilities, but that has been elusive thusfar, at least as far as career goals are concerned. Perhaps I need to have a weekend like you just wrote about!

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