Five for Friday: words of wisdom

I’ve been trying to read more lately instead of watching TV.  Graduate school took pretty much all the joy out of reading for me, but it’s starting to come back.  As a result, things I read and see are beginning to stick in my head.  I’ll see a phrase and something in my head will click, and I’ll find myself nodding and thinking “yeah, I know how that feels”.

I feel like I’ve been withdrawing into my own head a lot lately.  These are all things I’ve been able to pull from the crazy mass of thoughts (which I imagine looks something like this).

“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”  –Julia Child

For me, that’s history–and to some extent, writing.  I may not be contributing to the historical field at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep up on new developments, and I have been doing a little non-blog writing to keep my historical reporting skills sharp.  (I’ve even made footnotes!)
“When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead.” –Ernest Hemingway

I’ve written a little before about my inflexible daily routine.  These last few days, I’ve tried to build in a little time for fun after work and on my days off.  I’ve gotten out my big camera and taken pictures of the dogs playing in the yard, put in my headphones and danced when nobody else is home (which scares O.C. half to death because he has no idea what I’m doing), watched old home videos of Dallas being the world’s cutest baby, and finally finished a couple of books I’ve had languishing on my Kindle.

“I will be calm. I will be mistress of myself.” –Jane Austen

I have had to say this to myself quite a lot, especially these last few weeks.  I feel very irritable and anxious a lot of the time.  Sometimes I just don’t feel like taking crap from anybody, but I certainly don’t want to be rude.  So I have to keep telling myself to be calm and, you know, not yell at anybody, or break down crying because I feel stressed out and have no idea why.  (Or I do know why, but I have a feeling I’m blowing everything out of proportion.)

“The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.” –Sylvia Plath

I never really know what to say unless it’s in writing.  That problem has gotten worse lately.  Silence makes me think–and that’s not necessarily a good thing.  When I’m keeping busy or there’s a lot going on around me, the silence doesn’t get to me.  It’s in those quiet times that the depression sets in.  I can’t focus on anything else when that happens.

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” –Jack Kerouac

…building off the last quote, of course.  I never, ever know what to say.  That’s part of why the silence is so depressing.  I wish I could stop the silence, reassure myself that everything really is okay, shut up that depression.  But I make everything overly difficult when I try to explain things, when I try to help people, and the alternative is to just remain silent, which makes me feel like people perceive me to be less intelligent than I really am, or that they think I’m not interested in listening to what they have to say.  And when I try to explain things to myself, I end up more confused than when I started.  I can’t convince myself of anything.  Whoever said wisdom comes with age clearly didn’t anticipate me coming along someday.  I used to feel a great deal more wise when I was younger than I do now.


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