I'm in super obsessive overdrive mode. I just wish I could flip a switch and shut my brain off so I could get some sleep. For the most part the thoughts are good...work-related, productive...but I still can't sleep. I started trying relatively early tonight just to get the hassle of tossing and turning out of the way. I got up after a while and downloaded "Cab," by Train. I watched Proof earlier. I've been trying to wind down. Not working.
In past relationships, and in my family relationships as well, it's been really tough on the people around me to understand what is going on with me when I'm like this. Someone will ask, "What's on your mind? What are you thinking?" and honestly there's no way to explain it. Where would I even start? And would they really care once I got going? Their eyes would glaze over and they'd pass out from boredom. It wouldn't be pretty. And sometimes it would hurt them.
Elise and I had this conversation during our cultural day. We're very similar in the way our minds work and the things we think/obsess about, I think. For me, it's work. Work work work. And emotional things, questions, ponderings, musings...pointless to others, poignant to me.
Right now for instance, I'm obsessing about a variety of things:
- The short story cycle and how it applies to Zora Neale Hurston's book, Mules and Men. I mean, I know it's a cycle narrative, and I think I have something mildly original to say about it and the use of authorial voice and its ties to the oral tradition, but I haven't ironed it out yet. The proposal is due Thursday and I want it to be good. Really good. And it may not be good by then in all honesty.
- Willa Cather's book The Professor's House. I'm thinking about symbolism and trying to guess where it's going to go. And I love it. I absolutely love it so far. And I'm excited about Cather and I think I may fall in love with her work. I'm thinking I want to be that good at SOMETHING someday.
- And I'm thinking about how much work I still have to do tomorrow and how much time it's going to take away from spending time with my mother and the dogs and possibly with the rest of my family at a birthday lunch. I need to work, but I need to NOT be a hermit. I feel guilty that I like my hermitude 98% of the time. If I died today I'd be happy with the way I lived, but if someone else died, I might feel guilty because I've had blinders on for the last seven months.
- I'm thinking about the sacrifices. I've sacrificed some things in the name of work and dedication to my education. I'm happy with it now, but I wonder if I'll be happy about it five years down the road.
- I worry now about how my mom will feel if I up and move to Illinois when it comes Ph.D. time. Even if it's not Illinois...even if it's Michigan or Florida...I'm still gonna feel guilty.
- I'm thinking of how much I love that movie, Proof. I love it because it cuts to the heart of all this bullshit that I'm blabbing about right now. The obsession, the compulsion. The love of STUDYING. Of writing and being creative. It sounds so fucking stupid, but I look for Truth in words. Some people look for it in math, some people look for it in art, some people look for it in literature. Truth. With a capital T. Something eternal and human that gets caught on a page and trapped there. Something to study, and dig around for, and analyze, and poke until it reveals all it has to reveal. It sounds maudlin, but I don't fucking care. It's what keeps me up at night. It's like being in love.