You know that feeling like something is missing, but you’re not sure what it is? I don’t know if there was ever a time when that feeling was not a part of my daily experience, but there are times when it comes on stronger, and this evening is one of those times. It’s not quite escape that I’m craving, but something near to it… or maybe actually the opposite of it. A kind of comfort that I can’t define. Perhaps just a different kind of life, a life with less needless stress and worry, with less anxiety, and a life with a certain kind of coziness that I am finding difficult, but not entirely impossible, to cultivate in my own home.
A friend was telling me the other day about how she was on a search for the perfect café, with shabby thrift store furniture and an inviting atmosphere, the kind of place where you feel welcome to curl up with your notebook and a knitting project for a couple hours, and don’t get the sense that you must keep spending money to stay, that somebody is waiting to take up the space that is currently yours. I know the place she’s talking about, but I haven’t found it yet either. The cafés I am familiar with are either furnished with leather chairs to attract a certain kind of client, and/or wooden chairs that are not comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. I do still spend plenty of time in these places, but there is something just a little off about them… I don’t feel quite welcome. I get stressed with the hustle-bustle around me, and often feel as though I am taking up space that were better-suited to someone else. I get overly irritated when I search for a relaxing, yet public, atmosphere, and find myself surrounded in folks staring at their laptop screens and cell phones, ignoring the beauty of the well-made drink in front of them, and the view from the window they happen to be near. I know I am over-thinking it, I know there are many more important things in life. And yet I am bothered.
It might also be the snow getting to me. Of course. I don’t dislike the snow the way I used to, but I miss riding my bike, I miss bringing my picnic blanket down to the river, I miss reading in the grass. So there is certainly a lack of nature in my life, since I’ve been spending most of my time simply hanging out in my apartment, trying to figure it all out. But there is a lack of something else as well, and I’m not sure what it is.
After I posted this entry and flier, I noticed a ridiculous amount of hits coming to my blog from Tumblr. I don’t have an account on that site (and I promise I never, ever will!), so I wandered on over to see what was up. A ton of folks had reposted my flier; unfortunately, many didn’t bother to credit me. Just so you know, crediting is easy-peasy, and it is disrespectful and lazy not to. The flier and the message did not appear out of the blue: I created them. I appreciate those of you who did credit, so thanks, but I will admit that Tumblr sort of gives me the creeps, and it’s not a community I want to be involved with. So finding my own words on there (and wondering what else of mine is on there that I haven’t found) is odd. Last I checked, my flier had been re-posted about six-hundred fifty times. And out of six-hundred fifty people who felt the need to share it, only two or three actually spoke to me about it. That is also odd, and perhaps quite telling of why I feel a lack of communication in my life. I don’t expect everyone to get in touch with me just because I’ve made something that’s spoken to them – that would be exhausting and foolish, and I know I sure as hell don’t get in touch with half the folks who make art I love – but a tiny bit of acknowledgment is nice sometimes, you know? I do plan on making copies of the flier so you can carry them in your pocket, mail them to your friends, stick them up around town, hide them in library books, etc. I just don’t have the money for copies right now.
As the flier mentions, I am still trying to accept that everything is a process. I am trying to remedy this restlessness, and I know that I will feel differently tomorrow. I am trying to become a more patient person. Little things irritate me: my neighbours’ loud music, noisy conversations in public, useless non-recyclable packaging in the mail, etc… But I’ll get over it. There are more important things.
On the topic of the internet, and of slowing down and learning patience, I have also been spending less time online, and trying to be more productive in Real Life. For example, after growing increasingly annoyed with folks who add me on Facebook, then, when I add them back to try to figure out who they are, they don’t even talk to me, I finally decided to just delete everyone. I am sooo not interested in passive fake-communication on the internets. I am not interested in collecting a great big friends list, and I don’t have the time or energy to keep up with what everybody’s up to. I don’t want to spend my life staring at a screen. So cutting down the friends lists, and spending less time online, is one way I am taking back control of my daily life, and taking care of myself. I recommend it.
What are you doing to take back control of your own daily life, and how have you been taking care of yourself?
Soy latté and olive green knitting at The Cornerstone.
P.S.: If you’ve benefited from my writing in any way – if my words have inspired you, helped you feel less alone, or sparked some weird feeling within you; if you’ve felt encouraged, or curious, or comforted – please consider compensating me by offering a donation of any amount. Whether you’ve been reading my writing for years, or just stumbled into me this afternoon, I invite you to help me sustain the process!