Saturday, May 7, 2011

too much free time makes sarah a dull girl

When I'm busy during the school semester, I fantasize about having oodles of free time to read, make art, sit outside in the sun, watch movies, write. But once I have free time, especially if I'm at home, I go braindead and end up plopped in front of the television eating entire boxes of Wheat Thins and watching marathons of The Real Housewives of Orange County. not ideal. I feel so restless, but I need to enjoy the remainder of my free time before my summer plans kick in. View this - this getaway, this little country house that perpetually smells of cats and cigarette smoke - as a nice vacation.
I don't mean to speak badly of my childhood home. I really love it. No place makes me feel as relaxed. Or as insane, for that matter.
You know, I think we - members of modern day society, especially in the U.S. - are so conditioned to be satisfied only when feel we are being "productive" and "reaching our potential," a potential usually defined by unattainable societal standards. It's kind of sad we can't just pull a Thoreau and enjoy the sunset a little more often.
Something else I've been pondering: I think we all play different roles in our lives depending on where we are and who we're with. I act much more open, much crazier, at home than I would when I'm at my apartment. It's almost liberating. But I also sink much lower once I'm in a bad mood, I think because old thought patterns and negative associations inevitably surface (again, not to badmouth my lovely home or the people associated with it). The first few days I'm back, I feel more talkative and maybe a little more "mature," whatever that means, which might be my "alternate" school persona trickling in. Then I'm happy and carefree and my usual crazy self (crude jokes, strange noises/impersonations, whatever). Also, I'm much, much more direct with my family about things than I am with anyone else, and I wish I could transfer that directness to all my relationships. After happy comes...stagnant. The rut. Which tells me something I've known a while: I need to be away from here in order to grow.
Hopefully I can learn how to be me, 100%, in all situations. Because really, any shifts that occur are just in my mental state as it responds to my environment. What role do I play here? What role do I play there? What do people expect of me? What should I expect of myself?
Oh, the impossibilities of true authenticity! (I could write a poem.)

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