Tuesday, July 9, 2013

This Just In: I'm Not Dead!

Wow, folks. It's been a long, long time since my last semi-hopeful sounding update in this blog. In fact, it's been over two months. One might think that my long absence from my attempts at "positive perspective" blogging and the resounding silence that followed my empty promises of recording my newly cultivated productive lifestyle as a writer-reader-runner (catchy, right?) could mean one of two possible things: either I've died or I've given up.

Rest assured though, gentle reader (not stated in the plural for obvious reasons), I am not dead, and my disembodied spirit is not haunting this blog in order to take care of some unfinished blogging business before I pass on into the Great Beyond. No, nothing quite that intriguing has happened; I am quite alive, even though some days require that I slap myself in the face just to make sure. As for giving up, well, I'm afraid that I'm far too obnoxiously stubborn to do that. Still, my past blogs where I erroneously pledged to run every other day, read a book a week, and publish a blog entry every week as well, seem laughable at this point. After all, as might be all too-obvious at this point to qualify as a confession, self-discipline is not a quality that I possess in spades. Diligence? Perseverance? Hell, I've got those! But strict self-discipline, while something I find downright sexy and highly admirable, is not a personality trait that I can claim to exhibit naturally, and it's not for lack of trying on my part.

Now, don't misunderstand me. That lack of discipline isn't because of laziness or a sloppy disposition; I feel useless and depressed when I'm not being productive, and genuine disgust with myself when I approach something with a non-committal, lackluster drive. I've always been a hard worker because I hate letting people down, and my ego is too delicate to cope with open, public failure. The kind of discipline that I'm talking about, is the self-discipline where I am my own boss, and have only myself to answer to. And since I am my own boss when it comes to setting these lofty goals, the biggest enemy of my attempts at a disciplined attitude comes from a basketcase-like neurotic disposition that would make Woody Allen look well-adjusted and confident in comparison. Worry, anxiety, brutal self-deprecation, and a fear of failure is what stands between me and my desired militant mindset. You would think all that mental masturbation would bring some sort of pleasure, but mental masturbation is nothing like physical masturbation. It really is genuine self-abuse.

The degree of activity that my neurotic personality trait exhibits at any given time, is directly connected to my happiness with my general lifestyle and well-being. When I'm happy, I feel confident enough to write something worthwhile. I read voraciously and get excited about the next book I'll get to read before I'm even done with the one I am currently reading. And when I run, I run like the Devil is hot on my heels. The last couple of months that I was in Israel, I was doing all of those things, even if I don't have the blog entries to prove the writing component. I do, however, have the journal entries and clumsy poems as evidence (and no, you can't see them). And now? Well, I'm back in the States, and have been for almost exactly a month. I have no money, I'm living in my home town with my parents at the age of 27, I've just found employment at a local cafe (every English major's dream...excuse me, did I say dream? What I meant to say was, eventual fate), and my Jewish observance has suffered tremendously. I have vague plans for the future, all of which I'm staring at like this:

So as a result, I haven't been very good at keeping up with any goal that doesn't have to do with money, taking the necessary steps to return to my beloved Israel, making money, student loan debt, finding a real job, and of course, money. Big life changes and transitions, along with the anxiety caused over them, are all sucking my happiness into a compressed psychological tube where, if I don't write, if I stop feeding my brain the nourishment of a good book in favor of easy distractions (I've been getting pretty good at Civilization II on my laptop, for instance, which is useful in exactly zero ways to exactly no one), and if I forgive myself for putting off running for another day because I'm too exhausted from a a day of worrying, then I only have myself to kick for it. And believe me, I can take a pretty mean kicking. If I don't find a decent job, pay off my student loans, make aliyah, and become someone worthy of all the support, help, encouragement, advice, and investment that the good people in my life have put into me over the years, then I let them down. So therefore, how can I care about these silly personal goals?

Of course, this is a ridiculous way to think about things. These smaller goals are tied into the bigger ones, they help me keep something of a grip on my sanity, and of course, my sanity affects everyone. And no matter how good I get at Civilization II, playing strategy games when taking a break from the job hunt, in no way actually means that I can carefully plan, develop and conquer my own life, now, does it?

Majestic, isn't it? It's like I really am building Rome in a day...but with Greeks. If only I were doing this in the real world, that would be pretty cool. 

Well, this is what being away from Israel for a month has done to me. But there is hope! And believe it or not, it starts with my new cafe job. I keep telling myself, "well...it's better than nothing." And I am so sick of saying that to myself, that I have half a mind to do something about it. And while the writing-reading-running trinity of personal goals may not be the big fish that I'm fishing for to get my life where I would like it to be, they are the obviously neglected tools that I've been too distracted to put effort into that will turn me into the kind of person that I need to be in order catch the big fish.

Now, if only Gandhi would stop threatening me with nuclear weapons, and if Abe Lincoln would stop sending his diplomats to steal my technological advances in my capital, I'd be a lot happier.

...on second thought, I think I'll read another few chapters in Moby Dick before bed instead. Virtual Gandhi and Abe Lincoln will just have to wait until I really have time to deal with them.*

*If you have no idea what I'm talking about here, good for you. I admire people with lives. And if you do get what I'm talking about here, I mean no offense. Now, stop playing video games, go outside, and do something productive, nerd!


  1. Big hug for you, Megan!

    And maybe part of it is not saying the job is "better than nothing" but actually finding enough good in it to say it is "good" or "fun." Not necessarily "ideal" but still "good."


  2. You're absolutely right, Joel. And since I love coffee, I guess, it really isn't that bad. I could be selling vacuum cleaners, or life insurance, or something. It's hard to put your heart into things that you actively don't give a shit about, or want nothing to do with. Espresso? Yeah, I can get into that. :)


About the Person Manipulating the Mouse and Keyboard

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Jerusalem, Israel
I write about being Jewish, but not being born Jewish, living in the Jewish homeland, longing for living in the Jewish homeland when I'm not living there, Jewish holidays, customs, ideas, thoughts, and the occasional thing that has nothing to do with anything Jewish. But mostly, this blog is very Jewish.