She would probaly say, “fuck love gimme diamonds.” Which is basically what I’m saying right now to moving and packing and the logistical nightmare that entails. If I had a nickel for every time I said to Royal, “I really wish I was Harry Potter right now,” I would be a rich bitch. Like Iggy. Plus, when I listen to “Work,” I substitute with my own lyrics of “No money, no family, 27 in the middle of Seattle” because that’s how I feel with $1900 a month rent.
Here’s the thing, though. Remember yesterday when I mentioned that I feel like I’ve been sleepwalking? That most days I get to work and have no idea how I got there? The entire walk there is a blur? Yep. That’s my MO. And this week, now that moving is really happening, I keep staring at the clock and the calendar and wishing away the next three weeks just so it can all be over and my new reality started. But here’s the other thing: I’ve been thinking that way since I was 8.
When I was 8, I couldn’t wait to be in middle school so I could go to school dances. (HAHA. Sucker. Little did I know I would never dance with a single boy. Puberty, man. The shits.)
When I was 12, I wanted to be 16 so I could drive.
When I was 16, I wanted to be 18 so I could go to college.
And when I was in college, I just wanted to be OUT of college. And when I got out of college, I wanted to be married. And then I was married and god only knows how many other things I’ve wished for. The “I’ll be happy when” trap. It’s happening again to me right this very second with me thinking, “I’ll be happy when I’m done packing shit and I’m eating multi-grain Cheerios and watching The Killing.”
I’ve always known I do this, and I’ve tried billions of times to fix it. To be present. It doesn’t work. But the other day I was listening to the NPR TED Radio Hour, as I so often do on my walks to work, and Carl Honore’s snippet came up. It kind of blew my mind. Just a teensy little bit:
But why is it so hard to slow down? I think there are various reasons. One is that speed is fun, you know. Speed is sexy, and all that adrenaline rush. It’s hard to give it up. Another reason, though, I think, perhaps even the most powerful reason why we find it hard to slow down is the cultural taboo against slowing down.
That slow is a dirty word in our culture. It’s a byword for lazy, slacker, for being somebody who gives up. You know, he’s a bit slow. It’s actually synonymous with being stupid. I think there’s a kind of metaphysical dimension that speed becomes a way of walling ourselves off from the bigger, deeper questions. We fill our heads with distraction, with busyness so that we don’t have to ask – am I well? Am I happy? Are my children growing up right?
Jeez, Carl. Way to really hit me in the feels. You’re right–I’m trying to speed through it all. Which is a bummer. And YEAH! You’re right! There’s totally a cultural taboo against being “slow.” And as someone that’s never been entirely fond of cultural taboos, I’m not stoked about it. And I’d like to challenge it. I’m going to move slowly this week, suckers! Which, for me, means working on ONE thing at at time. Because for some reason I’ve told myself that multi-tasking is absolutely necessary, but the truth is…multi-tasking gets me nowhere but a rat’s nest of tangled thoughts and anxiety.
One thing at a time. Move slowly. Work, work, work, work, workin on my shit. Who’s with me?