{off}balance. ..

from the realm of 2 a.m.:

Lately, I’ve been oscillating between the extremes of hammering out 5-6 high peaks back-to-back and binge-watching Breaking Bad on Netflix. (Or, you know, NPR Tiny Desk Concerts and giant 50+ video playlists of Indie music on youtube are also viable options.)

Either way, its taking a toll on my body.

Lately, I’ve been swinging between the extremes of my idealism and my hedonism; for instance:

  • I’ll passionately berate the sugar-saturated, money-hungry, deadly American Food Industry to my family at mealtimes, declaiming on the danger of death by obesity for us all, and then succumb to being one of its most ardent consumers and fervent supporters at snack-times and at midnight.
  • I’ll decry Facebook to myself and acquaintances, and then check it multiple times in one day.
  • I’ll make stringent goals for myself simply (inevitably, almost) to break them hours later in a single, impulsive moment with a mental “Screw it, I’ll start tomorrow” excuse.

Either way, its exacting a cost from my conscience (not to mention my self-control, self-respect, health — and others’ patience).

Lately, pre-existential crisis conditions have seemed to be brewing up nicely only to have their winds turned in on themselves by the self-chastising thought that at least half of my so-called identity conflict moments are probably rooted in a simple, basic, big fat egotistic aversion to boredom. (Thank you, Christian Wiman, for helping clarify that realization for me.)

Either way, it’s emotionally exhausting.

And I’ve also been thinking again how I still feel pretty much like I’m in a political no-man’s-land. (Or no-woman’s-land, if you prefer.) That, if there are two chairs labeled – hideously – “Conservative” and “Liberal,” then there’s also this perfectly Bekah-sized crack in the middle right between them, and it’s where I happen to fall and land on my rear. Every. Single. Time.

And I’ve been wondering how to move on…from? I don’t know…college? (Still?) Korea? Camp? Or not even “move on” as much as “move forward,” and finally step fully into my adulthood. I’m 24, and excepting college and summer camps, I have yet to live away from home (my parents’ home) and “on my own” in the U.S. (It’s almost like last year living in South Korea never really happened, most days – or only took place in a dream; and even there, I was part of a program. So: very safe, very structured.) Thinking how it’s high time I claim a bit more of independence for myself (that most highly prized of all the hundreds of thousands of American commodities), and also being aware of how convenient/comfortable it is (in some ways, most of all economically – no small factor) for me to continue living with my parents, for now, for just a little bit longer…Feeling desperate to get outside of Lewis County on some days, and content to secure myself inside my sweltering but beautiful attic room for hours on end on others — just me, my books, the internet, my thoughts, and sweet solitude. I know it’ll be a wrench to leave this room, this safe spot I’ve created and cultivated for myself – this little nook of home-within-home – when it finally comes to it. Aching for local friends and a community of peers to belong to on a regular basis, in my year-round daily life; still reluctant to make that final break from home as home, and start my own…to start again – again. Abhorring the boredom typically attendant on a rural lifestyle for someone in my stage of life and despising the thought of moving to a city or anything remotely like a suburb. Wanting love “like that” and also not yet ready to give my heart away — wanting to keep it all to myself just a bit longer, have more time to fully “discover myself” and to further develop my own gifts and follow my own dreams, or even simply to clarify what exactly the heck they are, and yet also wanting to get onto building a life with someone else, too, and discovering dreams and possibilities together — and putting them into action…And do you know what it’s like to contemplate adventures (all those “World’s Best Hikes” lists from National Geographic, though…) in an attic room surrounded by books and hand-written words/quotes/poetry excerpts taped to the wall, and then get all tense-anxious as you worry what’ll happen when you actually leave that room and set out to pursue your grand schemes? And what if they all come to nothing and you utterly fail? Fear can be paralyzing. Multiple possibilities and the idea/message that “You can do anything you want to do! Or be ANYBODY you want to be!!” is paralyzing, as well.

Aghh! Twenty-something angst. (And that, too, can be a trigger for further internal conflict and over-analyzing…like, how the fact that I even have time and energy to think about all these things is a luxury and a sign of my white, American privilege, etc., etc., and how there are a lot more important issues to be getting worked up over…)

I need to go to bed. And for some reason, I think I’m going to publish this. I may just end up deleting it later; but for now, I’m going to publish it…

And I need to sleep.


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