I’m no good at selfies, but I also love them unabashedly. Here’s the trick: don’t wait to take a photo of yourself doing something special, in a special place, or looking special. Just take one! I like seeing your face, and I like showing you mine from time to time too.
Here’s another trick: don’t apologize for liking the things you like. Like the things you like, and if someone has a problem with that, let them deal with it. Earnestness is underrated.
Writing from: a contented room in Marin. Listening to: Zen purr as she snuggles FunkyPlaid.
[caption id=“attachment_91893” align=“aligncenter” width=“687”] Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset[/caption]
Anyway, Zen was a champ today. She was miserable in her bathroom quarantine, only calming down when I would sit with her. Then my mom suggested that I put Zen in her carrier and keep her with me in the bedroom as I sorted through stuff. Add the heating-pad and boom! She went right to sleep.
Although she won’t have her beloved heating-pad with her on Monday, Zen will have a much roomier kennel with comfy bedding, and I am hoping that she is able to sleep through the flights. On the way here, I took comfort in knowing that the cats were travelling on the same plane that I was, at least to Heathrow. I won’t have that comfort on the way back.
Writing from: an emptying lounge in Edinburgh. Listening to: just a few moments of silence.
The best stories in my life right now are the ones I cannot tell.
Working at the library provides me with many things. A steady paycheck is one, and let’s hope I am not jinxing anything by stating that, as the city budget right now is highly contested territory.
Another thing the library provides me with is a plethora of life lessons. Sometimes these life lessons are neatly packaged within a patron interaction or two, and sometimes they are spread out over a series of days, weeks, or months.
I met someone last week who changed my life, and I can’t even tell you any of the specifics. To say I am frustrated by this boundary is an understatement, but I love my job more than I love writing here, so this is the decision I make.
What I can tell you is that I helped this patron who needed some unconventional help. As we parted, a rush of clarity came over me, sudden dizziness forcing me to sit down. This is what I was meant to do, not specifically within the context of a library, but in the general sense: I was meant to help people, directly, without levels of abstraction. My fascination with sifting and categorizing information led me to library science, but it might have been another field, had I differing interests, and no less fulfilling.
The second part of my epiphany was how dangerous this purpose has been for me, how much damage it can do and has already done. I associate helping people with who I am instead of what I do, and when I am not immediately being “useful” I lose my sense of self. This is evidenced by some of what I write here: I am less and less able to express myself in this format, hyper-focused as I am on bringing interesting or valuable content with every piece I write, as if this has ever been anything more than a digital diary.
Leaving work that evening, I skipped my usual route in order to take the main staircase. As I descended, I tried to visualize myself apart from the library, the building itself, focusing on where it stops and where I begin. My rumination was interrupted by a coworker calling my name, waving goodbye, and I was glad for the interruption because of the truth stepping out of the shadows.
I have lost myself, and I do not know where to look.
It is gray inside the building today, which reminds me of December, which in turn reminds me of last December and my last job. Our big project was just about to launch. The launch had been pushed back, and the new launch date conflicted with my holiday vacation. The team changed the launch date again so I could be present.
I felt very lucky to be so cherished. I also felt overwhelmed and disenchanted and other things.
To think that I have not once visited a website I used to visit hundreds of times a week.
In the moment, we tend to think that our little importances, good or bad, will extend forward indefinitely. But the moment after this one, and this one, and this one, always proves that wrong.
I miss certain aspects of every remembered moment of my life, be it perspective, innocence, determination, or merely the me-ness in that moment that no longer exists, no longer can exist, the air in a bubble popped.