Notches in your Spine

Ambition and goals have become elusive throughout this long stretch of exceptional isolation. I recall a period of time several months back, leading into Fall or so where I was grasped by a strange spirit of productivity or direction. And not necessarily the capitalist “productivity”, but more the personal and intimate fulfillment. Things as simple as cleanliness and organization alongside this ever-present idea of the rest of things falling into place behind that. Check things off of lists and amass collections of personal completions. Small goals. Something to trick that game-brain into building a head of steam and spurring that into something more substantial. Now, I know it’s probably a silly jump to go from reorganizing your t-shirts and completing your reading list to Discovering Ones’ Self™, but for short while, it felt that way.

But of course, writing this is an admission that it didn’t last. Not that I expected to reach a finish line or anything. This is more a meditation on where that spark of self-construction could have evaporated to. As mini-goals fell in place and I started looking inward towards personal desires and goals, I think that’s where this started falling apart. I suppose I expected to find this hatching new inspiration, a new favorite genre, hobby, skill, music, some kind of rabbit hole to fall into, which I could come out the other side of, more enriched and satisfied. Instead I couldn’t really recognize what I was met with, which just invites more answerless questions. And that’s just knocking on Anxiety’s door with special guest Impostor Syndrome.

At least this is something I’ve been working on for two years, looking back at my “Momentum” post, and I’ve definitely developed a bit more self-awareness since then. Though it definitely feels like I’m waiting on something. Something to happen.That I’ll get to be the recipient or receptacle of some karmic intervention. Which is a painfully teenage fantasy. Like waiting on an invite to Wizard School, or some X-gene activation. Fun idle daydreams, sure. But probably symptomatic of the perpetual emotional fatigue that chokes a lot of my time. The hours allocated to work and worry leave me with not a lot else. I’m working on trimming down the worry. Though that brings us to the original concern.

If you weren’t so preoccupied with anxieties and worries, what would you use all that time for?

bend all your notes for me



3-19-2020 10:46pm

Considering the general state of affairs regarding social distancing and most venues for human interaction closed (rightfully so), how we pass the time has become interesting. I got to do a bit of road-running again, and have become aware of just how more engaging it is than treadmill running. It’s a nice anchor to something concrete, even if it hurts a bit more. It helps me be a bit more reflective.

I’ve updated this site. Twenty Twenty has probably impressed me the most with how dynamic the block editor can be without the need for crazy plugin subscriptions. Plus it has the added benefit of not looking like a text editor. Closer to The Construct in The Matrix. A white void in which you can summon whatever it is. you. need.



I’m not sure what it says about me, that I pick up a Murakami book (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running) and immediately decide to start writing. I suppose it’s how easily conversational his text reads while just slightly glancing into the influential and profound that gives me the “hey, you can probably do something like this” thought. Not that I fancy myself a writer of any kind at all. I just think there’s value to be had in logging thoughts in a format a bit longer than a mental note, tweet or other kind of social media post.

And that’s part of my problem, I suppose. I wasn’t halfway through the chapter before I stumbled upon a line or paragraph that hit me in a certain way that I was compelled to share it. “This really feels true. Should I put this on my Instagram story? Post a tweet?” And that urge didn’t sit too well with me. It smacked of a hollow vanity. It’s that kind of mental bruise I encounter any time I share something on “social media”.  I’m not knocking people who do that, though. I begrudge it more because I believe it’s led to a shorter self-attention span on my part.

Which brings me to why I started writing this. The word count as of this sentence is…two hundred and thirty two words. Had to do a little sudoku on that bit, where was I? Right, word count.  200+ words is far longer than the average Facebook post or any tweet (although still a few shy for Instagram considering the exchange rate on words-to-pictures). This is honestly the longest continuous bit of personal writing I’ve done in years.  I guess I’m trying to be more meditative without the quiet stillness (though I’m typing on the loudest keyboard I’ve ever owned so that might dampen my zen). I’m hoping to exercise my concentration and get more of my self clarified. Like a consommé. I’m not expecting some kind of ultimate wisdom or self-help nuggets to come out of this. But maybe just getting started with three hundred and sixty three words might be just what I needed.