When you read blogs, do you assume it is written for or about you? Do you feel the rush of a personal address, or look for that little sexy tidbit that may or may not refer to you? In my hubris, I do. That said, mostly only in the blogs of ex-friends and friends. I recognize the ridiculous vanity of this.
That said, when I have the urge to write a blog post it is usually more or less for someone. This one's for you.
Today was brutally, utterly bad. After at least 5 or 6 attempts to quit smoking cold turkey this year alone, and countless times before this year, I've finally caved and purchased several boxes of nicotine gum. So now when I feel overwhelmed or when I start something or when I finish something or when I'm bored I chew this disgusting gum (or rather, keep it nestled between my teeth and gums, as per directions). Sometimes I forget and chew it too fast for too long and my tongue goes numb, and I get bad hiccups, and I start slurring my words. I feel bad because I am obviously edgy.
It is rather horrifying to learn that the feeling of calm produced by a 'cigarette' is actually just a gross tingly chemical, a virtual thing that soaks into my brain. I feel foolish and dumb for relying on something I could hold.
When you remove one or another chemical or security blanket from your system it is like peeling back a scab because everything is a little different, a little off. And it is hard for me to determine what anxieties are inherently "mine" and which are symptoms of psychological withdrawal. I guess that is the dilemma of life, really, now isn't it. It is kind of great, though, to be able to pin point something outside of yourself as a cause of [insert neurosis].
I realize how bourgeois this is. No one gives a shit about me quitting smoking. I was thinking about writing this in the bright pink journal my step-mom gave me for Christmas, as yet unopened, but privacy is so DONE. But fucking blogging is so sickly and gross. Who do we blog for, and why?
Alongside my cigarette-lack-induced-anxiety (or whatever) emerges my social anxiety, again, something that has been pleasantly dulled over the last year. In Toronto I tried to isolate myself from groups. I used to think that groups are too much, and are too risky. As soon as you add a third person to the social dynamic there is room to gossip, room for dissenting opinions, room to be rejected in favour of the other. This, however, I have realized, is a bad strategy. I have, instead, tried to balance groups and singles, and never keep the singles too isolated. (this is what happens when someone with anxiety problems - everyone? - makes friends: it becomes a fucked-up system). I stopped dissecting social relationships just enough in grad school (of all places) to make friends. But with that comes that paranoia: i.e. how much am I 'in the group' or am I really just a lone wolf (do all intellectuals and artists and people think that?); who is who's favourite, and am I being too anti-social this week, this month, this evening? Am I dancing in a strange way? Can I just dance without thinking all these thoughts? Usually, but the last week or so has been marked by an upsurge in insecurity.
The rest of my summer, dwindling into its last days:
1. move 5 groups of friends into their new homes.
2. write my theory session talk on the city as embodied/other in China Mieville's The City and the City (Michel deCerteau, Lefebvre, D&G, blah).
3. avoid my chain-smoking, indulgent, nonsensical but brilliant supervisor until such a point that I can successfully turn down his non-stop cigarette and beer offerings
4. write the first 30 pages of my thesis project on the cybergothic
5. move into my new place, get the cat settled, avoid spending all my money on mid-century furniture, avoid domestic disputes that will unsettle our neighbours (we will be living above an amazing indian restaurant and a used bookstore - heaven, basically, yes). This is the first time I'll be living with a partner since...four years. And of course I pick a spitfire of a smart, amazing, but loud and opinionated man.
6. write, I think, 5 proposals for conferences
7. finish the four mixed media pieces I have started (they're almost done!)
8. calm the fuck down, in general.
I'm going to do my tarot reading now. sweet dreams. xo
images: lukasz wierzbowski, aela labbe, random tumblr, I'm sorry.