Treating myself to a celebratory almond milk iced latte and grain-free muffin the other day, I stumbled across a thought-provoking article in Darling Magazine. Bre Scullark writes,
“Masking the motive behind our actions subconsciously gives us permission to live an inauthentic life.”
Leading an inauthentic life is the last thing I want, but I’ve found lately that it’s an easy place to get to. I’ve had a ton to process in the past half year: engagement, a new job and leaving a company that felt like home, ongoing health flare-ups, my grandmother’s passing, marriage, moving into a place with a guy (my husband, but still), my first and hopefully only lay off, another new job… That’s some hard work, ya’ll. That I haven’t been doing.
The article goes on to say that “when we numb our emotions we deny ourselves the opportunity to find acceptance and peace uninterrupted.” Compulsive behavior like eating, shopping and entertainment are all ways we continue this pattern of avoidance. Interestingly or perhaps fittingly enough, these are also all ways to consume rather than create. Producing creative work requires things like processing and feeling.
Since I got married a little over 2 months ago I’ve become fast friends with the consumption and distraction part of this equation. I’ve read 6 books and started 3 others, watched all 5 seasons of Brothers & Sisters, caught up on the full seasons of 4 other shows, spent two weekends out of town, added several blogs to my regular reading roster, pinned countless pins and obsessed about apartment decor with the receipts and return slips (and then receipts again) to prove it.
But when all these fun things aren’t balanced with any time to reflect or engage in creative outlets of my own, they become stifling. I have been learning firsthand that laziness and self-indulgence are not the same as rest.
This quote from Louis C.K. also hit me hard, talking about people’s need to constantly preoccupy themselves:
“And that’s why we text and drive. People are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own because they don’t want to be alone for a second because it’s so hard.”
It is hard. I’m slowly trying to take stock of my reactionary habits, to be more mindful about how I’m spending my time and why. After all,