It's called Atlas Chugged.
(we think we're clever)
(we think we're clever)
Generally speaking, "we" are all coming from leftist perspectives, but with very different opinions and voices.
I, for example, want to stop scaring those people who come here looking for, you know, uterus poetry with my shrill political diatribes. But also, I am thrilled to have a vehicle for which I can freely discuss why I am liberal, what that actually means to me, why the current Democratic party makes me want to scream, and why I remain a registered Democrat anyway. I do not intend to always be shrill.
Nate, on the other hand, wants a space where he can inspire real, actual, bipartisan discussion, since so many other spaces online are devoted to partisan ranting and raving.
Anyway, I have no idea how it will go or what it will look like, but please consider checking it out and adding your $0.02.
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I love Google and I don't care who knows it. Yes, they are taking over the world, but they are also going to be offering San Francisco free wi-fi.
What? What's that you say? The wi-fi is actually just the candy the scary strangers offers us before we all get into his van?
Well, maybe. But that's some damn fine candy.
Anyway, in case you haven't played with it, I am a HUGE fan of the new Google Spreadsheets and its new word processing beta, Writely. It means I can have spreadsheets and word docs online, accessible anywhere at anytime from any computer. They work and are cool. And Writely even lets you publish to your blog. (I know that Blogger does, too, but Writely has a better wysiwyg interface.)
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I just discovered this blog entry I never posted. Started it a few weeks ago. Who knew?
When I was 26 and reeling from the fact that I was already getting divorced, blinking into the bright shiny light of The Rest Of My Life having no idea what to do with myself, Hakuna directed me towards an episode of Oprah. It was the one where she profiled people in their mid-twenties who were going through what amounted to quarter-life crises.
There's a book and everything.
Now, if I were older, wiser, someone maybe in my 50s, I would hear about the "quarter-life crisis" and roll my eyes so far into the back of my head I'd fall over backwards.
Oh, the poor dears, I'd think. How HARD it must be to be ALL OF 25 and ready and able to DO ANYTHING YOU WANT. HOWEVER DO YOU COPE? And then I'd probably follow my pint of sarcasm with a Xanax chaser.
But. Pity-worthy or not, this is the new reality for young twentysomethings (and I daresay many of us in our thirties and beyond). We can pretty much do whatever we want.
[Of course, there are still great and grave disparities economically, socially, racially, nationally, between genders, with regard to sexual orientation, etc.; certainly not everyone is afforded the same opportunities. But regardless of how I feel about these disparities and inequalities, the fact remains that I am a single, white, educated female living in the US and I have no idea what to do with myself.]The whole point of the "quarter-life crisis" is really that many of us have more opportunities (read = decisions) than generations before us ever did. Indeed, it is something to be grateful for. And I am.
It's just…there is so much choice. There are so many options. How do you ever decide? Especially when you know that every decision you make to DO something means making a decision NOT to do something else.
I could be a wife and mother. I could be a single mom. I could decide not to have kids. I could live in the city or the suburbs. I could abandon the corporate lifestyle. I could move to a different country. I could go back to school to be a writer or teacher, or maybe I should just get my MBA or what about law school? Didn't I always want to be a therapist? Well, and a hair dresser? And lounge singer? And comedian?
Because really, this isn't just about how many options we have available to us (if we're willing to put in the work), it's also that we're somehow supposed to find fulfillment.
Am I fulfilled?
I mean, I get up and go to work Monday through Friday at a job that is really quite fine. But all the while I know it is not my life's work. I know it is not nourishing me or my soul or even my mind. Sure, it pays the bills, but so do a lot of things.
But um, before you think that this post is about how I'm deciding to up and quit my job and move to New Zealand to raise sheep or something, I should tell you, it's a lot smaller than that.
All of this bluster is just a long-winded way of me saying that lately, I can't seem to get a damn thing done.
I announce that I want to write and so. I have written one book proposal, outlined (vaguely sort of in my head) and written the first 20 pages of a comic novel, written the beginning of a short story about five times, and spent approximately a gagillion hours wondering if this is really what I should be doing. Not liking sentences or ideas or structure. Worrying about how I'm not good enough. Knowing that even as I write it, no one will want to publish it. Except then knowing that someone SHOULD want to publish it because look at all the venues there are for getting published and certainly I'm at least that capable, right? Right? So why aren't I? Why am I so incapable of getting going?
So then my mind wanders to the million other things that maybe I should do instead. Hey, if I can't finish this story right now, maybe…maybe I could be inspired to write a one-woman show. Yes! I should! I could totally write that. Or wait no, no, stand-up! I should start with more stand-up! Unless, hey! What about sitcoms? Screenplays?
And I work myself up into this ridiculous, mind-cluttered frenzy wherein the only thing I can eke out is a blog entry. Or an occasional email.
It's not just me.
I look at Ish. He is going through this tremendous life change now, where he's taking a huge step back, or off, or away from the path he'd been on his whole life. He is putting himself into a position where he can choose just about anything. He can do just about anything he'd ever want, without trying to meet anyone's expectations except his own.
And thus I think he, too, spends a good deal of his time freaking the hell out.
Forgetting the big, major life stuff, it surfaces in the simple day-to-day. Any time he signs up for a new class – say, an improv class that meets every Wednesday – there is both an immediate trade-off (well, if I'm in class on Wednesday, that means I can't do that show in case I'm called and asked to go on) and a longer-term one (do I even like improv? I do, but how will I ever get better at it if I'm also spending all my time on stand-up? Maybe I should just do one or the other...Oh hey, here's a cool acting class...).
So great. I have identified (sorta) the problem. But what is the solution?
Do you just go on, trying different things? (Of course you do.) But what happens when it's a year later and instead of 20 great pages you have all of 25? And instead of having lost 75 pounds you've lost 6?
Or what if you ignore all the "arbitrary" pressures and just go along, fiddle dee dee, and then wake up and you're 35 and unwed and childless and planless still?
Will a few extra blog entries be enough?
I don't really know what the solution is, but surely there is one...