Friday, February 19, 2016

I feel... boring.

It's probably just the midwinter doldrums, coupled with the fact that today is the first NICE nice day of the new year. But I'm feeling like life has become too one-dimensional.

I love school. (That in itself might make me boring to some.) I love learning and I'm starting to cultivate an enjoyment of teaching as well. This semester I'm a TA for a brand new Broadway Musicals class which, though still a 100-level gen-ed fulfiller, is also generally full of people who have a real interest in the subject (instead of taking it solely for the easy art credit, as is the case with so many of my Theatre 101 students). Never mind the fact that I don't know much more about musicals than the students do (and in some cases, I know less) -- I get to learn as I prepare my lessons.

The thing is, as with writing -- in fact, maybe even more so than with writing, which gives me an excuse to basically research any subject I want to -- theatre only represents one facet of my interests. This semester I'm super fortunate to be taking classes outside of the department, including a children/youth lit class and elementary French II, and in fact one of the things I love about this degree program is that it is so flexible. But not all of my interests are academic and, as I'm getting older and honing in on things I actually have a passion for (as opposed to a passing interest) it's harder to put those things aside once the semester starts. It's also harder to find the mental energy to pursue those things when I do have downtime (but such is life in grad school).

I really need to learn how to deal with and eliminate clutter. Mental clutter, clutter in my physical space -- even in conversation, I think, with making small talk instead of pursuing conversations that actually have depth and meaning. I take some pride in having become a person who can make conversation with almost anyone (I used to have a hard time speaking up) but now, I think, I need to find the line between just talking and actually saying something.

In my activities, I think the same thing is important. I waste a lot of time (in 10-20 minute intervals) doing nothing of consequence on my phone or online throughout the day. Some of it serves as a sort of mental break, but some of it is just clutter.

I guess all this is to say that my daily sphere of existence has become too narrow, and I want to open it up more. I guess recognizing it is a good place to start.

I also recognize that now is as good a time as ever to actually learn and practice the art of meditation.

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