I’ve recently taken up the practice of journaling every morning. Inspired, perhaps, by my concurrent readings of the journals of Anaïs Nin and Abraham Maslow, two incredibly insightful, creative, and remarkably self-aware influences on my own self-development. It is for that reason that I decided to play around with the form of this post and present the following chain of ideas in journal entry format, much as I wrote them originally. A good bit of this post, in fact, remains unedited.
I awoke this morning feeling heavy. The gray of the morning, the haze, humidity clinging stubbornly to the window panes. Thinking that, within an hour or so, I’d be running in it (Dew point is tropical and even more unbearable if the sun shines.). I’m revivifying with Chill Tracks on Spotify. I spent time last night thinking about goals. I wish I weren’t prone to fantasizing, daydreaming, and getting lost in the little ecstasies of creation. These things can’t take the place of goals. I am not great at setting clear, specific, achievable goals. Sometimes, I do, and it works. Under some circumstances. But, that’s not my main motivation. I am more motivated by feeling. By who and what I envision myself to be. And to be working toward. Goals are secondary. Part of a whole. Themselves often a feeling. I almost wish I didn’t think that way. It would be easier if I went after goals like dangling carrots. I wonder if other women are that way, creatives, people with similar personalities.
I constantly need to align myself with my feelings. Every day a different shade. A different act. Not in a moody, volatile sort of way. But, the aesthetics of self. Sexy, soft, fiery, loving, inviting, strong. Always seeking beauty, depth, and wisdom. I get impatient and rebellious because of the way the world is. One-dimensional and distracted. Maybe Maslow was right about there being a distinctly feminine kind of creativity, centered on process rather than outcome. Reading his journal is such a pleasure. I am immersed. A real sense of the man. There’s no artificiality. Earnest. Cursing and shit-talking. He doesn’t hide his mess. That’s the power of keeping a journal. A place to sort out the mess.
Back to goals and feeling. Maybe I need to feel my goals. Can’t be linear and intellectual. I have to make it part of the woman I want to be. She comes first. Maybe I should write more about this. Goals. Moving toward them in a way that is in sync with your nature. Having interim goals while working toward the longer term. I can articulate my mid-term goals with some clarity. My longer term goals I can articulate with far less exactitude. And, that’s okay—I dare say, even preferable, at this moment. I always need to keep a sense of wonder, possibility, excitement over what might be in store. It’s part of the thrill of living. Like travel. I am in the mood to pack a bag and go, if only for a weekend. It’s the novelty. The physicality. The aesthetics of place. Smells and tastes and sights. Adventure is a terrific means of invigorating oneself.
Maybe I need to go back to the femininity experiment. Not to delve into myself more (I’m kind of over that.), but to remind myself of the image that emerged. The point of the whole exercise, at the end of it: a snapshot of the woman I am/am becoming/desire to be in the most profound sense. The larger whole. That’s what I remind myself of whenever I feel anxious or defeated. The whole image. Goals are a fraction. That’s how I realign and refocus. What Maslow calls B-values, or Being-values–beauty, truth, wisdom, etc. That image represents them, helps me move toward them.
Serenity. Reading Maslow. I wonder if “self-actualizing” manifests in real life as periodic shifts in perspective, or cognition, or, if at some point, those shifts become more permanent. And then you always have an amused smile on your face and become like Jesus or Buddha or otherwise uncommonly serene. I never want to be too detached. Researching secular humanism again. I don’t like that they have manifestos. Too organized. I’d rather do my own thing and be guided by what feels right. Take bits of decisive action everyday. Little gratitudes. I feel stifled by highly organized things. Movements, politics, institutions, “groupiness,” etc. But, I like people. And, I like to join with them more individually than that.