Two days ago I did a really crazy thing for a person who has been told repeatedly that she has horrible grammar, spelling, sentence structure and of course in general is a lot less cool on paper than in person. I signed up for NaNoWRiMo (whatever that combination of capitals is). It has been an ongoing message from the universe; people hear my songs, my poems, or just listened to some rare iconoclastic articulation of a moment in my life and say, “OMG, like, you should totally write a book” Yep, The old ladies and burly men said it just like that.
As of yet I have tried to start 3 blogs, a website, collected a few poems and songs for a play, and have a ton of half empty journals that I either got bored or frustrated with. So of COURSE! the next step is for me to come in late to a huge literary contest about amassing an insane amount of content in a short period of time. Doubt me? Dare me? Yea, I am pretty sure I won’t finish. I told one person of whom quickly asked me the prize. I said, “prize? uhmmm…I really have no clue. I didn’t plan on winning. Just accepting the challenge.” I still don’t know what the prize is. But I know that I haven’t even been keeping up with this blog. Instead of working on my novel, I am going to blog about it.
I then realized that I do these things regularly, I take random and impulsive leaps of faith with no idea of where they will lead. But these leaps almost always refresh my perspective and renew my vigor for life. In a world where the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting more neighbors and ways to shame themselves people have become obsessed with making goals and planning their lives. Well, at least, since I have gone to college this is the advice I have been given. I have to answer these type of questions in job interviews, must track and prove them on the job as a teacher and even describe them in detail on applications for getting help out of poverty and homelessness. People always want to know,” Whats your plan?” But truthfully, the best times I have had where when I didn’t have one and when I allowed myself not to expect one.
It’s not that I am fearless. I also get that a lot. When others witness these moments they mistake me for someone bold and brave. That is problematic since I actually have moderate anxiety and more than a few mild phobias. For instance I do not like being trapped and especially not in small spaces. I only learned how bad it was until recently when I was asked to take an MRI for a paid study. There I was, holding the little green aliens in “the claw” from Toy Story, singing a random set of notes with my head strapped in and these very nice scientists trying to put me in a white tube so that they could read my brain. I panicked. We move and removed the pillows and nothing. Needless to say, I am not fearless! That said I am determined to force myself to try doing things that I MUST do or that may have positive effects and/or be enjoyable to do. Riding a rollercoaster is my biggest fear. I only tried once and it was a mess. I was a mess. I was a teenager riding the kiddie rollercoaster and I had a panic attack halfway around.I am clenching a bit thinking about it now. Luckily I don’t have kids. I can get away with not trying it again. I can’t avoid riding in cars, elevators, and trains.
This thing that my body does, that propels me to try stuff before I can be afraid of it, is what I am now deeming, a “spin-off” life. It’s a very scientific psychological term which also may involve sociology and physics so don’t try analyzing it and proving me wrong about it, okay? Also, I am gonna get a bit nerdy for a girl from the sticks so you can ask questions but lets not get to serious with it. Thanks.
lets just save time and assume I’m right 😉
The “spin-off life” is when your body, the ultimate superior producer and director of “you” which you only really understand as your consciousness (that is all cognitive representations of sensory information, analysis, and commands), decides to do something big without telling you. This is usually a reaction to some unpleasant stimuli that “you” were too slow to figure out. Just ask Malcom Gladwell about what your body does without telling you and you don’t notice. This is bigger than that. This is an epic shift in which there is basically only you and a bunch of totally new characters in the tragic-sitcom of your life. You stay the same except you basically leave your old show. Sometimes the old characters pop in and it’s VERY exciting. But it’s only exciting because they haven’t been around long enough to bore you.
This is the part where my old friends and family get really, really mad. But we have to face facts. You are bored of me too! Thats why you never damn call. You are on a spin-off too. We can have a reunion but we will never, ever, ever be getting back together. Like, Ever. It’s been done! The great thing is that after a few years it will all start to blur because none of our shows will get picked up. There is only one Golden Girls and yea, that’s been done too. But who knows? when my body and the universe align, crazy stuff happens. I know that it excites ME.