Yes, I'm cleansing.
I haven’t published any writing in a while. I haven’t been writing. Thought a separation was best.
I’ve also been in a deep phase of obsession with the physical, to the frightening point I started to wonder what breakdown would await me if I broke my leg. Then I became terrified of breaking my leg. Then I became terrified of my legs. Or they became terrified of me. Either way, I’m tired.
There are other ways to fortify and nourish. I just need to become re-addicted to them. I need to refocus, remind myself of the other passions I used to have; to know discipline and dogged effort outside breaking a sweat.
So I’m going on a cleanse for the month of September, inspired by all those wonderful cleanses I see other people peppering my Facebook feed with. Like any standard cleanse, I’ll be proactively ridding myself of the toxins in my life I’ve lately seen full-force: harmful thought patterns. I’ll reintroduce those healthy habits I’ve since buried under my bed alongside raincoats and toilet paper (unused, of course). I’ll use writing as my main tool for discipline and methodical reflection.
During this cleanse, I hope to do the following.
Provoke change: To get back to writing regularly again, recommit to an old friend, with daily publication as both easy accountability and a way to leverage social media for my own growth (which is insanely hard, as we all know). I have this squarespace thing. I hate the domain name, but I should utilize it.
And to inspire myself to exist in a way I’m not embarrassed to put to (public) page. To be a better person. To heal my mind. To see failure as a catalyst. Fall’s coming up, winter’s close to follow, and I have a list of things I’d really like to shift before my old friend depression gets its talons in.
To develop craft: To write outside the space of formal/academia-minded argumentation, explication, long-winded research papers, so I can remember a connection I had to words strung together that’s got nothing to do with what I learned in the end. I’m a lit major; my craft’s been shaped/hacked away by thesis-fetishism, pedantry, academic rules, some highfalutin need to glorify the cerebral. Some need to look up words like highfalutin. Then use them. My words have always needed a point. A sensible ending. A story. I wanna see what it feels like to write and publish without the expectation to change a mind or move a soul or do anything, really, except string up the past as if it were still in front of me.
To paint the prosaic: With the other two as guiding forces, I’d like to re-present #vanlife, my life, without filter-perfected misleadings, or the overarching ideology (a perspective I’ve written from before) living in one’s van is the most sustainable, fulling and conscious way to take up space in the world, and so easy, too! Or that living in a tiny space and moving around constantly is the most accessible way to become whomever you want, do whatever you want to do—all those things you’ve never had time for or thought would be truly heart and mind expanding—to own time, to enjoy the fruits of all the healthiest habits and mindfulness apps. The highway to instant gratification and enlightenment.
I have been doing this for nearly four years. I’m less bushy-tailed. It’s my lifestyle choice for many reasons: all personal, many valid, some respectable, most selfish. Anyone can do it just like anyone can not jive with or legitimately hate it.
I wanna help shake off all the gobbledygook hashtag-hype has bestowed like a contagion on so many Instagrams and blogs and brains by way of leaving out the majority, skimming over what it looks like most days. Why? I guess because our natural tendency is to show the best of our best, because we’re all concerned with being enviable, to protect ourselves from the insidious realization we’ve missed some opportunity or let time escape us without a good enough fight. Oh, the emptiness of envying others.
But I want to write the routine. Because it’s my life, the routine. I want to tell it simple and honest, because by god do I have an issue with over-editing. This is dissonant with my life, with how I live, with whom I'd like to be. I want to care less because I care too much and I’ve always thought I was the type of person who didn’t care. Turns out I’m the type of person who finds herself envying #vanlife while sitting in her van, living in a van, because someone else took a killer picture of a sunset or their bedsheets look so clean and they have nicer wood panels. Which doesn’t make sense, because I personally don’t care about wood panels. And I’ve seen a sunset like that, but I’ve not captured such a seamless picture to later remind myself I’ve seen a sunset like that. I’m terrible at taking pictures. And my bed will never look so clean. My feet are interminably dirty.
But the reel goes on without my permission. Something else has taken over the show.
Personal choices. Living in a van, like living anywhere else, is a mosaic of those. As varied as the build-outs. I’d like to represent more of that, anyway.
Have you made it this far? Here’s a disclaimer, then:
The writings to follow over the next month will be petty, wandering, self-centered (Literally. First-person, narrated by me), and, I hope, lack a definitive point or tidy conclusion or moral. They’re for me. Their existence on the web is a byproduct of my inability to make big commitments without outside expectations. (Another thing I’d really love to change.)
I’ll switch around names and locations as needed for others’ privacy.
Read when bored, or if curious.
If something I write inspires a thought or feeling you want to share with me, please write me a personal message or better, give me a call, or best, let me know next time I see you.