This weekend when I flew back to the city from Chicago, I took a really early flight out of O'Hare. There's something about airports I've always found very romantic and inspiring. Maybe it's that the very nature of an airport is that it's in constant flux, which I believe to be the ultimate nature of reality; the airport walls rarely see the same person two days, or even two hours, in a row. As I was sitting there in the boarding area, I was thinking about how lost I've been feeling as of late, and how I've been trying to cling desperately to the things I know about myself. I decided to write down a list of everything I could say, with confidence, that I knew in my life right in that instant. It was comforting, because the list* turned out to be pretty inclusive. The thing about writing is that it sometimes reveals to you things you didn't realize you knew.
Things I know.
I need to stop drinking.
I need to be more positive in my thinking.
I have hope for the future.
I miss the South.
I want someone to love.
(Who loves me back.)
I want to travel out of the country.
My brain is tired.
I love Christmas.
I'm on the verge of tears.
(And I'm not sure why.)
I have been attracted to women.
This weekend, I was attracted to a transgendered person.
(I am complicated.)
I dislike casual sex.
(I am paranoid about STDs.)
I am too dependent on others for my happiness.
I need to read more.
I want to buy more books.
I want to read more.
I want to get back into philosophy.
Drinking has lost its appeal for me.
I do not miss college.
I do miss learning.
I need to exercise.
(My mind and my body.)
I see meaning in everything.
(Even though probably not everything is meaningful.)
I want to get married.
I like Southern boys, despite myself.
(I want to marry one.)
I want to move back to the South and raise my kids there.
I long for a real connection with someone.
I think about the past a lot.
(I miss it.)
I long for personal happiness and security more than I long for professional success.
(And I resent myself for it.)
I'm disheartened by most straight men I meet.
(But I still hope I meet a great one.)
I have faith in the good of people.
I need to love more.
(And judge less.)
Christmas makes me want to tell the truth in my heart.
(But my brain won't let me.)
My heart is my writing.
I can see myself being happy having a life in places other than New York.
I idealize the past.
It bothers me when people drink hot coffee through straws.
Tina Fey is my idol.
(So is Lady Gaga.)
I would love a month-long break from NYC to hang out with my mom.
I sometimes fear that I'm forgetting how to feel.
I think I need to listen to more sappy music to teach myself how to feel again.
(I blame my ex for this.)
I keep losing weight and I don't know why.
(I wish I would stop.)
I want a bunch of new winter clothes.
I want to feel reasonably happy by the time I'm 25.
(And if I'm not, I'm going to spend my savings to live abroad for a year.)
I see lots of pretty men everywhere.
(And I think they're all gay.)
I want a boy with tattoos.
(I blame my ex for this as well.)
Damn, so many pretty boys.
Where you are matters less than who you are.
I believe in the power of positive thought.
(Some people call this prayer.)
I believe in proper footwear.
(And running barefoot in the grass.)
Maybe sometimes you have to let go of who you are in order to remember who you are. Clinging seems counterproductive.
*the list published here is mostly unedited, aside from the removal of a few lines I didn't want the entire Internet to see
Short Order Cook
11 hours ago