2011, alternative culture, books, change, foreign films, friends, goals, ideas, introspection, life, Lisbeth Salander, money, music, mysteries, reading, recommendations, Stieg Larsson, tattoos, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, work, writing
So, here’s how things are in this first month of a new year. Life is simplified at present. I wouldn’t say it’s simple, or easy, really, but pared down. I feel like I’m experimenting- testing myself. I’m living on a much reduced income. I have been for some months, but things have still moderately been in flux as far as what jobs I was doing and what income I was supplementing. This month- the end of this month- I will see what it’s like to live on the sum I have been expecting from all these changes, but have yet to experience. Maybe it will wake something up in me. I’m waiting… and I feel like I’ve been waiting a long time.
I don’t mean to be cryptic. That’s no fun to read… and I make no presumptions upon the idea of just how readable this blog is… but what I mean to say is that I don’t intend to be vague for the sake of manufacturing mystery. I just don’t want to get into all the personal and mundane particulars.
I’m lacking a common element of drive. I don’t have the ambition to attack the job force. I feel like I’ve been waiting- for direction, for my moment, for something. It’s hard to explain. I feel like I lack something because I can imagine what other people would do if they found themselves in my position. I know that I am different. That something about the way I’m made or the decisions I’m making is different from…the norm? From the expected? I don’t know. I just feel… different. And I feel like I have to see this through.
I have a friend, who, for the sake of the blog, I will call D. (This could potentially get complicated as I know a lot of D’s. I’ll deal with that if it comes up.) Anyway- D once expressed the desire to do a social experiment upon herself- to get money…earn money… substantial enough wages to become well-off, or at least comfortable financially… and then live like a pauper… the meager-est of belongings, furnishings, accoutrement, etc, in her life- to be some kind of shabby-chic. I don’t know what the ultimate goal of this proposition was other than perhaps finding out just how little you really need. What you are able to do without and thus if one is more capable then of living a sort of pure life. But the whole idea of this was to live in a way that demonstrates a lack of means while actually having comfortable means and a personal distance from poverty.
In a strange course of events, D found herself living in a financially forced minimalistic lifestyle. She lived on very little and learned to make do with less than what is generally required, but it was not on her terms. That was a very uncomfortable, painful life experience for her- from my understanding- not having personally lived it myself. And as a result, I think she has learned all she wanted to do from the experience. I do not think she longs for a purist poverty lifestyle anymore. She had to struggle and pull herself into a better life. And it was awful and hard and she had to sacrifice a lot of things. She got all she wanted and far too much more from the ideal made harsh reality.
That was a bit of a digression, but I added all that in to say, I’ve been thinking of my own sort of social experiment. I don’t want to discover the slippery slope that leads to ruin or anything like what it might sound like, but I want to see what I can do with very little and see if I can make more out of it on my own in this new environment and era in my life. I want to see if I can be comfortable, nay- content, with my current lot. I want to see if I can make something of this modest monthly sum. And maybe, if I can make it stretch, if I can generate out of it, if I can feel liberated and unstressed by it, maybe then I can seek after greater things with the confidence that I will know how to manage my funds and my life in such a circumspect way that when I have more, I will not feel the NEED, the Drive, to spend more- to let it all slip so eagerly out of my fingers. I want to create a different sort of life for myself, and at this moment, I feel like I just may have that opportunity.
Now, I may be deluding myself. I may end up with some sort of harsh awakening. And I intend to take that in stride if it occurs. But I feel like I have to try. I have to try this new things and see where it leads. Maybe at the end of it I will find the strange and liberating epiphany I need. Maybe instead I will find some long-dormant ambition rising up to launch me into job hunt and acquisition frenzy. Maybe I will find equilibrium. I don’t know. But I feel like I have to experiment. Seize the strange opportunity as it slithers beneath my fingertips. Time will reveal what my curiosity hints at.
Maybe you think this is all madness. Some rash sort of foolish endeavor. I’m okay with that. It’s not permanent. I’ve come to learn that nothing is. Nothing. So why not try something outside the proverbial box?
I have some other thoughts I’ve been steeping in. I could separate them all out into a number of smaller blog posts to give them each their due in minutiae. Instead,I think I’ll just include all of what I can remember in one post. I’ll just work on my shoddy transitions. 🙂
Earlier this month I finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I really liked it. I had a hard time getting into the novel. I had already seen the movie and was sufficiently intrigued by the plot so I knew it had to get better than what I was reading as it began. It just seemed so slow to get started. There was a lot of back-story and set-up required. But, I tell you, once it got started, it picked up momentum so fast and so furiously that I was hooked. There were a lot of subplots and simultaneous storylines going pell-mell over each other and twisting inside and around one another. When the main plot-line of the book reached it’s climax and denouement I paused as life got busy again with only 40 pages remaining. I thought those last 40 pages would be summation and the usual resolution to end the book. I was very wrong. Those last 40 pages had so much packed into them! I talked about this with a friend who had already read it and she stated those last pages could have filled a book all their own. It was just about like that. So much happened. Resolution in a very satisfactory manner and conclusion while also giving you enough of a tease to keep you interested in what happens to the characters as they continue into a new book. And I want to read the next one. I’ve already seen the Swedish film for it, too. Confessionally, I’ve seen the Swedish film for the first book- this one- 3 times, and the film for the second- The Girl Who Played with Fire– twice. I’m waiting for the third film to arrive in the States- and in my area. I’ve heard an American version of the trilogy is in the works, and I’m not sure how I feel about that- not particularly happy, really. I didn’t like the idea of an Americanized Let the Right One In ( aka Let Me In) and I still haven’t seen that version of it. Back to topic- I really like the dynamics of the tenuous relationship between Lisbeth Salandar, the heroine, and Mikael Blomkvist, the hero.
I like the characters themselves and I like them together. And I like the Swedish actors that portray them. The plotlines are fascinating and the writing is very good. Of course, this is my opinion. And I love a good mystery. All that intelligent detection and attention to seemingly innocuous detail. Love it. (I’m not making complete sentences tonight, apparently. Oh well. Feels good anyway. :P)
There are some very violent, brutal scenes in the book, and movies. Very graphic, so reader/viewer beware.
It was interesting to find all the little discrepancies in the film when I was reading the sorce text. But I always consider the text as the ultimate reference point- but the film was great for drawing me in and giving me a good basis on which to elaborate. 🙂
I’ve made a few goals for myself this year. Not Resolutions. I don’t like resolutions. They feel like a setup for failure. But goals/plans/ideas/objectives… those words make me feel like I’m changing things already- just my deciding to, and making it more achievable. That’s the whole point- achievable/attainable goals.
So, my goal spectrum this year is as follows:
1. Read something every day.
The main idea this year is intentionality. Doing things intentionally. I can’t count reading a blog or something on tumblr or something in passing. I have to really read something. Preferably a book I’m working through. At present I need to settle on a new one.
2. Write something every day.
This can be blog posts. But I think it will usually be on paper- in my journal. I’ve allowed myself a stipulation- if the day has really been too busy or crazy or I just don’t feel like writing, that’s okay. As long as I write THAT in my journal. One liners are okay. They’re still an act of intention.:)
3. Spend money intentionally.
The money is going to come and go. That’s mostly what money does. But I direct it’s flow. I can decide what I want done. This will mean being faithful to making a monthly budget and charting where the money goes. I can deviate from that a little if I want. The point is to intend to spend it. I know that I need to learn some old fashioned self-control. I am determined to work it like a muscle. I don’t want to guilt myself into big, unnecessary spending like I always used to do, when I had a reasonable income. I want to live smarter. I feel like the only way to get this through to myself, to really get it ingrained in my bones, is to do it the hard way. That’s my choice. But that’s why these are living, breathing goals for the year. They have room to let me change and grow, but are rigid enough to give me the boundaries I need to follow through.
That’s my thought on the Newness of the year. Mostly, I am just so freakin’ glad 2010 is over. That was a hellish year. I’m glad it’s done.
I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately. Just doing a lot of thinking. Katie & I have a little inside joke, reminding each other “Ye think too much!” We both do it. I don’t know whether I’ve had more alone time in the last few months or what. Sometimes I live a little too much in my head. It can be a good thing, I just have to keep it in balance. 🙂 True of everything, no?
Hmm… I think I’d better call this quits for now. It’s very late and I’m not gonna have much motivation to function tomorrow if I don’t get to sleep. I’ll try to compile some more interesting things to write about for next time. (That can be taken two ways, haha. More interesting that what you’ve read so far, or more of the very interesting things I come up with. Take your pick. But I’m sure those of you of the previous inclination won’t stick around long and those of the later- you’re my kinda peeps. Yes, I just typed that. I am kooky and I’m okay with that. :P)
This blog’s soundtrack: Nine Inch Nails. Lots of it in various forms. I saw The Social Network earlier today and Reznor is great to write to.