Gettin’ Deep on Funkin Tuesday

May 11, 2010

I started this blog after a mini-meltdown; an existential crisis of sorts. Nearly two years out of college, I got to wondering where it all was going.

Reality crashes pretty hard, once the party is over and the bills start rolling in.

I hadn’t galavanted off to Europe on a dime and a dream. I wasn’t living out of the back of a VW bus on a beach. I wasn’t in some cosmopolitan city center, rubbing elbows with the upper crust while putting my journalism degree to use at a household-name literary establishment. I was 75 miles from my hometown, living with my brother.

I know. It’s not so bad. It’s not actually bad at all. I work a 9-5 job at a fun company where I get treated well. I’ve made some awesome friends in this city. I live in a nice apartment, I own a couple of nice things, and I’ve gone on a few nice trips.

My problem, I began to realize, wasn’t in my lifestyle, but my perspective.

I have an incredible ability to exist in fiction. We all do. Every time we encounter a bit of information that is not cohesive to our desired reality, our subconscious weighs it heavily before attempting to fit it into the jigsaw puzzle of our lives. We try to make sense of it based on our worldly frame of reference.

When something doesn’t fit into the frame, it is rejected. People don’t want to hear things that throw their reality into question. The human mind cannot wrap itself around inconsistencies. One famous example is that if you saw something fall UP today, you would not totally reject the widely accepted theories of gravity. You would isolate the anomaly, and attempt to put it into your frame.

While I had made a number of adjustments to my existential being, the frame was still much the same. In my mind, failure had become imminent. No matter what I was doing, regardless of what endeavors I undertook, it was all destined for failures. My greatest success– a college diploma– had gotten me nowhere (besides in debt). Fast. Quitting drinking had served to preserve my status-quo. Nothing notably gained. Budgeting my life just left me broke, and painfully aware of it. I was so focused on everything I wasn’t doing that I had delegated all my accomplishments to the failure pile.

I’m now aware that this– all of it– was sense of entitlement.

And, really, I still don’t think I was wrong to have expectations. If you haven’t checked the cost of a 4-year university lately— and I’m not even talking Ivy League, here– do it real fast, then add the cost of books ($100-$500 PER CLASS). I graduated on time, and in the top 25% of my class. I wrote front page articles for the school paper almost every week. I did unpaid internships and befriended my professors. Did I feel entitled to SOMETHING..? hell yes.

And something is exactly what I got– a degree and a load of new responsibilities– a dog, a car, a job in an office; and a relatively comfortable American lifestyle. What was I expecting? I got exactly what I shot for. Nobody was about to hand the world to me on a silver platter.

I needed to adjust my reality.

So, I started this blog. Hammering out my discontent. This has served a dual purpose, as I am a writer. Long before I even knew what a computer was, I was writing. As a child, if I wasn’t reading, I was composing. As simple as that.

In the years following college, as I am discovering is devastatingly common, I fell away from what I love. I left a big part of myself sleeping on a stack of books at the end of finals. I surrendered to the flow and fell into a pattern of  routine and complacency. And that’s sort of where I still sit.

But, all in all, I no longer consider this a failure. Making waves in the lazy river is better than nothing at all. While blogging a few times a week is certainly no large measure of success, I find that I am getting back exactly what I put into it. After adjusting my perspective, I have come to realize that while I enjoy informational writing, and the research that comes with it, it is the ability to elicit emotions with words that I find most compelling.

So, thank you for bearing with me, providing feedback, and coming back for more. Since I started this blog, I have had more than 1,000 hits and am incredibly flattered and inspired by each one. The ability to touch the lives of others, to share my experience, provides nourishment to my very essence.

And while I still search for my purpose and struggle with my first world problems, there’s something to be said for doing what you love. Just because it feeds your soul.

On that note, while you’re here and it IS funkin’ Tuesday, give my friend Mike’s mix a listen! Hand-DJ’d goodness, dig it [[link]] !!


6 Responses to “Gettin’ Deep on Funkin Tuesday”

  1. Adam S Says:

    Great piece, I enjoyed reading it.

    American adulthood is confusing and it’s hard to figure out what the hell you’re supposed to do to be “successful” other than have money. After having kids, I can tell you for certain: it’s all crap. Once I had my daughter, it all became clear to me that nothing in life would validate my existence like her existence.

    It may not be kids that do it for everybody, but at some point, I think many people find “that thing” that makes them focus on the right stuff in life, instead of the crap we’re fed en masse by advertisers.

    And fwiw, you may have had 1000 hits, but I read your site through Google Reader, and who knows who else does (I know at least a few other Twibe peeps use it too), so 1000 hits may be a lower than accurate picture.

  2. Adam– I envy parents in a lot of ways for that. While I don’t feel (and never have felt), in my heart of hearts, that having children is my journey, I hope to find the same sort of fulfillment elsewhere. That I am getting back what I put out has been a big revelation for me, even though it sounds really silly and common sense.
    It’s a matter of taking my head out of the sand and putting on the rose colored glasses. :o)

  3. RunawayJim Says:

    I think many people go through life looking for “it”. They don’t find “it” because they’re looking too hard. Few people just sit back and relax and realize that “it” is whatever you want “it” to be. For many years, I had a hard time with life and felt like I was always searching. I moved to Providence, about 100 miles from my hometown, and took a shot at a job in a small college. “It” started to come into view. When I met my wife “it” became clearer. I’m finally at a point in my life where I can say pretty confidently that I’ve found “it”. The thing to keep in mind is that “it” changes as you change, and you’re always changing as life throws you new challenges. I’m pretty happy with my life right now because I decided to sit back and just enjoy what I have rather than pushing through on this search for something I couldn’t name. This doesn’t mean that I’m content with staying where I am. As life throws me new challenges I adjust, but I always keep “it” in plain sight to make sure it’s accessible to me.

    @Adam – depending on what she uses to determine “hits”, it might take RSS readers into account.

    And FTR- gravity is the law, not a theory. 😉

  4. manfmnantucket Says:

    Kat, China, Sunflower.

    Want my opinion? No? Too bad 🙂

    IMHO… sounds like you are just not reaching yet.
    You don’t know what you’re going for. But
    You gotta go for it. For sure.

    You’re young, adorable, and write very well.
    You should be doing more than being ‘our cute little secretary’ at a tech company in upstate NY.

    Get out there and take risks while you’re young.
    Like what? Come check out Boston and the community of young entepreneurs there. Look into doing something like social marketing at hubspot, network with startups. Go ahead and fail a few times.
    Think you can’t afford failure right now?

    Would you prefer to wake up 10 years from now, having ‘succeeded’ at inching your way up some ladder? What’s the cost of that? You want some wild stories to tell your kids; and those stories are just waiting to happen.

    Go for it.

    • mfn,

      Right you are. 150%
      And thank you. Seriously.


      • manfmnantucket Says:

        no problemo, glad I didnt offend 🙂

        Check out these guys
        They are like your doppelgangers (no affiliation)

        So now what’s the next step? Pick one thing you can do, put a date on it. Maybe even commit to it on here. Remember…we’re expecting big things from you Kat!

        This change starts TODAY. We’re watching.
        And we’re gonna be pissed if we don’t see some action.


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