After a few traveling snafus, I am home, relatively over my jetlag, and happy to be here. I feel different than I did when I left. Calmer. More focused. More driven. Less dramatic. Unconcerned. Pudgier, too, but that will change when I start working out again. And less attached.
I am home again, but I am not in the same place I was when I left. I have a new job, and I am happy not to have the dark cloud that was the unhappy prospect of returning to a job where I no longer felt necessary, wanted, or useful. I have been reading a ton since I got home, and I am pretty disinterested with my Netflix account and even the wireless I just installed at my parents’ house, where I am now living again until I graduate and move to my grad school city. I have only seen one of my friends since being home, and that made me really happy, and there are a few more I want to see, but I don’t have this incredible need to see people. I’ve never had that, really, but where I’ve lacked an actual want to be around other humans all the time, I’ve always had a feeling of obligation to do so. Now I don’t. Though that’s not to say I don’t love people, obviously. But it’s nice to feel as if I can just be myself and be with myself, and with my family, and in general not feel the need to be doing something, whether it is a social activity or homework or a job activity or a phone call or any of the many chores I seem to assign myself for no good reason. This is, I hope, the end of my workaholic days. At least until I am actually someone who works. And, given my academic plans, that won’t be for close to a decade.
At the moment I am listening to the new CD I had waiting for me in the mail when I got home (signed unreleased Greg Laswell album “Good Movie”) and culling through my to-read list, which has gotten way too far over 200 books again. Damn Prague for making me want to read and write so much. More and more I am relishing the idea of getting to the point where I can be a writer, one who can cite her inspirations and influences and who spends months reading biographies, philosophies, novels, poetry, whatever, all in the pursuit of understanding the themes and issues she wishes to explore in her next opus. I am finding it especially hard to delete things, even though 215 books is an impossible endeavor when you consider the rate at which I add new books to the list (many, weekly) and the rate at which I read (less than many, monthly), because of that fantasy. There are books I know that I will not read anytime soon, but I don’t want to forget them; or I already own them; or I know everybody has read them and I need to, too; or I want to read them both for personal interest and for the way they will inform projects that I think would be interesting.
Also, something I realized in Prague, and just lately in general. I don’t like to say that I’m writing “a novel.” It has too many implications, and it’s also been an unfair thing to say as of late, because for the last academic year I did no real work on any of my “novels” whatsoever. Also, it makes people who are not writers ask things like, “what is your novel about?” which is an annoying and unanswerable question. I realized that I always say “project.” Because I work on too many things at one time, and because I work in different genres and also try to combine genres. Because before I’ve published at least one “book,” I don’t think I have the right to use a word like “novel.” Do other people feel this way, or am I just silly?