Voices Carry

I constantly hear different voices in my head. Regardless of other people's voices I hear, there is an ongoing point/counterpoint debate that is a part of my inner-dialogue. On one side is a voice expressing something I'd like to do, but that is usually countered by a voice that doesn't want me to do it. It's really tough to do anything when there is a fear that something bad will happen as a result. Well, I'm still working on this, but there are times that I just need to acknowledge the devil's advocate and just go for it. What is this "it" I'm referring to? I think it's called life.

Early on with writing Post, I came upon the thought that the only person holding me back from writing a book was myself. Nevermind the workload, the physicaly/mental cost, or any possible negative effects, if the tales of Jawbreaker, Braid and the Promise Ring remained at bay as bedtime stories for my grandchildren, I felt that I would have accomplished something by writing them out. I still feel this way, but I wonder why I can't redirect this attitude to other parts in my life.

Years ago, after I had listened to Ben Folds Five's Whatever and Ever Amen a number of times, I was curious about these two other Ben Folds Five releases I saw in the CD racks: Ben Folds Five and Naked Baby Photos. At that point, those were the only other BFF albums out, so buying them would not be a major gamble without hearing them beforehand. Yet I still wasn't convinced. Sometime later (after looking at these CDs over and over again), I believe a voice I heard in a dream told me to just buy the damn things and get on with it. Whadda ya know? I bought those records and they were in constant rotation in my CD player for the next year as I made the slow adjustment to university life in a new town. They're still staples in my library, but I wonder why I had skepticism with them in the first place.

It's as if my life often turns into a never-ending carousel: things keep turning but I don't think I'm going anywhere. I often forget about all the times that I didn't give into doubt. Yet it's the other times where things did not yield positive results that make me want to avoid ever going through something like that again. Like rafting down a river and stopping to go ashore whenever I see rapids up ahead, the thought of going through more and more discomfort makes me rethink about why I'm doing something.

Money and possible scheduling conflicts often are reasons not to do things out of the norm for me. For example, I've been wanting to visit a local a museum for the last few months. I love museums (especially black and white photography exhibits) but the thought of having to pay for parking in a parking garage and figuring out when I could go for cheap are excuses that I make. These excuses make me want to hold off or maybe even cross the desire off for the time being. I think about asking a friend (or friends) to accompany me, but then I automatically think of them making excuses as to why they can't go, so I don't think about it any longer. I often feel like everybody's too busy doing other things in their own lives while I just have all this time to spare time, even with book writing/research, blogging, walks, listening to music, reading and watching DVDs. Like an old friend of mine once joked: "When lives go on sale at Wal-Mart, we need to pick some up."

Overall, I am happy with my life in regards to what I want to do. However, I fall very easily into a schedule that is predictable and I become torn. I like the fact that I have downtime for stuff like writing and reading, but I just wish they weren't the only options. I love hanging out with my friends here in town and talking to my friends that live a long way's away, but matters seem like everybody is too wrapped up in their own worlds to do anything much outside of them. Of course life is awesome to be able to do the things that we want to do, but I guess I wasn't so prepared for so much personal downtime.

Maybe I need some new voices in my head. The kinds of voices that strongly urge me to do off-the-beaten path sorts of things (like paint more pictures, take more photographs, cook more food at home). I welcome these voices but I'm still dogged by a desire to keep things calm and safe. Maybe I need less voices in my head and just need to hear real voices from other people around me.


pimplomat said…
One thing you could do is to pick one new place (restaurant, bar, museum, etc.) to visit each week.