a place for short thoughts that isn’t the bad place

8/3/18

The problem with getting rid of Twitter is that I still have Twitter-length thoughts and nowhere to put them. I could physically write them down, but I won’t. I own like 28 empty notebooks but whenever I have a Thought I write it on scrap paper instead, and in shorthand so short that I can’t remember what I was aiming to remember, most of the time. Sometimes the notes are so useless that I forget what I meant within hours. Maybe I don’t actually like these ideas and am subconsciously purging them, because I dont have room in my self-narrative for the potentiality that I am an idea-waster. I would never waste an idea, but I would save some for later. When I have an idea or thought that really excites me, I record myself talking through it on my phone; I got the idea from Felicity. The voice notes, I reserve for convoluted short story ideas and also big emotional revelations. Most of the emotional revelation recordings happen when I have either quit something (cigarettes) or started something (antidepressants) and am paying an unusual amount of attention to my feelings. I am crying in more than a couple of the recordings. Once I listened to several in a row and thought a lot of things about myself, as though I were a different person than the one who made the recordings, except one of the things I thought was: this is very relatable. Another was: I want to take care of this person.

So clearly there are some unwritten rules I’m following. I don’t want to write things with my hands; if I do it has to be on paper unbound and indecipherable to anyone who’s not me but then, also me; voice-notes are an acceptable way to record My Novel Stuff — I don’t write fiction — and tearful manifestos, but not all the other things a person might want to remember.

This is definitely not short enough for Twitter.

Anyway, isn’t it weird how unintentional people are about most things? What if everyone — I truly mean everyone, but let’s change it to “every American” so we can visualize it — what if everyone thought about and chose each of their actions, one by one? What if, every morning as you brushed your teeth, you asked yourself why? I’m pretty sure our brains evolved to make this sort of decision for us so that we could worry about hunting-gathering-not-dying but, speaking for myself, I’ve definitely swung too far in the other direction. There’s lots of things I don’t think about anymore. Lately, whenever I think too much about why I’ve adopted a certain bad habit or routine, I have to stop doing it. I can’t enjoy a bad thing if I know why I’m really, really doing it. Can you?

It is almost funny how horrifying it is to get to know yourself. And I mostly respect and trust myself; if I had a kid, I would let myself babysit the kid. Yet I am aghast at some of the things in my head that I am only now unearthing. Who put that there, and when? Could it have actually been me? And then I think about all the people out there who I wouldn’t even allow to put eyes on my hypothetical kid, and I’m like woah. Take that brain off cruise control before someone builds a wall in front of it like your chant goes, you know? Lock brain up.

If I were the old me, maybe one of the voices from the recordings, now’s about the time I would scrawl “lock brain up” on the back of a receipt and shove it into some pocket or another— saving ideas for later — only to forget this entire ordeal until months later, what’s this receipt? and I am horrified of myself, as usual; I should listen to the paper, my brain is a dumb ass.

But it’s today, so I’m trying this.

8/4/18

I watched the Lady Gaga documentary last night for the first time. It came out a while ago but I avoided watching it because too many people said I should. They loved it.

In the spirit of what I wrote yesterday, I’m going to pause here and try to explore why I avoid things that other people love, even though most times I will come to love those things, too. Some possible or partial reasons:

  • Sometimes people I love think I will love a thing that they love. And they are wrong. And if the degree of wrongness is too great and the day I’m having is too bad, I might take this recommendation personally. I might wonder how someone I love could get it so wrong. I get to feeling unknown. And I have to question myself, too, of course: am I projecting an image incongruent with myself? Do I really not understand what people think of me? Who am I, anyway?
  • And not only that, but when something is really popular and it turns out I don’t like it — I mean truly can’t get behind it— sure, that makes me question some things. It makes me wonder whether I like anything, anymore, when was the last time I enjoyed something? and occasionally it turns out that it’s been some time.
  • I like to avoid what everyone is talking about until they stop talking about it so that I can forget what I’m meant to think
  • Music and all art to some extent is an emotional and private outlet for me and I don’t want to experience these things communally; I am extracting tools from a song or a poem or a movie and the parts I need are different than the parts someone else needs and sharing things can sometimes change their meaning and I find it’s usually my meaning that’s being changed. Sometimes I just want to have a thought or a feeling and not have to defend it or debate it

I think I’ve found a theme, which is exactly what all the journaling people said would happen, but of course I ignored them because (I have to unpack this too but not today because I have to get back to Lady Gaga).

The theme, I think, is that I like the process of making up my own mind, and I resent when that is interrupted or disturbed, whether intentional or not. People can frame things in a way that preconditions you to agree with them and I appreciate the artistry but at the same time, I have a gut to listen to. I want to feel the sensation of just knowing for myself, because it doesn’t happen that often. And knowing what reaction I’m expected to have kinda ruins it? Or I can’t hear myself think, sometimes? Maybe I’m too particular.

8/8/18

The thing about “short thoughts” is that they are almost always capable of becoming long thoughts, if you give them a chance.

Here are some short thoughts from the past 24 hours that I couldn’t post until I finished talking about Lady Gaga, or until I realized that I didn’t have to finish talking about Lady Gaga. (All I wanted to say was that I resisted watching the Lady Gaga documentary because everyone liked it too much and that was misguided of me; I adored it and I adore her.)

I don’t remember what the other thoughts were, but that seems fine.

Stephanie Georgopulos
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5 min
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