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    Sunday, March 19, 2006

    A room of one's own

    The thing that is hardest to negotiate is time to myself. I don't particularly need that time to be fruitful, or meaningful in any way. I can spend it eating toast and staring out the window. I just need more time to be with myself, by myself. Otherwise I start to forget how much I like myself. There are so many external measures by which to judge myself, school, career, relationship, blah blah etc. It feels good sometimes to just remember that none of those things defines me.

    I grew up surrounded by all this Sesame Street "Be yourself!" propaganda, when really everyone had an opinion about the kind of self that should be. And the big secret of staying vital and authentic - maintaining some level of enjoyment in living - is tuning out all that nonsense. It is learning to be by yourself. I think I am best at listening to other people when I feel aware of my own sense of things. I am secure enough to launch myself into the unknown landscape of someone else's way of seeing, because I know there is a home for me in the world. This doesn't mean I have to have an opinion on every subject, just that I have a sense whether something is valid or not, whether something is worth the time for inquiry. And being at home in myself also allows me to be more open to criticism, without the fear that it is going to strip every part of me.

    Now I have to go write a 20 page paper.