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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

I’m about to go off script.

Up to this point, I’ve managed my seasons and hours by periodically getting quiet to evaluate my values and priorities.  I made outlines of how my days would look.  Early on, it was detailed to the point of half hour intervals; more recently it has evolved toward general designated time blocks.  Being a self-employed, new adult is a lot to manage and this systematic approach has helped me to learn dedication, responsibility, and focus.  I made schedules because I didn’t trust myself to daily align with my priorities.  For years this structure has worked for me.  But lately I’m feeling a creeping sense of dissatisfaction; it slips through the cracks of my schedule as fatigue and anxiety.


weary and anxious



And so, it is time to get quiet again and reevaluate.  But, this time has to be different.  My former methods of micro-scheduling and planning are no longer useful tools because I’ve given them too much power.  Like wayward robots in a sci-fi, they dominate rather than assist.

I am guilty of getting too far ahead, of taking on the burden of the unknown and attempting to carry it as if it can fit on my back.  And, not surprisingly, I feel weary.  I’ve got a rather petite, human-sized frame for trying to haul an almighty-sized mystery.

This vain approach to planning has produced habits of working long hours and soldiering through no matter how I’m feeling.  Admittedly, I admire this tenacity in myself and I’m proud to be a working artist.  I’m afraid of letting these things go, but I must.  This perspective and my habits are not sustainable.


tenacious face



I think a large part of my ambition to work as long and hard and structured as I do is about money.  I want to be certain that I can pay the bills and I assume a reasonable response to this desire is hard work capped with a helmet of anxiety.

I’m reminded of an Andrew Bird song about the way we educate our children: “put your backpack on your shoulder, be the good little soldier it’s no different when you’re older”

I think much of my angst stems from an expectation that our culture lashes  to us: boot straps and hard work and so on.  I didn’t mean to accept this ideology and subsequent identity, but I have.  And it isn’t a good fit. I’m waking up this morning and surrendering.  I don’t want to soldier up and trudge through.

{ this is a tangent:  War imagery sucks anyway.  I’ve been noticing lately that much of our language about lifestyle and religion is combative.  I think that’s unfortunately suitable for our society but inappropriate to the existence I hope to live.}

I’m beginning to understand that provision does not equal business skills and long hours do not equal goodness or value.  I’m realizing that, unless I change my approach, I will never feel like I accomplished all that I need to in a day.  I will always pack fear about financial needs, no matter how much money flows; I will be forever tired.

I am thirsty for liberation; I want to be receptive and giving and greet each day with open arms, but I’m afraid.

I’m fearful of wasting, grumbling , and grinding my time into an apathetic powder that will float away into meaninglessness.  But even as I type this, I am pricked by the irony.  As if I can avoid any of it by using the powers of my finite reasoning and banal scheduling skills.


peace be with you (and me)



I know something needs to change but I don’t know what.  I am painfully aware that I do not know what is best for me.  That I don’t know how to effectively manage this gift of life.  This place that I’m in is scary because I’m being asked to swim in a jumbo ocean of uncertainty.

I’m asking for something bigger and so I have to rely on something big.  I yearn to rely on and get in alignment with the mystery that operates outside of time.  I am unclenching my fists and recognizing that I do not control the universe.

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