Wednesday, May 12, 2004

losing my religion

angela on my so-called life played the r.e.m. song as a kind of constant soundtrack to the pain of being a teenager. that was a great show. (and, incidentally, it is 10 years old this year, same as riot-grrrl postpunk-popsters sleater-kinney.) claire danes was amazing, and a.j. langer, the girl who played her best friend, was good too. funny how high school tv series are eternal ... we are just about done watching freaks and geeks on dvd, which reminds me somewhat of my so-called life.

anyway, in addition to having a cool opening credit sequence, angela kept a journal. she wrote in her diary. as i have done since the age of 12. (much longer ago than i care to ponder ... ) i have a sack of scribbled-in books chronicling god-knows-what sort of more or less ordinary adventures of a 20th/21st-century girl.

but i don't write in my journal the way i used to. not as often, for one thing. great stretches of time pass before i write anything. mostly b/c things happen so fast i don't have time to write them down. also b/c sometimes it's the same old same old, and i don't even wanna write it down. some of it could also be ... avoidance. the unexamined life is not worth living -- but i don't have to look at all of it. (do i?)

more worrisome, in fact, is that when i do write in my journal, it takes a lot of effort. writing longhand is hard for any extended period -- which i of course end up doing since i let so much time go between entries. not just b/c of the stamina it takes, but also the concentration ... or something. letters go awry if you don't pay attention. and the hand/brain coordination seems to lessen as i continue.

it's disturbing b/c writing with a pen in a notebook has been a part of my life for so long. i think the erosion is due in part to how much time i spend at a keyboard now ... for work, blogging, communicating with people. it's like my ability to write is being supplanted by typing skills. i can type pretty well, considering i never learned to touch type, but it's unsatisfying. and it's frustrating to be scribbling away and become so easily fatigued.

on the other hand, in some ways i don't feel the need to record every little thing. when i was a teenager, it was all about the gossip, the yearnings, the angst. which could be exciting, but exhausting. it makes for good drama but you can't live like that forever. i guess the tv teen shows give us the vicarious chills 'n' thrills of adolescence, without the actual pain. although watching them can be painful ... joss whedon said (and perhaps others as well) that you never really get out of high school, which in a way is true. although also very not. because things do change, and it is very often not bad.

now where did i put those grip-strengtheners?

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