Struggling with Now

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I’m terrified I’ll get the things I want, and it’ll turn out I didn’t want them. Or that I was ascribing all kinds of magical properties to them that don’t exist. That they won’t act as a salve against the uncertainty of life.

And then where does that leave me? Always hungry for more. Never content with the present. I achieve something, have a brief moment of satisfaction, and then immediately move on to the next goal. Continue reading

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Love and Mastery

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On my way to work this morning I listened to Jason Schwartzman being interviewed by Marc Maron on WTF. He talked about how scary writing a novel must be, because of the lack of immediate feedback. With a three-minute song, you can play it for someone to see what they think. With a four hundred page novel, you need to have some pretty generous friends in order to get someone to read it. Not only that, but it might take you seven years to write it in the first place, with little to no feedback along the way.

The enormity of this does wash over me sometimes. But I think, like most things in life, you just have to have faith. Faith that your subconscious is not a moron, and will steer you in the right direction. Plus, so what if you spend seven years writing a novel and it ends up being terrible and no one wants to read it? Hopefully you would have learned some things along the way, about writing and about yourself, that would have made the process worth it. (That’s my newly acquired laissez-faire attitude speaking. Pretty convincing, right? Old Lisa would be pretty upset if everyone hated her book.) Continue reading

Death and Marzipan

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I unabashedly believe in the power of tarot. Not to predict the future (although it often seems to do that very accurately), but as a tool to help me recognize patterns in my life.

Aside from classic spreads like the Celtic Cross, there are also additional stand-alone cards that are fun to explore. My favorite is the year card, which I like to use to give me clues as to what I should be focusing my energies on in the upcoming year. Continue reading

Curse of the Imaginative Class

Your imagination allows you to create characters out of thin air, come up with get-rich-quick schemes, and envision a life involving tiger cubs as pets. However, it’s also responsible for reminding you of possible hardships you’ll encounter along the way. It will conjure up every single reason why your idea is terrible and will never work and is destined for failure. To effectively use your imagination, it has to be coupled with action.

Sadly, the two are not natural friends. Action thinks Imagination is lazy and neurotic. Imagination thinks Action is brash and thoughtless. I struggle to give each one equal say. More often than not, imagination wins.

Allow me to illustrate.

Otter Panel 1

I come home from work one day and head straight to the couch for snacks and reality tv.
Continue reading

Time Traveling My Way to Creative Fulfillment

I put a lot of pressure on myself to have an interesting, creative, fulfilling career that also pays the bills. This pressure often manifests as an amorphous anxiety that gnaws at the pit of my stomach and makes me eat a lot of Haribo Fruity Pasta.

I burden myself with expectations of making money, making a name for myself, and making my mark on the world. Whenever I think about doing anything creative, there’s always a voice in the back of my head saying ‘How can you sell this? How can you make this into a viable career? What will so and so think of this?’ It’s exhausting, and counter-productive. I’m pretty confident that the majority of great art is not created with this mentality. Continue reading