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Sidetracked (RIP)

October 16, 2009

(yes, I missed yesterday. Oh well)

I have been looking forward to RIP all year, and now that it’s the season of the scary, I find myself completely sidetracked by other things. I am currently just finishing up a Ruth Reichl book (although I am a few pages away from also finishing a Sandman collection). I can’t seem to find many scary books that I want to read. Maybe it’s the weather. It’s actually muggy outside today. WTF? Honest-to-goodness mugginess. We don’t get that around here real often.

However, once I’m done with these two books, I’m reading Let The Right One In, and I am hauling out the fabulous scary-movie list and settling in for a few weeks of spook before we’re all done with October. We had a good rainstorm this week but it would help get me in the mood if the temperatures would drop below 70. Please?

I also find myself thinking about some other things in a completely different way. For the past 10 years I have been all Practical, Practical, Practical. When I had thought of going to grad school, it was only for practical reasons. I’ve been taking practical science pre-requisites for 8 years. I’ve been willing to shoulder The Big Burden and Do What I Need To Do (for why?). However, on Monday, we got news that Terri’s doctor passed away suddenly last week. He sounds like he was a pretty amazing person. That news, combined with all the excitement over the XMRV research, has flipped a little switch in my head for some reason.

I was imagining catching up with an old friend (nobody in particular, just anyone I haven’t seen in a long time) and playing out two scenarios. One in which I talked about going to school for something which is useful, but which I have no passion for. In which I talked about putting off doing art and putting off having fun, because I’m so focused on security and safety (which is, obviously, an illusion anyway). One in which I am dull, dull, dull.

Or, on the other hand, the scenario in which I talk about my awesome job which I love but have no idea where it will lead (oh well!), my cool studies (studying something I LOVE even though I don’t know of any practical uses), my art efforts and failures. Which one sounds more fun? Which one would I like to be in the midst of, should I suddenly drop dead of pulmonary embolism?

So I’m thinking: do something fun, for Pete’s sake. Life’s short.

I’ve decided to take either a writing class or a literature class in January, just a community-college level one. Mostly just to get my toes wet and see how I like it, and to get some writing samples should I decide to apply to school. We’ll see how that goes. If I like it, I’ll apply to grad school. If I don’t, I’ll take an art history class and see how THAT feels.

Which brings me back to books. I was at the library, looking for RIP books (because I said I was only going to read RIP books for two months), and the Anne Rice book and the Ruth Reichl books all leapt out at me. I thought, “I really need to read these.” Turns out, they are both about people finding their passion, even if it’s not logical, not practical. I’ve really enjoyed them and I feel like maybe I should just quit worrying so much and just do what I want to do. I don’t need to be Anne Rice or Ruth Reichl, but I could be a pretty fabulous Daphne. Even if it means reading biographies in the midst of RIP season.

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