The High Cost of Education

(I started this post before doing a monthly reading list, of which I am tardy on this month. But I left this sitting in drafts. My goal over the next month is to complete every draft that I’ve started and get it published on the blog. What you’ll see is that I have a problem with spending money on books, I have a lack of space with which to house all of my books, and I have a lack of time with which to read all of my books. So, about the same as any other book-lover all over the world.)

I’ve paid for an education on credit. No, not the degrees that I’ve eared (though the debt I’ve accrued in earning those is substantial), but I specifically speak about my love of books, or bibliophilia. And what an education. I can’t help but peruse the stacks at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or the countless used bookstores that I frequent. The musty smell, a fragrance that only holds a hint of the words of thousands-upon-thousands of women and men, just waiting to be re-released into the world.


So I stack books on shelves, on top of each other, on the floor. I try and read as many as I can, though I usually only finish one per week, though if it’s particularly gripping I’ll get through it in a little less time. The point I’m making, though, is that I find it difficult to leave a bookstore without some acquisition (or two or three, etc). My collection on philosophy, metaphysics, logic and esoterica is growing just over the past year (2017 – I was contemplating enrolling in a PhD Philosophy program, but have set that on the back burner for now).

I keep one bookshelf in my room, just to store the current interests. I’ve got books from Karl Ove Knausgaard, Alan Watts, Neil Gaiman, and Joseph Campbell. There are books on writing, time management, chakras, meditation, and philosophy. An entire shelf is made up of journals and notebooks – some blank, some partially written in, and others full of my scribblings. And every day, multiple times, I find myself just looking at the book shelf.

It may be impossible to read through everything I’ve purchased, but as John Waters said, “Nothing is more important than an unread library.”

Walking a fine line

I’ve been thinking lately about the types of posts I make here. Some are little thoughts I have about this and that (theatre and performance, or books I’m reading/have read);  advice I’ve been given or came across; bits of motivation; very personal thoughts on loss and struggling; finance and investing; or even poetry. All these things are a hodgepodge of who I am and what I’m thinking right now.

Some of it may be interesting to someone. Many more may not find anything here. Others may not want to read each and every post I make, because who knows what I’ll be writing about on any given day.

I struggle with that – providing content (even content that no one may see) which goes back and forth from business to personal, and relevant to downright absurd. But, it’s who I am.

I started writing this blog because I’d kept a journal since 2015. Some times I’ve written daily. Right now I’m best at weekly in the journal, with other writing thrown in during the week. But it was entirely private, and no one was going to come across it. I may even pull a Dickens and have them all burnt before I go. Who knows…

So I put it up online, just another WordPress blog. And I’ve grown it a bit. I’ve grown a bit myself. Now it’s out there for anyone to see. Maybe no one will. But it’s out there.

Journaling

First things first. I love journals. Have since at least 1990. I had just turned 7, and what I had asked for from my dad was a notebook/journal. I know this because I still have it. (Somewhere, possibly in storage. I swear I’ve seen it recently…) It is a faded green color, with an image of rough seas. A sail boat rides the swells. I can’t recall what the style of the picture is named, but you’d know it if you saw it.

From that point on, I’ve always written stuff. Nothing coherent. A few short stories, maybe a hundred or so poems. But, I jot notes down all the time. Song lyrics. Words I want to know more about, or topics. Quotes that inspire, motivate, or enlighten me.

I heard that Charles Dickens burned his notebooks and letters annually. I wonder what is lost or gained when we let go of those thoughts written down for later investigation.

On frequency

“Frequency makes starting easier. Getting started is always a challenge. It’s hard to start a project from scratch, and it’s also hard each time you re-enter a project after a break. By working every day, you keep your momentum going. You never have time to feel detached from the process. You never forget your place, and you never need to waste time reviewing your work to get back up to speed or reminding yourself what you’ve already done. Because your project is fresh in your mind, it’s easy to pick up where you left off.” – Gretchen Rubin

Where I find myself after every time that I take a break from writing. Blog, journal, whatever. One project I was excited to work on this year was a book on film craft, and I’m six months overdue on the projects I had planned.

I think it’s a common struggle for creatives – the real world difficulties that creep up. And, scope creep. Of life. Saying yes to projects that may hold a small level of interest, but should be said no to so that focus can be given to the truly meaningful tasks.

I’ve improved my “No” skills, but still not to the point that I need them to be. And as long as I fill my time with those “yes” things, I’ll reduce the time I have available for frequency.

Reorient yourself

Been a weird few months. Not sure how long, or what went off the tracks, but something shifted. Me, the Universe, or something else, I don’t what.

Lots of strange occurrences. Dreamt of my ex twice, even ran into her sister a couple of times. Then I ran into her. I’m not sure if uncovered any still lingering traumas, but it too left me feeling off-kilter.

Job changing, instances of synchronicity – the right words at the right time, I’ll either come across or be told. Zen in action?

Was recently introduced to the works of Alan Watts. This was a name at the edge of my periphery for some time, but I began reading his collected letters just a couple of weeks ago.

I love reading the correspondence and journals of prominent (or even eclectic) individuals. Thoreau, Kerouac, and Van Gogh have been among my favorites.

My journals are mostly rambling things. Nothing clear. Too many distractions. I think that’s been an issue in my blog posting as well. Too many distraction. Reorganizing my life now. We’ll see how it goes.