“I don’t know if I will have the time to write any more letters, because I might be too busy trying to participate.”
-Charlie, The Perks of Being A Wallflower movie
I’ve never been awesome at participating.
In The Perks of Being A Wallflower, there’s a part that talks about thought as participation. And that thinking about stuff isn’t really participating. After all, you’re sitting in your own head the whole time. You’re not actually doing anything. Participation, perhaps needless to say, entails doing something. If you’re out to be a main character in your own life, just thinking about stuff doesn’t cut the cake.
I’ve used “thinking” as an alternative, or even as a synonym, for “participating” on-and-off for a long time. This can happen when I get caught up about stories I want to write, or books, or news articles I’ve read; when I think about my family or my friends, and what is going on in their lives.
Since my last blog post, I have been trying very hard to participate.
Here are some things I have learned while doing so, in no particular order.
- Running on the treadmill while watching the Food Network is a bad idea. Especially when food has not yet been eaten that day. I did this once and learned my lesson quite quickly.
- I may be more delicate than I pretend to be. I do not know whether or not this is something to be ashamed of.
- Writing is fun, and so is reading. The past week-and-a half makes it seem like I’ve just discovered literacy. I’ve written almost ten thousand words (for someone who’s had a novel-writing dry spell for eight months THAT’S A LOT). I’ve read four books. I’m so glad reading and writing are things people can do.
- On that note, there is a reason The Great Gatsby is a classic. I finished it yesterday. I hadn’t read it before. My mind was a little bit blown.
- We actually do accept the love we think we deserve. (Today’s post is Perks of Being a Wallflower themed, in case you haven’t noticed.) It is a huge cliche, but sometimes it seems like we forget: If you do not respect yourself, few people will. I feel like respecting our bodies, minds, and emotions is one of the best gifts we can give to ourselves. (Now it is time to stop being a self-help book. Let’s continue.)
- Happiness is hard work when all you want to do is sleep for ten years. But I know from a multitude of experience that sleeping for days or months or years is not going to make me happy. Sleeping that much is probably not even going to make me feel rested. Doing stuff that makes me happy might be the only way to get happy. Maybe this is self-explanatory, but it wasn’t to me for a good chunk of my life. So there you go.
- Eyebrow piercings don’t hurt as much as you’d expect. Also, piercings are addictive. If you want to get a piercing, do it. It will probably be okay. (Emphasis on the probably.)
- Just because it is March doesn’t mean the weather necessarily realizes spring is coming.
- Looking for a job is easier when you have a job.
- Running outside in winter is not impossible. (Or crazy.) (Mostly.)
- Also, running on ice is easier than walking.
- Saving money is tricky business. Also, not having a budget and making a budget but never looking at it are basically the same thing.
- Loving someone is scary. Thinking about your happiness being hinged–in part–on someone else’s behavior, choices, and happiness is terrifying. But it will probably be okay. (Again, emphasis on the probably.)
- Tables make a place feel like home. That’s how it worked for me, anyway. My parents brought over a table-and-chairs set the other day. It smells funny and is kind of old-looking but I like it because it is mine. And now my apartment has a place to eat in it. (Since I moved in November, I’ve been using cardboard boxes or an IKEA end table for fancy dinners. Glamorous, I know.)
- Along the lines of “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink it”: You cannot make someone communicate if they do not want to. Which sucks.
- Drinking during the week can be okay. Sometimes, you just need to go for beers with your best friend. Also, staying in with a beer and watching The Perks of Being A Wallflower can definitely be better than going out dancing.
- That Taylor Swift/Goat video makes me laugh harder than I care to admit. For your viewing pleasure:
So that’s the kind of month-and-a-half it’s been. I’m going to keep participating, because being the protagonist in my life is nice.
And, because it’s Friday:
Have a delightful weekend.