Get Ignorant

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Sometimes what is called for is a big leap. It’s not necessarily something you plan for, or think a lot about beforehand. In fact, too much thinking may be exactly the wrong thing. I’ve interviewed so many young entrepreneurs and visionaries who have repeated the same story – if I’d known what I was getting into, I might not have done it… being young and ignorant really served me in this situation… sometimes you just have to close your eyes and dive in…

I am often more comfortable backing into situations than walking into them with my eyes fully open. I prefer a kind of heavy-lidded soft focus, a few steps past smearing vaseline on the lens, or seeing the world through rose colored glasses. Sometimes it feels like bravado… probably because I often make a big public stink out of it. But other times I just quietly move into something unfamiliar and well, terrifying. It never gets any less scary, but I have become way more comfortable with the discomfort of the fear.

I like a good paradox. I’m at home in backwards world. I love sarcasm and hyperbole and good old exaggeration. I also love it when something is so awful that it flips over into the sublime. Grief, anger, terror… you keep going deep into the heart of those things and you find elation. Like if you keep turning right for long enough, you end up facing left.

I think I’m just an intensity junkie. I love to feel. It almost (almost) doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s deep. Something I can grab onto. Honestly, I find vagueness much more unsettling than out and out hostility. Hostility I know I can’t stand. It’s straight up awful. But vagueness leaves you guessing and of course I’m always ready to jump in and take responsibility because it just might be my fault… (sigh)

Before I think too much about it, I’m going to share some of my other writing with you. I may regret it later, when I’m feeling exposed and raw. But I’d be kidding myself if I thought that 1) you couldn’t easily find any of this stuff online yourself, 2) I really took the whole notion of boundaries seriously (I don’t) or 3) it’s not important for me to be present in all of my dimensions.

http://fictionaut.com/stories/deborah-oster-pannell/boring

Isn’t that the most mind blowing thing of all, when you think about it? That all of this crazy stuff we do, all of the subterfuge of dressing and making ourselves up, and crafting these elaborate identities, and compartmentalizing our lives, our relationships, our activities, the different parts of ourselves so that we can function in so many strictly codified and regulated situations – none of it really matters in the end.

When I look into the eyes of my lover, and it’s just the two of us being, touching, trying to discern what we are feeling in that moment and trying to make it connect and allow us to feel safe enough to experience some pleasure… it’s just me. At that moment it doesn’t matter if what I wrote the day before was a poem or a review or a memoir or a piece of fiction or a press release or a piece of marketing text. I am just me. It doesn’t matter.

The more I write, the more I think it’s just about connecting. Whether I’m having a conversation or telling a story (and I think they are most of the times one and the same), I hope I can just be me. And I hope you will be here in this moment with me and not worry about what I wrote before or what I will do tomorrow.

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