Self-reflection used to be easy for me.
I used to sit with my 72-page spiral bound and a Bible in my bathroom, water running, to talk to myself and God. That’s how I figured things out. It was easy.
I don’t journal anymore.
I have outlets for self-expression, sure. There’s this blog and my poetry and my memoir and that tearful drive to and from Marion. But I’m scared to ask myself real questions. Like, what are you doing with your life, Lauren? Like, why aren’t you focusing on anyone but yourself?
Today I’m so aware of my selfishness, my lack of concern for others — but I’m too afraid to figure out why. Have I become too focused on my boyfriend that I’ve forgotten others? (That’s the one that really scares me. How do I balance relationships?) Have I become too focused on myself — my present, my future?
I’ve been trying to read Kierkegaard lately, because I really love his philosophies, as explained to me by my philosophy professor. But I’ve never actually read anything he’s written. I mean, not beyond a few pages in one of his books. I know his Wikipedia page pretty well. I know I need to get on that.
But one thing Kierkegaard is known for is his theories on angst.* Kierkegaard calls angst “unfocused fear,” or “deep-seated spiritual condition of insecurity and fear in the free human being” (yes, that’s Wikipedia). It’s related to man’s fear of failing God.
So I’ve been angsty lately, I guess you could say. I told Nate I’m bordering depression, but I don’t think that’s true. I’m just angsty. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of not having everything figured out before moving to Seattle. I’m afraid Nate won’t come with me, or that he won’t want to, or that he’ll come and we’ll break up.
I’m afraid of finding a job in Seattle. I’m afraid of adulthood. I’m afraid of leaving my friends, my family. I’m afraid of graduate school. I’m scared of the big books I’m going to read. I’m afraid of God screwing up my life (for His glory, blah blah). I’m afraid of not liking who I’ve become. I’m afraid of living with a boy. I’m afraid of living alone. I’m afraid of making new friends.
So yeah, Soren, I’m terrified. This free will God gave me is freaking awful sometimes.
It’s turning me into a teenager again. I never leave my room. I do safe things. Like read. And watch House.**
Steven, Rachel, and I were just talking this evening about conclusions – how we cheat them. In newswriting, you can just tack on dates and times or an inspiring/informative quote. In essay writing, you summarize.
As for blogs, well, I’m going to leave this one open.
That seems nice and existential of me. You know, angst that comes from freedom, etc.
*Actually, I read a whole essay on Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom and his Kierkegaardian angst — but still, a secondary source.
**I want to write a paper titled, “Dr. Gregory House, ethics, and the Kierkegaardian Response.” It’ll be about angst and ethics on the TV show House. I smell master’s thesis!