Experiment

First off, I posted a couple of new art pieces I’ve done recently and one that’s in progress. Check ‘em out. They were all fun to work on.

I've been in LA for almost two months now, and I'm beginning to remember how different this life is here than (1) what I'm used to and (2) what I actually one day want my life to be.  Currently, I spent about eight hours per day in front of a computer.  Read that.  Eight hours. Eight hours basically staring into a fluorescent light/OLED screen.  Using the parts of my eyes and brain that can absorb so much, to focus mostly on characters 3/8th of an inch, a blinking cursor, and a occasionally a few pictures. 

My head has been a bit foggy lately.  Not like in a confused or hungover kind of way, but in just like a weird, sort of detached way.  I'll walk outside after being at work for a little while and just zone out.  I'll want to be present, I'll want to absorb the sights around me, but just can't.  It's like trying to wake up when you're running on not enough sleep and hitting the point where you just can't.

I have a couple of theories on why this is.  The first is that my body is adjusting to having significantly less stress in its life.  After a year and a half of not having enough money, struggling with a wonderful but challenging relationship, and then work for a summer in a field that I know deeply taxes me and my stress levels, one possibility is that I've been operating with increased cortisol levels for so long that their steady decline is causing an actual change in my ability or desire to engage with my surroundings.  The second, and much more likely, is that my eyes are fucking tired.  When I get outside, my vision is just out sorts and is suddenly shifting from only looking at a two dimensional surface to absorbing a whole world of three whole dimensions and using a much greater field of view.  Doing this for half of my waking hours is throwing me a little bit out of sorts.  Especially considering that I came from a summer of working at a nature camp where I’m outdoors pretty much twenty-four hours per day.  And then before that working at a co-op, then building chicken coops and then before that working at a bakery.  What’s one thing that all of these have in common?  They’re not in front of a computer screen.  What’s another thing they have in common?  They don’t involve sitting for eight hours per day.  I think much of my “spaciness” has to do with the shift in spaces where I work.  Getting to use my whole retina and refocus the lens of my eye is now a luxury. Jesus. Never thought I’d say that.

So life is different here.  Yes.  Of course.  I want that.  But now I have to figure out how to make that work.  Lately I’ve actually been craving interacting with people; it has been a while since I’ve had the luxury of saying that.  Even like an hour per day of good interacting would be enough.  I’ve also lately noticed that when I don’t interact with people, I get more stressed and exasperated by the outside world (not friends though).  Weird, huh?  My mind’s reaction to the situation is making me less likely to get out of my situation.  It’s like some freaky, precise and targeted form of social depression.  Actually, I think it’s probably just called social anxiety and millions of people probably have it.

Take today for instance:  I left for work extra early.  Didn’t talk to a soul for at least an hour.  Had coworker explain something to me for twenty minutes, then haven’t talked to a soul for pretty much the rest of the day up until now.  When I got on the bus, I actively got anxious.  I wasn’t going to have a panic attack (which has only ever happened to me once but I remember the experience vividly) but I could definitely recognize some of the same predecessor emotions/physical feelings.  It actually kind of surprised and scared me.  Like, the bus, at least in the evening, may not be much of an option for me looking forward into the future. 

On a crowded bus every sense I possess feels violated.  You’re breathing in the air you and the thirty other people are exhaling, which is mixing with various smells coming off of the people around you.  If you’re lucky it’s someones perfume they applied way too liberally, and if you’re unlucky is the body odor and 5 PM clothes of the fat guy next to you eating a bag of Cheez-Its.  Your ears are forced to listen to someone’s tinny earphone speakers as they play their music louder than it could possibly be necessary.  Or better yet: a short troll of a man in a suit (think a more Jewish Danny deviate) smacking his gum extremely loudly.  Like absurdly loudly.  You’re forced to touch people because the seats are all too small.  Your knees jam up against the seat in front of you because they’re made for someone smaller.  The fluorescent lights flicker on and off and your eyes are already strained (because of the eight hours you spent in front of a computer).  And then appreciate that you’re in LA and that it takes thirty minutes to an hour to go three miles at rush hour.  And then appreciate that you’re kind of stuck on the bus, and being blocked in by the person already sitting in your personal bubble.  And you still have twenty minutes left on the bus at the very least.

Ok.  That was a serious distraction.  I actually debated including it or not, but it feels like a fine enough idea.  Back to the point: I guess I’ll eventually adjust.  Certain things will help as they come along: a little bit more of a financial buffer and the flexibility to buy the things I need for the projects I like to do;  more work… at work.  (Seriously, after about an hour some days I finish all of my work).  All of these are things that will almost certainly come with time, but it does get a little tedious though.

Yeah.  So.  Los Angeles.  And stuff.

<3,

John