Better Than a Binary

A preview of what I’ve been working on.

“If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I’m neurotic as hell. I’ll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.” -Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

As a student of post-graduate English classes, the last two years of my time in university felt like I was straddling two worlds: the scholar world, which I was so desperate to be a part of, and the social world, which I was desperate not to give up. But these worlds rarely overlapped. It was impossible for me to discuss the theories of Derrida and Cristev with my friends as it was impossible for them to discuss the theories of micro and macro economics with me.

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Thoughts After a Shame Spiral

They come on like those random waves of nausea in the morning that sometimes make me think I’m pregnant. Swiftly, these regrets mudslide through my mind. The barren dirt, of course, is all of the terrible things I’ve done in my life. Things I regret. Like that time I drunkenly peed in my hallway and my sweet, sweet roommate cleaned it up. Or that time I quoted that song “The Bitch Went Nuts” to someone telling a sad, very-not-funny-to-her story. The torrential downpour can be almost anything. Too much time in my own head. Too much Facebook. etc.

I like to think these shame spirals are something everyone feels. Despite what we say, we hold on to things tightly. It’s not even the specific memory or the people I’ve pissed off, its just that feeling. The clench-jaw, furrowed-brow cringe.

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