They say that presentation is everything.
Content is secondary and is for the most part irrelevant if you can hook an audience with fancy artwork or slick words.
Rhetoric has become rooted not so much in sound logic but in catchy displays. Just because it looks good means it is good.
This practice is encouraged by social media- we are constantly encouraged to show our best face. Look at any Instagram page and you will see someone selling their self. Seeking to make the viewer believe that they are what those pictures is who they are solely. An image is open to interpretation, but unless the owner knows truly know by the viewer, it is then assumed that the image tell the whole story. However that image is only one piece of a bigger picture, obscured by choice of the seller.
I do not have dreams. I mean in the sense of imagining a destination vacation or prestigious college. I have goals and desires, yes. But there are very few things that would I can say that I dream about. I had no dream university or career.
But I am not without aspirations.
I must say that not having dreams does not mean I do not have expectations for my life. I have the expectation that life is not going to be full of grandeur; to live a meaningful life is going to entail many mundane tasks and times. Dreams can cause one to be discontent with the mundane thus constantly seeking to the next thrill. When dreams are actualized, emptiness ensues because the dream was not the end all that we are led to believed. Like sleep, dreams are fleeing.
How in the world do you get motivated to do something that once you could not get enough of? I love lifting weights, but I am in a slump- better put, I am out of habit. Habits are powerful tools. Just look at your day- how many things do you do out of habit? Alarm goes off and you turn it off and check your social media. You get out of bed start brewing a cup of coffee and preparing breakfast. Then no mater how hard you try are still rushing out the door because you have made a habit of arriving just in time… None of these habits are inherently bad, but combined may lead to bad things. Habits are powerful things; am I using them to the best of my ability?
I ended my first last week of my undergrad career by meeting one of the the classes I am TAing for. As we were going through the syllabus, I was nodding along with the professor I saw looks of terror come over the collective face of the room. What was being laid out seems daunting- foreign terms, extensive final project, and a bunch of reading. I remember sitting through this same syllabus, trying to suppress the feeling of fear from showing on my face. That got me thinking- How can I aid their learning and experience in this class? What did I find helpful that will be applicable to them? I hope that I am able to be more helpful than hindrance as they are attempting to learn the basics of academic research of Communication Studies.
I do not write how I speak. Though I try to convey my everyday vernacular in my writing, I cannot capture the full essence. I cannot capture the smirk when I successfully slip “y’all” into a semi-formal conversation. Nor can I capture the delicate pauses between sensitive phases as I search for some sort of nonverbal cue that what I am trying to convey is understood.
Nor can you read the depth of my empathy when I try to console a friend who’s world is collapsing down around them. The nuances of emotion reflected in my conversational tone is lost in my clubhanded choice of words.
When reflect on the words that are written here, what do you hear? Detachment? Power? Sadness? Happiness? A smile? A Grimace?
No surprise- you can’t see my face, hear my voice.
I feel like I have been here before. The day before classes start. The indecision to do some thing fun and exciting or start setting into a weekly routine. I feel so ill prepared going into this semester- I have little anticipation for this semester’s start, not because the courses are uninteresting but I feel like I am just trying to get by. Same introductions, same anxiety trying to find classrooms, people to sit next to…
I fear that I am doing it again. And by “it” I mean the slow process of closing myself off to every thing in my current place to prepare for the move to the next. Screw that mentality- at this point it is beneficial for no one. I have been down this road before and in it’s wake lies frayed relationships and half-ass work.
…and I said that this summer I discover that found rest amidst a full schedule is practiced differently than had I thought. I always thought television and YouTube videos was one of the best ways that I refreshed myself; rest through distraction. However, I found that this fell short this summer. What really refreshed me was playing my guitar. It did not matter if I was singing along or learning a new song. The opportunity to express what I was feeling in that moment opposed to trying to distract myself from what I am feeling refreshed me. Distraction was not the answer for me to deal with stress. Engaging what I was feeling allowed me to put everything on the table so I could see what I was working with. Making music is better than hiding behind random noise…