Resolution: To Be My Bohemian Self

My New Year’s resolution is to be myself.

Don’t we all, at some point, feel about our life-choices the way George Kostanza felt? “Every decision I have ever made in my entire life has been wrong!”

Generally, I don’t regret my individual choices, even the most reckless ones. In fact, my perpetual hesitation to commit to reckless choices — and follow them through to their zany ends — is the one flawed thread running through the whole pilly jumpsuit that is my life.

Despite accusations to the contrary, I am insufficiently bohemian. All my life, I have imagined myself to be one freaky rebel spirit, but I have always been far too much of a conformist.

Like the vast majority of the world’s population, I grew up privileged and ungrateful, sorted out the non-existence of God at the age of 11, got a black belt and a degree in philosophy, became a baker and playwright, moved to Japan (on a dare), Mexico (on a whim), a reserve in Manitoba (on the make), and back to Mexico (on the rebound), where I went up a mountain in my kilt with a mariachi band and a woman I’d known for a few months, and got married to her in Spanish, by a priest — of all godforsaken things! (And, just to make my status completely quo, got divorced the statistically average number of years later.)

After a couple of decades of doing a wide range of jobs rather badly, I’ve accepted it’s time for me to stop standing in my way. I am genetically predisposed to be a nomad, The Fool on the Hill, watching the wheels go round and round.

No longer will I try to imagine myself living some “normal” life, not even some normal non-conformist, anti-establishment poser life.

I gotta ask myself one question. What would Evan do?

What I was “supposed to do” was work hard in school, and then work hard at some job (40 hours x 50 weeks x 40 years), spend a few years complaining about the ignorance of the younger generation, and then die.

What I did was scrape by in school, and then scrape by in a bunch of temp jobs, and then—as happens when dreams go bad—I woke up.

Finally, I am beginning to understand the freedom of being me. The meaning of your life depends on what you consider “wasted time”. Whatever that is, it’s what you should not be doing.

People have strongly conflicting views about what constitutes wasting time. Taking the train? Waste of time; flying is faster. Taking a bath? Waste of time. A shower is ten times faster. All right then, how about sex? Waste of time. Masturbation is faster.

Taking a long, leisurely bath is one of the best uses to which time can be put. Considerably better would be having sex in the bath, on a train.

For me, the best way to waste time is to work 9 to 5 at a job that I believe should not be done, such as selling things that should not exist (e.g., insipid wooden cats playing tin jazz instruments — I’m a cat and jazz lover; these objets d’art, shipped around the world to collect dust in someone’s tacky home, should not exist), or proofreading documents which should never have been written (one that stands out in my memory was about shareholder dividends earned on the sale of long-range missiles).

Working 9 to 5, “I can feel myself rot.” Whenever I’ve had to “get a real job”, it’s bad for me and it’s bad for the job.

For me, the first step in a healthy, sane life is never to wake to an alarm clock. Why? Because it’s #$@%ing alarming! The clock used to be the first and last thing I would see in a day, tabulating whether I was approximating a healthy number of hours of sleep.

As the new me, the real me, I go to bed when I’m ready for it, and I get up when getting up seems the right thing to do.

What am I “supposed” to be doing with my life? Writing, amongst other things, this dumbass blog. Go ahead, ask why. … Wh–?  I can’t believe y– … Because, apart from generally having a laugh, everything other than juggling words is a waste time. Writing “makes the pain go away.” 

And the fact that I get paid dirt* for writing (slightly earthier dirt for editing), doesn’t distinguish it from working for ‘the Man’, so in terms of employment, this is as real as my life is going to get.

(*Unless it’s pro bono, like this blog.)

Sounds like a privileged life, you say? Damn right! And I know how to appreciate it. My parents have devoted their lives to making my life as headache-free as possible. They’ve done a smashing job, and I’m not going to muck up their tremendous achievement by letting my life dissolve into a litany of anxieties, petty or otherwise.

Kurt Vonnegut, (whom I must read some day), wisely observed,

“We’re here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anyone tell you different.”

Some other famous writer nailed my sentiments spot on when she said,

“Writing is the only thing that, when I’m doing it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” Ah, it was Gloria Steinham. (Thank you, internet. You’re so clever.)

As I began this year, embracing my bohemian self, I started my New Year head-shave but the clipper puttered to a stop and I couldn’t find the charger. Nothing left but the not-quite-bald spot on top. I have since found the charger, but I think I’ll keep my new hairstyle (which I call a “nohawk”).

I’ve been told it makes me look insane; I think it suits me.

If they didn’t laugh at it, it wouldn’t be the Way. ~ Laotzu, Tao Te Ching

Maybe tomorrow I’ll wanna settle down.

Nohawk, Lowhawk or D'oh!hawk?

Lowhawk or D’oh!hawk?

13 Comments

Filed under beginnings, Optimism & Inspiration, writing

13 responses to “Resolution: To Be My Bohemian Self

  1. Sarah

    Love to hear that you are embracing your true self. The rest of us have been embracing that for years. We would expect nothing less from our free-spirited Evan:)

    • Awww! (Blush.)
      For some reason, people named “Sarah” have always been particularly accepting of “as-is Evan”.
      I haven’t yet met one who slaps me in the head and says, “Smarten up, dork-face.” (People who do that go by various names.)
      Three cheers for Sarahs!

  2. S

    Always thought that was Tzu’s most under-rater aphorism.

  3. Dave

    Of all the excellent writing on hand here, my favourite metaphor is “pilly jumpsuit”

  4. Rosa

    Please post a photo of yourself in the pilly jumpsuit and nohawk.
    P.S. This is an affecting and thought-provoking essay. (I’m elevating it beyond “blog post” because it’s warranted.) Thank you for sharing it.

    • I wondered whether anyone would ask for a visual aid.
      Not quite what you ordered, Rosa—”pilly jumpsuit”, being a metaphor, does not photograph well.
      And it turns out “nohawk” is used to refer to a ‘reverse mohawk’ in which only the middle strip of the head is shaved. So I am renaming my trendy new look the “lowhawk” or, perhaps more appropriately, the “D’oh!hawk”.
      I may grow it out until I have “dreadlost”.

      Thank you for reading and commenting—Mil gracias, Rosa!
      I hope your thoughts don’t feel excessively provoked.

  5. TinyShinyOne

    “All right then, how about sex? Waste of time. Masturbation is faster.”

    So what do you mean by “sex”? As a woman who has sex with men, sex is WAY faster than masturbation, provided I’m prepared to take a pass on the whole orgasm thing. Now, if you wanted to change that to “mutually pleasurable sex resulting in orgasm for both/all partners including all women present” as opposed to “sex”, I might agree. What’s more, I’m reasonably sure that you know that.

    D’oh!Hawk, however, is pure Evan genius.

    • So what do you mean by “sex is WAY faster than masturbation”? If you are boasting that you are able to bring a man to orgasm faster than he can do on his own, then what I have read about you on men’s room walls is true. (Ouch! But that backhand was complimentary.)
      Pardon me for not writing from a TinyShiny POV. You can’t please everyone.
      Correction, I can’t please everyone. I suppose you can. And faster than everyone can please themselves, no doubt.

  6. Pingback: Good Without God | Good Evaning

  7. AG

    Well, let this be the year, decade, heck life of the Evan, then. ‘Being me’ is perhaps the only thing any of us can aim to be and to become. The ‘being’ is a bit of a dynamic process though isn’t it? Is the me then the same as the me now? And, does he have to be? Leaving aside the involvement of wooden cats playing tin instruments of course, or maybe not, for better or for worse, everything we do and everyone we meet and everything the universe does to smack or caress us influences the me, now and in the becoming. No? So, things that felt ‘me’ or ‘un-me’ before might not necessarily feel the same if chosen now. Or, maybe I’m just full of horseradish.

    What I really meant to post, before going on a tangent which is indeed very me-like, was a congratulations on your originality. I suspect, and a quick google search gives me a sliver of confidence, that no writer has ever cited Costanza, Steinem, and Vonnegut in the same piece. I guess that’s just part of what ‘Evan would do.’🙂

    • Citing Costanza, Steinem, Vonnegut and Lao-tzu — that’s what Evan would do.
      And as for your “then me, now me” tangent, you covered that ground a lot more succinctly than Sartre did (“Being and Nothingness” is several hundred pages long, which is far too much being and not enough nothingness), so congratulations on your succinctness!

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