Written prior to my Philosophy oral exam, because I was panicky and I felt like I couldn’t say or do anything right. With some edits.

I’ve noticed that I am most literarily creative when I am stressed. I suppose this is sublimation at its finest. I’ve never realized that I sublimate – it seems to be something I do unconsciously. And I think I would have reveled in my unconscious – being aware of the comfort this brings me now almost saddens me. It is perhaps because I feel like now that I know about it, it is within my choice. Whenever I feel down, I can constantly run to it, thinking, “It has worked before, I can choose to do so again now so that I can get unstuck.” My writing will become my safe zone, and I will feel safe in my safe zone. My safe zone will always be happy, and I will always be safe. That’s where expectations come in.

And then, what if the day comes when it does not satisfy? When the expectations surpass the reality? What if my safe zone crumbles? And so I would choose not to do it, in order to preserve the beauty and liberty of what remains of my safe zone, whatever filmy ideal I’ve stretched from memory. I would choose not to do what had comforted me for so long… and so suppress the stress by conscious effort. Which, in itself, is unhealthy.

Sometimes I wonder if it would be better if there was no choice involved – then we could play deaf to responsibility. Sometimes I wish we could just be – be entrusted to the wind, which, by some strange coincidence, would continuously nurture us, like little babies who do nothing and have all their needs attended to.

But to do so would be to reject what makes us most human. It is hard to be human; but that is what it means to be an adult. To exercise choice and discipline, even if that is no simple matter.

And then at that point I was able to inspire myself enough to continue studying for my orals. Suffice to say, I think my professor seemed pleased.


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