Today is September 11, 2020, and the clock says it’s 2:37 am. I could not fall asleep. Probably, I did not want to and ended up watching Frances Ha, a film on Netflix, directed by Noah Baumbach who wrote it with Greta Gerwig, who plays Frances. After having watched it, I wanted to write. No, Frances is not a writer. She is a dancer in New York City. She kind of always knew that she wanted to be a dancer. Wait! I want to put it another way. I have grown since I entertained thinking in that manner. Frances loved to dance and knew that that is what she wanted to do. She would even cross the pedestrian crossing in New York, dancing. When an opportunity arises for a moment in her uncertain awkward life where she is offered an admin job in a Dance Company, she refuses. She wanted to dance.
After having watched the film and liked it, I wondered if I wanted to be a writer. There, again! Let’s try putting it another way. I wondered if I would want to write when I could not sleep, did not feel hungry, or were upset. Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson said in an interview, if you really love it, you would want to write without being distracted until the house was on fire. I would not go so far to ask if I would write unless the house was on fire. Distractions do not concern me as much as fear does. When tonight I could not sleep, I hesitated if I should fantasize about my daydreams and hope that the thoughts would drift me to sleep or if I should try belly-breathing which calms one down and subsequently helps one fall asleep, or if I should write. The thought of writing frightened me. Not because I cannot write, but I feared being pulled down by the numerous thoughts in my head that tell me I should rather do something else. I will try to explain in a bit more detail.
I have tried writing and quit when I felt my hand aching (when I was using pen and paper). I didn’t quit, actually; I cut it short as if there was something else I had to get back to – such as working or going to sleep. What I did after I finished my write-up in a half-assed manner was going back to worrying about my work or my sleep. Once in bed, I would worry about waking up late the next day, or worse, tired, which would not let me want to do anything for the rest of the sea of opportunity, the voyage into the unknown, the day that is yet to be touched (as the doorman said in Modern Love). Today I decided to just write. I decided I won’t use pen and paper, in case my hand ached. Are you still reading this? I don’t know why, but I feel happy. Don’t feel obliged to read on if you soon find yourself losing steam. I am not writing for you. I am writing for me. When I got out of bed a while ago deciding to write, I thought I will write for Frances Ha, the character, the movie, its filmmaker, its writers, and all cast and crew who produced it together. But it seems, I am just writing for myself.
Right here is the point in my writing, when I have more to say but fear that the writing will get too long or lose its point. There is no point, at least none that I can see right now. But this late night/early morning urge and its associated fear reminded me of my tepidness in accepting life as it is and constantly being scared and cautious about the tiniest degree of uncertainty that lingers on every moment of my breathing this planet’s air. I am tired of being scared. I told myself before leaving my bed – ‘the brave seize the day’, and then tried to remember where I heard it. I could not. I did, however, repeat myself a few times until I finally got out of bed. I have decided to talk about my fear of failure and the consequent lack of drive. Not to you, but to someone I have never talked before. I think I want to get to the bottom of this. Last time I talked to someone about this, I was handed a book on Jesus written by someone who believed in capital punishment. She thought being self-centered was a possible issue of my grief. I considered her idea and started reading the book. I did not finish it. The writing seemed shallow, insincere, and judgmental, and reflected a one-track mind of the author – the track of God. I do not have mixed feelings about God. As of today, I have failed to believe in deities or a superior power with intelligence and a sense of right and wrong (as humans do). I have found another meaning of God though, which aligns more with a spiritual quest rather than the relief brought to the mind depending on the idea of faith. We will talk about that another day. Today, Frances Ha got me to write.
I did want to share that I watched four movies today – Little Miss Sunshine (2006), Mayurakshi (2017), Due Date (2010), and Frances Ha (2012). I have nothing more to add to that. I will get back later. It’s 3:07 am now. I want to finish a half cigarette on my balcony before going back to bed. Why half a cigarette? Well, these are the days. Maybe one day I can tell you more about that once I know more. See you soon!