I've been keeping a journal more or less consistently for about fourteen years, filling pages with sloppy, self-pitying navel gazing since my sophomore year in college. There's some pretty sad bullshit in the ever-growing stack of journals I've been trundling around over the years. The following entry from Valentine's Day this year is pretty representative of the type of crap I've been reducing to writing since 1993 (I suspect the general themes will sound familiar to longtime Octopus readers):
I need to sleep. I need to finish all sorts of things. I need to do a ton of work. I don't have enough energy. I don't have enough time. Why aren't I more committed? Why am I so lazy? Why do I waste so much time? Can't I get anything done?I'm sure I could find a nearly identical entry from ten years ago somewhere in my stack. Now I need to go to sleep.
It's amazing how consistent my entries are over the years. I trundle along, bearing the same burden, through all my time. I'm always behind, always messing up, always too lazy and sloppy. Still, I ooze along, losing things, forgetting things, getting by.
I'm writing this now in bed, quickly and lazily, thinking about how this will look sloppy when I come across this entry weeks, months, or years later. In doing that, I am imagining how a later version of me, layered and modified by presently unknown experiences will view this, which is similar to imagining how someone else may view this. A journal [is] written for one's self, of course, for later versions of one's self, although the current self writing is always controlled by the imagined presence of future selves -- our own imagined audience of our self at a later date[;] in writing and addressing that future self, I am, to some degree, currently constructing that future self, and it is constituting me to some degree. It's a dialectic of fictional entities interacting and producing each other . . . . I bother to make this legible so that it may be read in the future. Still, I get pleasure from simply writing. . . .
Mr. Deep. That's what [Mrs. Octopus] just called me. Mr. Deep. . . . Now I need to go to sleep.