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Sunday, July 13, 2008

I don't think I'm ever gonna figure it out

My weekend description could kindof start out, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Some of it isn't bloggable for various reasons, but there were some very high highs and some very low lows. It's Sunday night and there are still a few things I have to finish, like my SXSW Interactive panel picker submissions. I owe a huge debt of thanks to Desiree, who took me all the way out to Queens yesterday to visit Spa World. I had no idea what wondrousness awaited me!

Anyway, Starbucks is closing soon and I don't want to dwell on this, but just had a few thoughts to share. Last weekend, I watched this movie Georgia Rule, starring Jane Fonda as Lindsay Lohan's grandmother. The mom is a total drunk, the stepfather is (probably) molesting Lindsay, and she goes to live with her grandmother. There was a lot of messiness all around in the film, but at one point there was a song I'd never heard before. "That sounds like Elliott Smith," I thought. And it was, a b-side called "I Don't Think I'm Ever Gonna Figure It Out."

it's like some wild last frontier
you never know what kind of fight's gonna appear
that once begun can't be won
started out losing already and go all ten rounds
i don't think i'm ever gonna figure it out


I've been thinking about it ever since I heard it, because it's classic Elliot. And because, well, Elliott never did "figure it out." He died, and whether you think there was foul play involved or not, clearly the man had issues. Mary Lou Lord wrote a song she always says was inspired by Jimi Hendrix, but could just as easily been inspired by Elliott, called "Stars Burn Out," which also addresses the same thing. At the end of the day, I don't know if anyone actually has it all figured out. Some people fake it really well, and others look for ways to absolve themselves from ever trying to figure it out. And other people really humbly accept that they may never have all the answers, and don't strive for perfection, but instead, just try. Try to live and survive and make mistakes and learn from them. Try not to hurt the people they care about. Try to be as good as they can be.

My friend Felicia Sullivan asked on her blog recently, "when did being drunk become a badge of honor?" Indeed.

I got another message from my stalker, basically apologizing for his many calls, saying he'd been drunk when he made them and was looking to "connect." The thing is--and I so don't want to make this about him, because it's about that statement and a million others--that of course we'd all love to do really stupid things and blame it on alcohol or drugs or someone else or whatever. I've been there, plenty of times. I still wish I were there sometimes, because I make really dumb mistakes and have no one else to blame them on but myself. Sometimes I even realize I'm making them as I'm making them, but the momentary high of whatever dumb thing I want to do weighs out. So it's not in a million years that I don't get it. But it's not and never will be an excuse. It's you, on alcohol, or whatever, not the alcohol itself.

So Starbucks is closing, like, now, and I have to get to work. This may be incomplete, and I may not have much of anything figured out, but I'm glad that at least I can own that, and, for the most part, accept that. It's not easy in any way, but it's real, and it's life, and I'm trying to get back to focusing a little more on me and what I need to be doing to get my life the way I want it.

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