I hate outlining.
And by outlining I mean the purposeless process of putting your intended delivery of thoughts and ideas on paper…prior to delivering said thoughts and ideas.
Basically, I just find it counterproductive to the creative process (…I don’t have a creative process).
Even more basically, my ability to commit to a final idea prior to writing my first one is what I consider impossible. I don’t even like that word. But I will use it.
Because I wanna.
I remember in grade/high school when an outline of your 5-paragraph essay was a mandatory perfunctory (did I use that in the right context?) contribution to your final grade.
Because I believed heavily in passing grades, I would write my entire essay. Then, quietly, I would move back through the scattered thoughts and pick out the highlights. It was like taking notes, but more pointless.
I would then take those little gleaming gems, stick them in some indented, bulleted, nonsense, formal, OSHA approved (<—- joke) Outline Format and submit them atop my essay.
My. Teachers. Were. Thrilled.
“Look how diligently (they never used that word) you followed this outline!”
Truth be told (and we’re all about that around here), I’ve been lying about my consistency as a thoughtful human for as long as I can remember.
Teachers used to take off points for not following your outline to the bitter end. I couldn’t do it. In my opinion, if you could get to the end of your outline thinking the same things you did at the beginning, you were never thinking enough to begin with.
So goes life.
Recently, in multiple conversations with a being who is to remain unnamed, the concept of an outline on the medial (pffft) scale of life-happenings has come up.
Of course I stood there indignant-like and proclaimed the nonexistence of my life outline.
But, I suppose to some extent, it exists.
You see, it’s hard to be a female.
No. I don’t mean in the traditional, I-have-hormones-heed-my-wrath kind of way (though, this is an arguably valid condition).
Moreso that at some point in our lives, we women are shipped off (probably in droves (we bask in the glorious-ness of solidarity)) to a giant warehouse in the wilderness where our minds are reconfigured and destroyed.
I know, I know. This is a lot to take in. Just bear with me.
Basically, we are (semi-voluntarily) force (did I discredit the word “force” when I wrote semi-voluntarily? (I’m sorry there are so many parenthesis (this is how my mind works)))-fed Cosmopolitan magazine, social media, and David Tutera (http://davidtutera.com/) for days on end until we turn into manic-depressants with Pinterest addictions.
It’s that serious.
In the vast exposure of public happenings and shiny things, we unknowingly doodle out and commit to our outlines.
We don’t just commit, we grab hold with both hands and climb inside of them. Our perception of the to-be turns into a recklessly unpredictable casualty-taker of entitlement.
Okay, maybe it’s not that bad (but maybe it is!).
Over the period of a few years, my Facebook news feed has blossomed into a marriage proposing, baby conceiving, house buying, diamond wielding conglomerate of nonsense.
Don’t get me wrong. I love it. I love to watch the progression of life and love and the cultivation of awesome. It makes my heart happy.
However, for some, it doesn’t wash out like that.
::Side Note or Disclaimer or Whatever Will Make You Happiest: I am not, by any means, saying that I’ve never felt any of the below things in these situations::
We’re going to go ahead and take a lingering look at The Seven Deadly Sins…mostly because staying on the path of normal-people talk just doesn’t seem so enticing to me today.
And then we’re going to realize that Social Media and Pop Culture are heavily involved in the dispensation and cultivation of life unhappiness among women in their 20’s (and probably beyond (I’ve only asked myself about this so generalizing is off the table for today)).
I know, I know, just…I’m sorry. Okay?
Below are the explanations of the Deadly Seven. I know for factoids that most, if not all, of these things resonate in people while and after observing the nonsense of social media and popular culture.
Pride: Under my consideration, pride is the inability to look objectively at yourself and your situation. We constantly want to make comparisons to people outside of our bubble and wonder consciously and constantly on why oh why what they have is better than what we have.
Greed: To me, greed is doing on behalf of yourself instead of on behalf of others. You are looking for a favorable outcome for yourself by doing something seemingly somewhat profitable for another.
Envy: This is probably the most applicable in the arena we’re visiting. Envy is resenting the good others have received or have the potential of receiving. It hangs out right in the same playground and sandbox as pride, and it.is.ugly.
Anger: Do we really need to go into this one? Tell me you’ve never been angered by something that happened over social media (my mind is swimming in examples that I shall keep to myself).
Lust: I don’t care if it’s Oreo cake balls or my boyfriend. Lust is synonymous with social media. It’s what keeps our “needs” alive and our wants unfulfilled.
Gluttony: I’m sure we’ve all had days when Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, and other media nonsense has been multiple-tabbed out on our browsers (is that just me? (I never claimed perfection (stop judging me))).
Sloth: In my mind, this word walks hand in hand with complacency. Social media creates in us a hole that is incapable of being fulfilled. It can never be fulfilled because there is always access to a newly created need. So, what do we do? We settle back on our haunches, accept what we do have, and then enlist in all of the above as we watch others consume not more, but different situations than we find our own selves inside of.
Social media reminds me of those giant maps in malls with the big shiny star that says “You are Here.” And then you trace with your eyes the path you will take to get to where you “want” to be.
After you see that destination, you make a bee-line for it, completely disregarding every other shop or installation along the way. And then you’re there and they don’t even have your size.
But you’ll still check yourself in on Facebook and proclaim it the best shopping experience ever, won’t you? You might even buy it in a size too small just to say you have it.
It’s what we do. We sensationalize. And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you don’t get lost in it. We all like to read really good fiction sometimes.
If at the end of the day you can differentiate between what you have, what you want, and the realistic and honest nature of those things in combination, I’d say you’re ahead of the game.
Don’t stick the nonsensical on your outline. You get one of them.
Sometimes (always) it’s better to live it and explore it and think it wholly through.
Who would really know the difference if you went through afterward and proclaimed that it was your plan all along, anyway?
Just some…you know…random thoughts.