25 April 2016

Life's a Book

As an English major at Muhlenberg College, I used "The Method" as a way to break down and understand literature. We were taught by our professors (who happened to write a book on it) to look for repetitions, strands, and contrasts in the text - to notice something, focus on it, and then notice it again in perhaps a different light. The goal of The Method is to train readers and writers to think analytically, a skill that was not limited to English Studies but applied across disciplines. Religion, Philosophy, Sociology, Biology - the key to my liberal arts education was knowing how to approach texts, think about them, and write about them.

When I graduated college, moved back home, and desperately searched for jobs and meaning in life, I found myself floundering, lost, and confused. For months I trolled job listing websites, and wrote endless lists on endless topics: where to move, what to do, dream jobs, realistic jobs, jobs that would suck in the mean time but lead to other jobs, how to land a rich husband and not need a job, etc. I was searching for the perfect thing - for my calling - which led me to really getting nowhere. "Excessive perfectionism metastasizes into chronic procrastination" says Lera Auerbach in Excess of Being, and in a way that was true.