[B]eing on my own again, I felt no purity; just confusion in the void. My options once had clear value, which I could discern like a hand telling rough from smooth. Now the signs grew more obscure. It was not enough to read them once. I would consult them again and again to try and decide the best direction, which would lead me down a path to an end I could admire.
Since I could always undo what I had done and travel backward along the wrong road, then head again down the good one, I was always second-guessing myself, always changing my mind. Destiny was like an opaque, demanding, poorly communicative parent, and I was its child, every trying to please it, to figure out what it wanted from me. I tried to read its face for clues to discern what it needed, how it wanted me to behave. In all of this, there was one overarching question that never left my side, an ongoing task that could never be called complete, though I hoped one day it would be: What was the right way to react to people? Who was I to talk to at parties? How was I to be?
But in answer to this, the universe gave me no sure signs. That didn’t prevent me from looking, anyway, or from believing an answer was out there. It was, in a sense, how I spent all my time, for how else could I make the universe love me? If I didn’t know how to be, I would surely lose all its favours, its protection — as if the universe could delight in me for being a certain way.excerpt from: How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
(Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2010)
Act I/Chapter 4/p. 40-1
Things to worry about:
Worry about courage
Worry about cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Things not to worry about:
Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions
Things to think about:
What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?
With dearest love,
(Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters)