So Insecure

To begin my entry I’m going to mention that I have completed another goal from my 101 in 1001. Ryan took it upon himself to read my goals and upon returning from away on AIM he told me that he wants to make a list as well. I’m glad to have inspired him to make his life just that much better. I’m also glad to have him back in my life, so to speak. He’s finished with school and he’s finally online! Honestly, it felt like we hadn’t spoken for half a year. Ryan makes me happy. ♥

Yesterday I started reading Kay Redfield Jamison’s memoir An Unquiet Mind. I’m more than halfway done already, and I have mixed feelings about the “quality” of the book. The beginning feels much too rushed. It’s like she’s quickly summarizing bits and pieces of her childhood through her college years. I was particularly interested in her life while attending UCLA, yet she mentioned but fragments of those years. Jamison introduces struggles such as failing many classes, not being able to attend lectures due to depression and in the next paragraph she’s married and planning to attend grad school. I fail to see how she got through it… and it honestly sounds more like she started during her adolescence so she feels obligated to continue in a linear timeline (but often fails).

Perhaps it’s because I’m in college right now that I add weight to the importance of that time period, and I’m just a lot more curious. I definitely wanted more from the beginning of the memoir. Mm, but at times she gives too much… ironically enough… but not about the things I want to read. She’s much too descriptive! If it were a regular novel, suuuure I’d care what color their robes were, but for a memoir I couldn’t care less. If Jamison suffers from bipolar disorder, I figure she’d discuss more of her emotional states, but when she does, they’re completely separate from the “story” and it’s italicized. Should not the emotions be part of the story and not added in here and there?

There’s also the problem with the fact that she’s written this much too long after having experienced it. A lot of it sounds so distant, like she can’t really relate to the pain she felt way back when. Some of this does take place in the 70s mind you, so it’s pointless to blame the memory of an aging adult. Honestly though, some bits seem too forced, like she’s trying to emulate that emotion from long ago, which really doesn’t make me empathize with her at all.

Eh, but I still like the memoir. Especially towards the middle, it gets much more interesting and the memories are a lot more poignant. Everything is suddenly much more exciting and I can feel the enthusiasm Jamison must have felt writing it; the prose just gets better. And my favorite part is that often I find myself nodding and agreeing all while dying inside that yes, I feel that way, too.

Hopefully I will be able to finish this tonight depending on the amount of time I have and level of energy after spending some time with my bestie Rona.

Some days I wonder if my life will ever be worth writing about.

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2 Comments

  1. I adore reading but I’ve never been a fan of memoirs – I don’t care that much about people (generally I’d associate the word ‘hate’ with them, lol) and I just can’t stand to read about their lives from their perspectives. Granted, there are exceptions – Hunter S. Thompson, Naoko Takeuchi, Molly Tak, etc. – but generally people don’t interest me. I think it’s because I’d rather be cutting my own face off with a box cutter than listening to/reading about someone talk about their own lives. Le sigh.

    I *love* the idea of 101 in 1001, very inspiring!

    Faith’s last blog post..Waging War on Christmas

  2. Hum, that sounds a lot like Prozac Nation. The author went to–I think it was Harvard–and suffered from bipolar disorder. You might want to check it out, she goes into detail, but it doesn’t really drown you in useless information and it was a very interesting read in my opinion.

    Justin’s last blog post..The Fair!

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