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Esquire once named Jeremy Piven "the best-dressed man in Hollywood."
He said he lets the shopgirls buy his clothes.

That always stayed with me. I am not going to tell the woodchopper how to chop wood.
What do I know about wood? If I had the chops, I wouldn't have to rent them.

BUT.
And there is a big, old, gothopotamus Butt, here...
That trust comes with the caveat that they are working in your interest.
Asking the eyeglass receptionist for suggestions is not the same thing as a salesperson trying to convince you that you need a suit.

Do you need a suit?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Is YOUR personal interest that person's primary interest?
Or is it money? Or their personal gain? There are virtually limitless primary interests that are not in YOUR self-interest...Which isn't to say that your self-interest can't be a close second. It is complicated.

I am glad you've stayed with me through the foreplay.

Writing on a daily basis changes the way you think and process ideas.
I empty my mind onto the page, like emptying a suitcase stuffed after I woke up late for my flight.
Of course I have a vague idea of what's in the suitcase. I packed these outfits and...oh, is that a washcloth? Did I steal a washcloth? Oh, right; I bought a magnet. There's that card from that restaurant. I brought all these mini-toiletries and forgot I had them. Oh my god. Did you keep the bagged coffee prep items? Like what, you're going to be stranded in the desert and need powdered creamer?

You forget. You cannot keep track of it all. When you dump your mind onto the page, you rediscover all the pieces and you can organize them in a way that makes sense to you.

That is the most important part of my day-to-day that I lost when I lost Livejournal.
My brain became something of a constantly-overstuffed purse.
I forgot the details, the minutia, the very things that make us who we are. I forgot the funny things I said. I forgot the little things that pissed me off and moved me. Life became a series of obligations - rent, food-shopping, and laundry. As the months wore on, the grey haze slipped to an emotional coma. I don't remember the most important thing on my mind on November 21st. On October 21st. On September 21st. I don't remember. For all intents and purposes, it is lost, forever.

That is not the end. Oh no. Hell is a shit cake with many layers.
Now, you wander the world like a blind man. You are not yourself. You do not recognize yourself. You do not feel like yourself, do not recognize your face in the mirror, do not sing the same music in your head, your body is alien, the world is different.
Because you altered the way you processed information and then cut off that process. However unintentionally, you disengaged your senses.

"What's wrong with you?" people ask, observing that something is wrong but lacking the wisdom to comprehend the problem.
I've always equated this to the way people understand "a bad musical note" or "bad grammar," with no real technical comprehension. It just "feels" wrong and usually leads to a series of uninformed and absurd hypotheses. I imagine this is how the Greeks ended up with "all the gods live up there on that hill. Yeah, 1 Olympus Avenue."
Did you see what I did there? :)

You don't know what's wrong. Your brain is too constipated to think.
Go ahead. Say the "c" word. Crazy? Or is Asperger's the new "Crazy Bitch?"

You were not crazy, then. You are not crazy, now. Your whole blogging social network did not simultaneously "go crazy" because of some global change in the water.

I am not saying mental problems do not exist.
I am saying that "we are hopelessly fucked" is not an answer.
I am saying that I used to pass out copies of Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet," and in that, Rilke told a young man that, in the quietude of his night, he should ask himself what he would die if he could not do, and if that thing is "writing," then be a writer, but if it is "painting," then be a painter (et cetera).
We all said "writing" was the thing that we would die if we were forced to live without it.
Then we stopped writing...and did not credit an overall personal deterioration to sacrificing the one thing we said we could not live without - and that's what surprises me.

Letting a person who does not understand "what writing is to a writer" diagnose "a writer who is not writing" with "something is wrong with them" is like letting a man tell a person who keeps a Great Dane in a studio apartment that "something is wrong with his dog."
The dog doesn't need training or medication. The dog needs to be allowed to be a goddamned Great Dane.

You don't have to be adaptable to every environment. Some environments can be hostile and unsupportive. You do have to seek out what works for you and, if a place or an activity is not working toward your self-interest, then move.
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