Just beneath the surface of normal


I know. It’s the same as my first post. But it’s pointy enough to double as an About page, so if you’ve already read “A Very Good Place to Start” you can pretty much just click away and save yourself a bunch of time and irritation. You’re welcome. —

Except now that I have actual readers, I should probably say something about me in the third person first: Maya Cook grew up in central Missouri but has spent the last 12 years in Lindenwold, New Jersey, where she lives with her patient and amusing husband Jim, smart and alarmingly mature teenage daughter Corinne, and a cat named Annie who would like her to understand that being human does NOT automatically grant one the status of Dominant Female in this house. She (Maya, not Annie) is spending 2013 pursuing a career in writing after failed careers in massage therapy, education, and office administration. If it is possible to have a career in being ridiculous, this one might just stick.

Now, back to self-plagiarizing:

So it may or may not be obvious that my blog title is a play on the word “self-actualization.” I’m not vain (or confident) enough to pretend that I’ve achieved anything like it, and the Great Gooracle doesn’t retrieve any good words for “aiming for self-actualization” so I went with wordplay. Not my best work, to be honest (got a better idea? let me know), but it’ll do. An aphorism is:

1. A tersely phrased statement of a truth or opinion; an adage.
2. A brief statement of a principle.

I can get behind that. Every time I sort out a new piece of myself, I find myself slapping my forehead and going, “holy shit, dude, that’s actually true!” Less so with the “beer then liquor” (or is it “liquor then beer”? Damn. See, this is why I can’t drink), but totally so with things like “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Which totally sucks because I really like sleeping until noon. Especially in the winter. But when I drag my sorry ass out of bed early and get some light therapy and start doing things, my whole day is different. Fuck you, Ben Franklin. You probably just meant, “I’d better get my sorry ass out of my mistress’ bed and back home before the wife wakes up or she will beat it to a bloody pulp.” Most wise men were actually a total mess. So that’s one thing I’ve got going for me, anyway.

So this blog is a few things: my entry back into a consistent writing practice and the concomitant building up of the calluses needed to be read by an audience of potentially hostile strangers; my musings on growing up, which appears to finally be happening in my late thirties thanks to seven years of funding my therapist’s amazing vacations; satisfying my occasional desire to be annoyingly self-righteous about shit I’ve already worked through in therapy that other people haven’t in such a way that if you’re like “self-actualized? More like self-ass-you-alized” you can just click away without worrying about seeming rude. But seriously, you need to work on your wordplay. And obviously I need to work on tightening my sentence structure. So we both win! Or lose? I’m not sure. See above about clicking away quietly.

Sometimes I take myself way too seriously. I try not to, but if you come here often I inevitably will. Please do me a favor and comment something like “balls!” when I do that about my personal growth. Because nothing good ever comes from taking yourself too seriously about growth. Remind me to share my therapist’s anecdote, Rule Number Three.

That said, I have a very serious side, and I will probably indulge in it here. I like to talk about geeky topics like organizational dynamics and history and science and cult sci-fi television. You may be the person who comes here for that. You may be the person who comes here for the navel-gazing. If you’re here for both, why the hell aren’t we friends?

I also totally love giving advice, because it’s way easier to solve other people’s problems than your own. I kind of secretly hope that people will write me and ask me for advice so that I can pontificate, because some people knit, or scrapbook, or work on old cars; I like tell people what they should do. I guess that’s not a secret anymore. Unless no one is reading. Or knows me at all.

Thanks for joining me. I hope I don’t bail on this in a week when I don’t have much to say and am crippled with anxiety over the judgment of my character by total strangers.

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