Part Two: Too Much/Not Enough

There is too much world for one person.

There is too much to experience, and I’m interested in so much of it. I have tried to learn so many languages, and I still want to learn so many more. I play piano and bass clarinet, but haven’t played either in years. I’ve attempted to learn the violin (as a child) and the guitar (in high school, college, and college again), but never succeeded with either. I still want to learn them, and the cello, and now the drums, too. I want to have somewhere to play them.

I want to learn ballet, which would be difficult even for an adult who’s in much better shape than I am, but I still want to. I want to someday finish the scarf I started knitting last year, the year I was determined to finally learn to knit after my childhood and college attempts all failed. I want to learn kung fu, coding, painting and drawing. I want to study music theory and art history and world literature and philosophy.

I want to understand chemistry, geology, physics, astronomy, biology, and all the advanced math I don’t even know well enough to know what it does. I want to look at statistics and scientific studies and know for myself what they mean, without the sometimes gargantuan effort it requires now.

I like trivia games and geography quizzes. I memorize the periodic table of elements every so often, because I don’t actually use chemistry in my life so I forget after a few months. There’s a wall in my dining room that’s half mirror, where I’ve written in dry erase marker, alongside Japanese hiragana and katakana, the names of the four newest elements (because if it took me that long to remember ununtrium, ununpentium, ununseptium, and ununoctium, it’s going to take me a while to unlearn them too). I have my favorite geography and trivia websites bookmarked in my browser.

I want to read extensively in dozens of genres, books by Indigenous authors around the world, black American authors, African authors (already this too-broad generalization makes my point; I don’t want to read African authors, I want to read Nigerian, Ghanian, Kenyan, Ethiopian authors—authors, not just one of each). I want to read books in translation, books by women in translation, books by queer, Indigenous, disabled women in translation. I want to read books written in, and set in, every country in the world.

I want to travel the world, not just visiting places, but living there. I want to know every country.

I can’t even write a comprehensive list of all the things I actively want to learn; that’s how too much there is. I’m constantly overwhelmed by the knowledge that I am, right this minute, missing out on so much I would love to do or read or watch or see if only I knew about it, and could get there.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jan Hicks says:

    Yes, there is too much world and not enough time. Also, I want to ask – are you okay? The internet isn’t good for nuance.


  2. Miri says:

    It isn’t, and thank you for checking, Jan. I’m okay in the sense that my immediate survival is not in question, I have a job and somewhere to live. My anxiety is a bit much right now, and I’ll be honest, I am struggling with that.


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