Withdrawing From The World

I used to think that the best job in the world would be as a filing clerk. I didn’t know what a real filing clerk did, but in my mind I used to imagine being in a room full of bookshelves and filing cabinets where I spent the day organizing information and storing it. In Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Hostile Hospital the Library of Records described there was very close to what I used to imagine.

In school I used to enjoy the researching part of research papers (not so much the writing of them). Going into the library and looking through the card catalog, microfiche, periodicals, and books was my kind of fun. I used to imagine reordering everything so that relevant information could be found in one place, and be more accessible. I always thought it would be great if I could spend my time researching, but I never really thought much about what would come after.

Even as an adult once I got a job one of my favorite tasks to be assigned was the filing. I used to volunteer to file for others just so I could stay in the filing closet a little longer. If I noticed a pile of papers to be filed sitting on the cabinet, I managed to find time to file. I was the filing fairy. I always wanted to figure out a better system or be paid to do nothing but file.

Among my coping methods in life, organizing and filing are some of my favorites; they go well with my writing and reading obsessions. When the world is too stressful to face, and I just need a break to collect myself I turn to the clutter on my desk. I even invent things to research from time to time. I have probably enough miscellaneous research notes to write several unofficial manuals or guides to my favorite book/movie franchises, possibly even some folk lore and mythology anthologies.

But one cannot love family and friends and stay withdrawn. The world must be faced, stress managed. Fortunately, it tends to be a little easier with an organized library.

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