Hello, world, I’m back from my unanticipated hiatus – and I want you to know (because I’m still under the delusion that you people come back to this page every hour to check if I’m posted…) that my absence does not mean that I’ve given up, even in the slightest way. In fact, I’ve decided to grab life firmly by the balls (sorry, mom…) and go for a ride – and in the short weeks I’ve been absent, I’ve started writing my first novel, decided to apply to MFA programs, experienced several life-changing revelations, had an innumerable series of anxiety-filled AMIACTUALLYDOINGTHIS nights, and broken my days into carefully planned, to-the-hour chunks of time, all to accomplish my feverishly-sought-out dream.
I wrote down (with a Sharpie, which somehow seems exponentially more permanent than a pen, maybe because the former comes with a pungent odor) what I must do every hour of every day to: write an exemplary portfolio to impress any MFA program, go to work, exercise, eat, relax, and still have a reasonable amount of sleep. The fact that I had to schedule time to eat demonstrates the ridiculous ferocity of my need to have my cake and eat it to.
I want all of the triangle, damn it.
Where did this renewed determination come from?
1. It all started from some back pain. Not the little ooh I probably shouldn’t sleep in that angle anymore kind, the holy shit moving a millimeter makes me almost blackout kind. As a person who diligently avoids going to the doctor, I suffered for several days (absolutely my fault) before discovering from a delightfully pleasant M.D. that I’d pulled several muscles, pinched a nerve, was having some muscle spasms, and needed a shot of Ibuprofen-on-steriods right into my lower back (read: ass) to combat all of it so that I could actually get some sleep.
Because I’d moved from a relatively active life style to sitting for 8+ hours a day. I’d gone all responsible, acquired a job, and with it some seriously debilitating, absolutely unnecessary health problems. Needless to say, it was infuriating. Apart from wishing I’d hurt my back because of something more dignified – like skydiving, for instance – I was furious at myself for slowly settling into a life and a job that was only ever meant to help me write. I realized that I had been waiting – as if all you have to do is sit around and what you’re searching for, hoping for, will smack you in face like where’ve you been all my life?! without you ever twitching a finger.
So, turns out that’s not true. Which brings us to:
2. No one else really cares. And even if they do, their “caring” isn’t going to make it happen. The people who love you want you to be happy, but it’s not their dream. They’ll pick you up when you fall, but they cannot keep you standing. It doesn’t matter how much praise they give you, or how many times they read your blog – they cannot hold your pen and fill your pages with words. (Or if they do, and you take the credit, well that’s illegal, my friend.)
To be a dreamer, like any ring-bearer will tell you, is to be alone*.
Not in a depressing, woe-is-me kind of way – in a if you don’t find a way, no one will kind of way**.
What that left me with was a burning need to write, to live the way I want to, to get that life that I’ve been dreaming of for years.
So, this is me, taking it. Writing, and writing, and hating my writing, and loving my writing, but always writing.
Let me tell you: dissatisfaction with the current state of your life is an incredible motivator. It’s also left me with no regrets: I’ve never written so regularly and happily before. I have taken myself and my writing rather more seriouslyin the past few weeks than I ever have. And the few hours I set aside every day to write give me a bubble of happiness that gets me through all the rest of my week.
Which is all to say, I’m sorry to have been gone so long, but I’m also not sorry at all.
May all the dreaming grapes never become raisins in the sun.
* I should really stop quoting Lord of the Rings.
** But what can I say – the quotes, they just keep coming to me.