Do you ever feel like there's a disconnect between the person you want to be and the steps you take to get there?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I guess that's a pretty heavy question. What I basically mean is, how much are any of us doing to really get what we want out of our lives? I so commend people who are "following their dreams" because it's so much harder than it sounds. Since I was six, I've kept a journal. I chose "writer" as my dream job in my 5th grade yearbook. I've always had this identity of being a "writer," but now I'm here, now I'm graduated from college with this gorgeous open expanse ahead of me and I'm not writing. I sit down for thirty minutes with an essay in front of me and I write another paragraph or two, and then I give up, I fold my laundry instead and watch an episode of "Arrested Development."

Writing is rejection, and struggle, and self-deprecation. It's sitting in front of your blank page or blank Word document and feeling as if that blank page symbolizes all your past and future failures, your complete lack of productivity and fruitfulness and intelligence. But I guess it's also running up the hill to your house and suddenly realizing how gorgeous the silence sounds, or how funny dogs looks jumping up against invisible fences, and racing back to your desk to write about it. And maybe, when you begin to write, you find yourself coming to some new idea that you'd never considered, or suddenly you come up with a crazy awesome metaphor or brilliant line break. And then maybe the next line you write is total shit and you lose steam and decide you need more coffee....but you still have one crazy awesome metaphor.

Come to think of it, I don't think writing is so much about the goal. The finished product is over-rated. Maybe one day I'll try to write a book or a few great poems. Maybe I'll find another job entirely in the meantime. "Writing is discovery," I think that quote is. I think that applies more than writing. Living is discovery. Kundera writes in "Unbearable Lightness": "We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come." And: "Man, because he has only one life to live, cannot conduct experiments to test whether to follow his passion or not."

It's daunting that our one life is the real thing (if you believe it's the only one), the final performance without any rehearsals. In that case, why not conduct the experiment? It's better than never knowing what will happen if you don't.


JLLAMA said...

I like this.

When are we writing this novel, don't think you're off the hook!

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