As a perpetual worrier/perfectionist/Analytical, I've never been good at grand leaps of faith. Everything must be calculated; reason must prevail.
But here's the rub---you never can calculate life. Your greatest desires and whims are not quantifiable, nor is it always worthwhile to agonize over whether something is the right choice for you or not. Sometimes, your natural instinct will guide you, blaring like a car alarm in the middle of a parking garage. BEEP, BEEP! This is your way.
And the hardest part to navigate is not the fact that your instinct exists and shouts at you---it's your own ability (or inability) to listen to that part of yourself that is so true, so omniscient of exactly what you want and you deserve and, perhaps most importantly, what you can handle---that's the tricky part.
The point of preaching about all of this nonsense is simply to say this: I've had the car alarm screeching at me this week, and I can't ignore it anymore.
An opportunity suddenly arrived that seemed absolutely perfect. I wanted/thought I needed to accomplish this to be successful, and it arrived to me perfectly planned and ready to go. Everything seemed far too easy. And just as I was effectively (and metaphorically) about to sign on that dotted line, my senses kicked in and told me that this wasn't right for me right now. It didn't negate my desires, but rather my gut said, "Hey now, I know this is pretty excellent, but can you chill for a second and think about what you're doing? You're moving a little too fast for my liking." (Side note: thanks, Gut, for always kicking in at exactly the right time.)
In that hour, the logical (and admittedly more familiar) part of my brain kicked in and re-evaluated the scenario. Was it still perfect? Yes. Would I still like to add this experience to my list of accomplishments someday? Absolutely...but did I make the right decision? Without a doubt.
Again, I digress. My point is, when you get too excited and don't consider all the sides, your ambition interferes with your ability to think rationally. Excitement overtakes thought. The glitter of a new opportunity sometimes clouds pieces of your life previously kept in focus. And in those moments, I need to pause, take a deep breath, and repeat a great and succinct mantra to myself---
"You can do anything, but you can't do everything."
Above photo is property of Victoria Harris
Gertrude Stein once told Hemingway, "You should only read what is truly good or what is frankly bad."
I'm hoping that this blog will provide the former; but if not, we'll work through it together. Your patience is appreciated.
I've known since I was a small child that I wanted to be a writer. All kids walk around crafting elaborate stories and scenarios in their heads, but I think few actually walk around narrating their every move. I've been a walking screenplay since I was old enough to speak.
For the sake of your time, we'll skip most of the years between there and now. I was lucky enough to have two incredibly supportive parents who encouraged every bad poem and story that was a blatant ripoff of whatever movie I just watched. I had an old Apple computer filled with one-page novels and their carefully plotted covers. And when that budding little Louisa May Alcott grew up, I went to study English, drink like Hemingway, and become the next big thing. And for a while, I did pretty well. I was fairly prolific, writing a poem or three after returning from class at the end of the day and churning out a short story on the weekends. I submitted these scribblings to many places; several were published, but countless more were not (Truth of Writing #1: not everyone thinks you're as great as you do). After three short years, I graduated, ready to take on the world one piece at a time.
But life happened. Despite all of my bohemian expectations and dreams, I ended up at a cubicle for several years, and then a slightly larger cubicle. I was not fulfilling "my life's work," but bills needed paying. I squeezed in freelance editing jobs here and there, but lacked the creative energy left at the end of the day to write anything. (This feeling persists every once in a while...sometimes sweatpants and reality TV are all I can muster.)
In the last few years, I've managed to become a full-time Editor---a goal that at my age, I am so grateful to accomplish. Now, it is time to reignite my love and passion for writing, which I've ignored far too long.
This post is the beginning of my ode to which I have lost---my dear friend---the written word. Join me, will you? I'll try my best to make it worth your while.
Writer, editor, and storyteller living in the Twin Cities.