Being a writer is like being a musical composer. All of these words exist – they existed before you even knew them – in the same way that musical notes exist. You cannot believe that you’ve ever truly created anything new. All you’ve done is arrange the words together so that your chord can be heard.
Most of the time when I write, I use “Notepad” because “MS Word” feels like a setup for expectation and disappointment. “Notepad” is much more humble and doesn’t stare back at me, asking, “So what are you gonna write this time, genius? Or did you even decide on a font yet?”
When I was a little kid, I thought a lot, like I do now. (Only children seem to do so, I hear.) When I thought of loves and lovers, I always thought to myself that I would go one of two ways: I would find a love and I would spend the rest of my life with him; or I would be the next Elizabeth Taylor.
I obviously chose the latter route, and while I’ve not been married more than once, I have loved many men in my life. Looking back, I don’t see this as a negative thing; rather, I feel like in each and every instance, I’ve truly experienced something amazing. After breakups or divorces or the fading aways, I have often tried to make sense of love. Was it love? Or was it a blatant error of judgment?
I’ve come to realize that it was love. And that the blatant errors also existed as well.
The difference in my life today is that as I sit here I can say with all of my soul that I’m finally in love with the person I should be. I’ve finally met my match—the one who I cannot play the old tricks on because they’re called out. The one that I’ll never stay mad at for long. The one that would never hurt me. The one that will laugh at me while I’m sobbing on a mountaintop because I can’t figure out how to make coffee in the wild. The one that challenges me to resist my old ways of thinking and to try something new. The one that I long for when he’s only in the other room. Watching a television show on guns or Alaska or something I find equally irrelevant, although I’m always on my toes, trying to figure him out.
I’m thankful for that. And even if I wish I could go back to myself as a child and explain that everything does not have to be black and white, I’m not sad that the little kid chose the paths that she chose. Because they all led me here. Every happy and unhappy moment of my past has led me here: to being a woman I’d have never expected I would become. A truly happy person. In love with another truly happy person.
I started this blog because I have a propensity for not finishing things, and, well–blogs are a fortunate outlet because they never really finish. I write full-time from home, but it’s not the kind of writing that gives me creative satisfaction. My “day job,” if you will, is that of writing lesson plans for high school and college teachers based on literature. Essentially, I summarize books that other people don’t have time to (or want to) read, then lay out a 30-day lesson plan based on them. It’s a great job, in that I have worked for 3 years in my bathrobe sitting in my home office and petting my dog. The things it lacks are financial stability (I’m a freelancer with a contract, but I still get no benefits and I only get paid for what I put in) and the fact that I probably work 60+ hours a week for what most people get for 40 or less. I rarely dwell on the negatives, though, because I really appreciate the positives of being able to live wherever I want (as long as there’s an internet connection and electricity) and that whole bathrobe thing.
One of the bigger negatives, though, is that I have stopped writing for my own pleasure, more or less. After spending 12 hours in a day typing a summary for The Winds of War or A Streetcar Named Desire, my own writing feels like crap, if I even bother to make the effort. And I rarely do, these days. Which for me, feels a little sad because I once wrote my own words, poetry, thoughts, and short stories tirelessly on a daily basis. I kept journals since I was 12, and I have a closet full of them–more than 30 or so–all piled up in my grandmother’s closet back home in the South. After I stopped writing in journals, I started typing in blogs. I had several of them that were my outlet as I struggled through grad school and the tribulations of living in New York.
Partly, I wonder if the reason I stopped writing is because I’m happier in my life now. I’ve always found writing to be a nullification or justification for pain in the past. When I’ve been more or less satisfied with my surroundings and circumstances, I haven’t needed that outlet as much. But, as I feel I’m lacking something without it, here I am.
I’m dedicating this blog to all of the half-assed, half-started, half-meaningless stuff that I think of or that I write late at night when the creative goblin inside me midnight-binges at the computer in the hopes of finding meaning in my own words. I hope you enjoy it. Because it will never ever be “finished.”