I’m supposed to be applying for a job right now. The open tab on my computer — “Children’s Fiction/Non-Fiction Writer” — is just to my right. I think I might actually have a shot at this one. I’ve been a teacher, and I love to write. The position is freelance, so . . . What more could they need?
Well, they’d need my application first.
I guess I forgot to mention that we moved. In all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and of packing and unpacking, and of apartment hunting and job searching, there was no time to blog. Continue reading
As a teen, I remember counting down the seconds — ten! nine! eight! — to midnight on New Year’s Eve. I clung to each one, lingered over it, never wanted to let it go. Those seconds were portals into my future past, remnants of a beautiful year.
I was a nostalgic kid.
As an adult, little has changed, except . . . I’ve seen enough New Years to know that there isn’t some catastrophic, year-annihilating boom at the stroke of midnight on January 1st. 2014 isn’t a pile a rubble and ash to be sorted through and mourned. Rather, 2014 is what it is — the past — just as 6:30 this morning is now the past. Continue reading
Sitting in my darkened apartment, listening to the hum of traffic on University Avenue. It’s Saturday evening and my weekend has (finally) officially started. I’ve had thoughts all week about what to write right here. And yet, now, when I finally have the time . . .
seem . . .
Like me. Continue reading
To tell our stories.
To share our hearts.
To fall apart.
To pull ourselves together.
To breathe in.
To kill hope.
To send secret messages.
We write because we have no other choice.
Because writing consumes us or we consume it.
Because it gives voice to our tears, wind to our wings, air to our everything.
We write because we are alive.
Why do you write? Do you?
“If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”
— Lord Byron
I’ve been trying to write a post all morning. Trying to reach deep within and pull out something deep and meaningful to which you might all relate. I’ve been thinking about black and white and gray and how I don’t believe in gray and how that is why I know religion doesn’t matter: We all know right from wrong. But instead of flowing like a waterfall, my thoughts are congested spillway blocked by matters of immediate importance: I’m stressed. Interviews and new tutoring positions (I’ve recently been signed on as a kids’ tutor at several companies in the Bay Area) are on my mind, not to mention bills and dreams and exercise things. It’s harder to ride my bike in Berkeley. I miss it.
And so I reach and fall and try and bail and am reminded of a poem I wrote more than a year ago:
I’m reaching and falling.
I’m hemming and hawing.
I’m trying and failing.
I’m rowing, now bailing.
And I wonder if this ever happens to you? And I wonder how authors do it? Writing comes so easily to me when my subject is on my mind. But when it’s not? Writing is like pulling teeth, only worse, because I want SO badly to do it, and do it well.
You were right. I never should have followed my heart. I should have been a doctor, or a nurse, or a dentist, or a teacher. Doing what you love means nothing in the world of commercialism. Proving you have talent is impossible when no one will give you a chance.
A moment of discouragement. I’ll be back soon with happier thoughts. Promise.
Image: Berkeley Walking Bridge. Mine. All rights reserved.
Sometimes I lie awake at night, terrified.
I’m scared of:
Being the right girl.
Being the wrong one.
Being a good girl.
Being a bad one.
Creating new ones.
Thinking too much.
Not thinking enough.
Being too rigid.
Letting things go.
Staying in one place.
Never settling down.
Making ends meet.
Dreaming too little.
Dreaming too much.
Letting you down.
Filling you up.
Not asking questions.
Seeing the world.
Not seeing the world.
Loving too much.
Not loving enough.
Not posting this.
Taking the risk.
Not taking it.
After reading my birthday post, my Uncle Russell told me: “And now you think you’ll be in your thirties for forever! LOL!” And while he said it to be funny, it hit me suddenly — “By God, he’s right!” Every year seems to go faster than the last. Can you believe 2014 is already almost a quarter over?
And then I started thinking about my last post. We all have so many dreams, and so many people put them off for so long. “When I get that promotion . . .” “When the kids are grown . . .” “When I quit my second job . . .” “When the time is right . . .” We wait and wait and wait to go after the things we love. Often we wait so long that we forget what we are passionate about.
Recently, my sweet friend Carol told me:
“Don’t waste the years ahead. You are the creator of your future.”
You are the creator of your future. I love that. But we love to make excuses, do you know that? “I can’t because . . .” “I didn’t because . . .”
Of course this life isn’t all about us. Throughout life, sacrifices must be made. We have responsibilities, lovers, children, mothers . . . The best things in life are the ones that aren’t about us. But then another dear friend, Tony, reminded me that, while it may be terrifying to [go after what you love], going after what you love is “not as terrifying as approaching the end of your life and thinking, What if I had [fill in the blank]? Why didn’t I at least have the courage to try?”
We all have one life to live. What are you doing with yours?