“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” ~Jimmy Dean
What am I longing for? To inspiration to write a memoir of my thirties and the discipline to actually sit down and do it, day by day.
What would it bring me? Connection with myself and readers with whom the story resonates. Satisfaction. Pride in myself for following through with this dream and making it happen. Happiness.
¿Y tú? What are you longing for in your life? What would it give you if you had it?
But instead, I’ve been committing to other things. I’ve been committing to paid work (mostly freelance and mostly, thankfully, interesting). I’ve committed to checking Facebook daily, sometimes several times a day. (Small victory: I have barely looked at FB for the past two weeks! Aside from logging in briefly a couple of times, for utilitarian reasons as opposed to mindless scrolling. I am loving the mental spaciousness this is providing me.) I’ve committed to writing, journaling and blogging more. I’ve committed to reading (sometimes voraciously devouring a book in a day, other times just reading a few paragraphs before bed). I’ve committed to smoking mota as my daily medicine (until we run out and choose to take some time off before procuring more).
I’ve committed to doing what I want when I want: work that I choose to accept, activities I enjoy, and plenty of non-activity thrown in for good measure. I’ve committed to my comfort zone. I’ve committed to being comfortable all the time and not challenging myself enough creatively.
Writing a book will take effort. It is a challenging, confusing, heartbreaking mountain to climb. Am I willing to commit?
On accomplishment and achievement
How I attained knowledge and accomplished goals and achieved accolades all throughout school, college, and my advertising and school teaching careers. How my report cards documented that I was “diligent” and “responsible.” How I was a good girl.
Until I wasn’t. I can pinpoint the moment I became a rebel. I was 14 years old, and my childhood innocence was shattered with the discovery of the fact that my mom was cheating on my dad. She gave her secret away in black ink, in cursive handwriting, in a spiral-bound notebook with college-ruled paper.
How then I became an instant rebel. Dabbling in drink and drugs. Playing with promiscuity until I was the one being played. For 16 years, from age 15 to 31. How I gave and received pain and heartbreak. How I was independent, stubborn, longing to live in an exotic place like India or even California. How I was eager to escape the stifling that is Texas, even liberal Austin, the “Live Music Capital of the World.” Even though my life was good there; it was just fine.
How I was such an achiever for so long until the bottom dropped out and I became a rebel without a cause, desperate for love, settling for lust and a good story, no matter how stupidly it ended. How I became depressed. How I became anxious. How many labels I received of clinical diagnoses and prescription pill bottles.
Now I disdain achievement. I am humble, if it’s possible to say so and still be humble. I avoid achievement to a fault. Why write a whole book when I could just write a quick blog post and publish it with one click of my heels, not even three like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz?
Why am I avoiding doing this project, getting started, word by word, chapter by chapter? What am I waiting for? What is holding me back?
I’ll be 40 years old in 16 days for fucksake. The time is now for a better adventure, right here at home. To love myself enough to give myself what I long for. The inward journey. The writing of a book.