March 18, 2014 | Posted in:Uncategorized
“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence Write the truest sentence that you know.” -Ernest Hemingway
While I am not reading Hemingway (and I’m ashamed to say that I never have), I am reading The New American Road Trip Mixtape, a book by the author of Semi-Rad, a blog that I read semi-religiously. Brendan does however read Hemingway and is a much better writer than I, so if you are looking for entertainment and you haven’t already read his blog, I suggest you stop what you are doing and go check it out right now. The quote popped up earlier today in Brendan’s book and it’s stuck with me throughout the day. The longer I go without writing, the harder it seems to get started again. My thoughts begin to muddle together and when I do sit down in from of a computer, what comes out is a garbled brain-dump of nonsense.
Hemingway reverberated in my head, starting as a whisper and growing to a chant of encouragement. I HAVE written before and I WILL write now. All I need is one true sentence. So here it goes.
I don’t know what I am doing, and I think that is okay.
I left grad school in December eager to start the next phase of my life. I packed up all of my belongings, selling/giving away whatever wouldn’t fit into my car. I drove to Colorado by way of Canada, anticipating a life filled with regular excursions to the mountains and a lucrative job that was both intrinsically and monetarily enriching. There was no uncertainty about my future when I left Seattle, nervous trepidation, as is expected with change, but not once did I question my decisions. Not once did I look back.
Until I arrived in Denver that is. The whirlwind of excitement that came with radical change began to wear off and the realization that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing began to set it. Shoot, I didn’t even know where to get good coffee anymore! So many things in my life that had been certain suddenly weren’t and it affected me in unexpected ways. For one thing, getting to the mountains became a chore, not an escape.
The mountains were one thing that was a certain! If anything I now had more free time now to explore the mountains – to live my passions, my dreams! So why wasn’t I? The short answer is I really don’t know, other than it now feels more of a chore and I don’t much enjoy chores if I can avoid them. Thinking of the mountains as a chore is silly. I know that. I still love the mountains every bit as much as before, and every time I do muster the energy to get out, I have a wonderful time.
Looking back on my goals for this year, I am embarrassed and ashamed. Between a persisting injured shoulder and a cold that wont seem to go away, about the only goal that I seem to be sticking to is going with the flow.
I don’t think these were particularly hard goals either. It was more like a list of: here’s the things I’m already doing, let’s continue to do them. They became hard around the same time that I realized that I didn’t know what I was doing. It’s taken me a long time to get past that hurdle, and I am definitely not quite there yet. But I think beginning to accept the fact that it’s okay that I don’t know is going to just maybe allow me to have just a little bit more fun.