The days have not been easy. You know all those helpful books that advise you to take risks, to live life to the fullest? They forget to mention that to live intentionally is hard. Hard, hard, did I mention challenging? Right now as I frantically search for a job and decide what day I should put my cat to rest, I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around the past years’ choices. I had heard when you truly followed your path, when you took chances, that was supposed to be good, but I’m beginning to feel like I should have believed the fear machine and stuck with the societal program. My friend is in a similar situation, we both quit our jobs to follow our dreams which has made us ineligible for unemployment and the savings are almost gone. We both are trying desperately to not get depressed, to have faith in our choices and to believe the risks were not a stupid waste.
“It just makes me sad,” my friend said to me, “I just want to make something of myself and for the first time in my life I feel the healthiest but I keep picturing myself in that little green smock at Walgreen’s.”
“Oh,” I responded, “You had a job in your imaginary fear? I skipped that part, and went straight for the streets. I’ve been seeing myself panhandling downtown and embarrassed that a bunch of people from my former job walk by just I say, got any spare change?”
I have been trying to follow a mindfullness program, you know living in the present, each moment…I see my present situation with absolute clarity. It kinda sucks. There’s a lot of breathing.
So I get up every morning and apply for a whatever job (if lucky, jobs) I can find and then I get back to the book. I do this because the sky is not really blue. It isn’t. And I think that is so interesting. Science does not yet know why we see or experience the color blue when we look at the sky. There is no “blueness” in the light of that wavelength, and you also can not find it in the retina, the optic nerves or the occipital cortex, but still we see the sky as blue. It’s tiny little things like this that make me think ok, things have to work out, they just have too because the sky is not really blue; the color is a created reality.
What did I do today to create my own reality? Well I took the last portion of my money and signed up for the NYC Short Story Challenge, and I’m taking the other last portion to apply to get into the Tin House Summer Workshop (I’m also applying for a scholarship). I’m not sure if this was a good idea, but I guess if I’m trying for the struggling writer angle I’m doing a good job with it.
I’m pretty excited about the Short Story Challenge. It’s the third year and it sounds like so much fun, in fact it sounds like a fire that I need. I stumbled across it and felt I just had to sign up for it. Jan 16th at Midnight! I’ve edited about 20 pages of my book. Its very slow going because I go over every sentence again and again. I feel like I’m working in clay and I’m really enjoying it. Once this draft gets done, I’ll send it off to friends for some feedback. I need to go back over the guidelines, but I think I may be able to submit my updated material to AROHO, I hope so because I think the revisions have made the work at least 70% better. I know I said it was like I was working in clay but it also feels a little like I’m doing math. I don’t know if that makes sense, its not a bad thing, in fact when I’m really getting into math (which is rare) I feel like I’m doing something pretty spectacular. I don’t know why but it’s just this great feeling like I’m working a different part of my brain, and the revision process has awakened this feeling that I haven’t experienced for probably four or five years.