Life occurs in extremes.
The last four years have proven to be challenging, and required all my focus to give the semblance of moving forward. Obligations became more urgent, jobs became more severe, and creative endeavors were, of course, the first to be relegated to the sidelines. My political priorities have been tested, and my heart has shattered several times, only to reconvene in the most interesting formations.
Yet, I am here, returning to my craft. A return is always interesting; there is a hesitation to work through what is awfully familiar and a fear in one’s ability. This is the state in which I am writing this. Possibly the most vulnerable of my posts on this blog.
I am returning to writing because it is what I know and love. It is a commitment I’ve had great difficulty making amidst some self-doubts and trying times. Having had the opportunity to reflect, I’ve come to two understandings:
- Someone extremely dear to me engages in his passion on a daily basis. The confidence and joy I see him experience, and the experimentation to test his craft makes him seem so fulfilled. Despite the grueling hours and labor demanded of him as a chef, this is a condition I want to create for myself when I think about writing: if there will be trials and hardship, let it be for something I care about, let it be for something meaningful to me. If I were to lose hours of sleep, let me understand the reasons why. I have never known something as meaningful as writing which allows me to engage in my ideas, to communicate my beliefs and methods. Therefore, the years have made me realize that content creation, writing, and production is how I want to continue interacting with the world. I hope to maximize this privilege…because I have the opportunity to do so.
- A person I know, Amelia, has just passed away over the weekend. She was a lawyer for years and then gave it up to write. She simply had a gift. Her insights and voice are so clear and present in all the work she’s left behind in the world (and the internet.) Between 2010 and 2012 when I was attempting to eke out a career in writing, she and I had a brief exchange on its pursuit. Amelia suggested a number of places to submit and encouraged me to apply for some local grants. I followed some of her advice, but the demands of the real world tapered off the will to follow-through. I found myself in another job I hated, with people I don’t like, daily. Of course, I wouldn’t be writing during this time, either. Every now and then, I’d see her at events, and we’d check in briefly about projects — it didn’t take me long to have nothing to say. I hadn’t seen her in years, and thought about her only in context of revisiting my pasttime. Then, I heard of her passing. I went to her Facebook timeline and 2017 consisted of a post regarding an upcoming FB break, a string of birthday wishes on Valentines Day, and then the announcement of her death by family members. It was shocking, and I immediately felt the loss. Losing Amelia is a reminder to be bold in my choices and to honor myself by practicing what I am good at, on a daily basis.
Winter Storm Stella has left me in quite a pensive state. I stay away from the slippery patches of ice on these cold days, despite them being full of sunshine. I am thinking of Amelia and the Chef and myself.
This is a declaration for me, and for you to hold me accountable; a reminder that I don’t have to be perfect to write, only that I must make it a habit.