A wicked wind
A friend asked me what I meant when I said that my life was not going the way I had planned and I’m not sure how to respond to that. On the one hand, most people don’t have the life they thought they would have. At least that’s the idea I get. Most people take years to figure out what they want, where they most want to work, who they’d most like to know or be associated with. I’m not alone in my inability to make life decisions or my feelings of inadequacy when I see people with the things I should have (careers, children, spouses, etc., etc., etc.). I know this. And really, how did I think my life was going to go? When I was younger, I thought for sure I’d be married by 25 and have several kids by 30. When I got a little older, I thought I’d be almost done with graduate school by 30. Right now I’m not really sure what I think. Or what I want to do. Or who I’d like to know (love).
I suppose getting rejected from 8 schools has played a significant role. I thought someone would let me in, someone would see some worth in my writing. Perhaps that was the worst part? That my writing wasn’t good enough, wasn’t revolutionary enough. It’s a good thing though and I can see that. I don’t want to be a cookie-cutter writer and I don’t want my soul slowly sucked from my body by grades and portfolios and sleepless (academic) nights. I haven’t been able to write solidly for a few years. I have no outlets. It begins to take its toll on a person.
There isn’t much I feel passionate about either. I used to write and write and write and pour out all this energy and blood and sweat and tears and life meant something then. Suffering makes life beautiful. Suffering makes others beautiful. The suffering is gone now and replaced by concrete and ice and sharp gravel. No suffering. Just nothing. I used to believe in magic. The hidden magic of life. The little things that spoke to me in a quiet whisper, the little things that allowed me to see beyond this grim reality and taste a little bit of somewhere else. I have lost my belief in Romance. I have lost my belief in humanity. There is no magic. There is no story I could write that could capture something that doesn’t exist. Life doesn’t work the way it does in my (old) stories. Life only works in the way of shit piled on shit piled on more fucking shit.
This saddens me. There was supposed to be good. There was supposed to be enough hope to last a lifetime. I’m a writer. It’s what I do. I hope, even if foolishly, for the perfect kiss in the cold January rain (on that bit of sidewalk, you know the one, with the trees stretching out overhead, dripping down on us, my wool coat is lousy with water and there’s a raindrop caught in your beautiful lashes), for the thrill of a perfect sunset viewed from a mountain top, for the thunderous crash of the waves on the shore. For snowy oceans and midnight walks. Puppies and tulips and Sunday morning and the City (SF, my heart) gleaming in the late afternoon sun like a huge, dirty, brilliant diamond.
What do I mean when I say my life isn’t going the way I had planned? I mean that I never thought I would grow so far from my former self that I would find it again and slip into it again like a pair of worn sneakers. The ones I thought I threw out years ago.