Monday, 28 April 2014
Question Asked and Answered
This came up: Do I feel like I missed an entire lifetime and potential by abandoning writing, by not moving to Savannah, GA in 1999, by not revising and returning the one thing I submitted in 1998, by having kids, working as an adjunct instead of pursuing an academic career, ect?
The thing is? The answer is yes. Yes, of course I missed out and there are a million could a have beens. Of course I wonder.
I also really love my life, the life I have right now. I really don't think I was ready for anything more in 1999. I have PSTD and in 1999 and a stranger knocking on my door after dark sent me into a full blown panic attack, hiding in a closet, for example. I was 19! Geesh. I am much better now.
When I graduated, my adviser said to me, something along these lines, Don't write for your job. Lay bricks for a living. Do something else. Learn about things. Live. Then you can write from your heart and keep it an art.
Sage advice. I followed it. Graduate school was history, architecture, and non-fiction. I went to work in the field of historic preservation. I was so busy and deep into the movement of saving houses that I forgot about people. Then I had children and they became my focus which evolved into teaching them and farming and teaching online classes. Always learning things. Living.
I wasn't ready before now to write again. Now that I am back in the habit, it feels good! It isn't a chore, it is artful, and I am turning more time to it but balancing it well with family and farm. I know things about life that I could not have at 19 and I am grateful for that.
Now, too, I am venturing along with Chad into the study of permaculture and regenerative farming. It is interesting and I plan to write more through the year as I learn.
In January, I chose the word Sabotage as my word for the year. Met with well meaning critics concerned about the negativity of the word, I waffled a bit about using it. Still, I did. It has proven to be a fantastic choice. Seriously fantastic. Every time I start dragging my feet or second guessing myself, a friend will simply type Sabotage and then I do the thing that moves this all forward. Usually the friend's name is Jen. Ha.
Questions like these can sabotage my writing effort. Sure, I think them, but there are also no conclusive proofs that I wouldn't have died in a car crash driving out East or that anything I wrote then would have been published. I could very well have ended up doing what I am doing now, no matter what.