Thursday, December 13, 2012
I often debate whether I should keep this blog going and update all of you about my life, and my reflections. But I figure that some of you are invested enough to keep reading, or keep stalking, or whatever it is that you do. I'm not judging you stalkers by the way. I understand obsessive admiration and the desire to want to get to know someone you somehow find "taboo" (even though I myself am not a stalker). I'm just not sure I'm comfortable being the target of this. But that's not why I'm writing. I'm writing to capture a screenshot so years later I can re-read these words and smile, laugh, or realize that things made more sense than what they seemed to. This week I'm at a residency for my MFA program. It hasn't been a year since I've been to L.A., but it's been a year since I've been in the middle of this gathering. It seems that all those weird "out of place" feelings have finally subsided. I still don't really know what I'm doing here, but at least I don't feel like I need to run. Maybe it's because I no longer care if I only understand the business side of writing (agents, being enterprising, the state of the publishing industry, etc.) and can't see why it's worth extracting the technical ins and outs of writing what is supposed to be from your heart. Or maybe it's because I no longer feel guilty for not wanting to participate in the "la de da" social events or for just chatting one on one with the few friends I've managed to make here. Maybe it's because I've never cared about being published in a review or The New Yorker or inviting all my peers to a wine & cheese reading of my debut novel. No, there's nothing "wrong" with these ambitions. I just write for different purposes. I no longer care that I will probably learn very little from workshops or these seminars that contain information I can find for myself. I no longer care that even some of the mentors that I may get will not be able to guide me towards anything useful (at least in terms of my work). I'm not even upset with myself that I've decided to remain in my CO home, continue working my day job, and be near my family, at least until I'm done with this program. I'm finding that it's better not to have any expectations. It is so much more liberating to just let things be. Gifts come with joys and burdens, as my mentor told me the other morning. She is right. Any dream comes bundled in the same package. There is happiness and there is work. Neither one exists without the other, and it's always a constant balance. So, last time I was "told" not to give up. And I didn't. I'm here. I'm back. And the work that I had to do paid off somehow. This time it's not 222, but 999. So, it seems I have more work to get to. Not the kind that releases me from a piece of myself, but the kind that is supposed to be there for everyone else. Now it's time to do the work that I came here to do. What that is yet, exactly, I don't know. But I'm sure, someday, that the joy will make it worthwhile.