Monday, March 21, 2016

The Tunnel and Not the Light

For the past three months since I graduated from Chatham, I have done a few things consistently: work, cry, rip my hair out, wonder what the fuck I'm doing, and yoga. I've applied to a lot of jobs and done a few interviews, some of which I really wanted, others of which I was horrified by; none of which worked out. This morning I found out that the most recent of these interviews had not worked out either and I started to cry for a millisecond.

Every time I have one of these meltdowns, Zach says, "What do you want to do?" and I roll my eyes and say, "Write." Every time. But I haven't been writing, I've been moping. I sit down to write and my hands feel heavy cus they're busy feeling sorry for themselves and then I get tired in the middle of a paragraph or a poem or a ploy and give up. This morning,  instead of going to hunt down the next job to apply to, I came here instead. Right now, I make more than enough money to live on. I like my two jobs, they're not my dream jobs, but I like them. And I have about two to three days off a week, depending on my schedule. Those two to three days are the bane of my existence right now, I question my purpose, get down on myself, and agonize over what I should be doing that I'm not.

Today, I decided that these will be my writing days, not that they weren't said to be that before, but from here on out, they will be. I'm stepping away from the 9-5 full time + benefits dream that's been projected onto me by myself and countless others, and I'm following my dream. I won't be a starving artist, because I'm working too. I won't decide to get an MFA before I know I need one. And I will stop wondering about what I've always known. Over the past six months while I was graduating and looking for jobs and Zach was transitioning jobs and we were super broke, I kept thinking about the light at the end of the tunnel. Now, that we're financially stable and able to save and plan a little, I guess I could think of this at the light at the end of the tunnel.

But I don't. I kind of like the idea of the tunnel, of keeping your head down and pushing through, even if you don't know what you're heading towards, even if you'd much rather curl up in a ball in your bed and stay there indefinitely. In the tunnel, I've found choice and voice and agency. I've found the ability to sweep my own floors, pay my own bills, and write my own story, separate and intertwined with all of the others I know. In the tunnel, I've learned that I'm tough, but now I want to build my dreams.

The other day, Chelsea Handler tweeted this:

Being an adult is exactly what I hoped it would be. More responsibility, but now I'm the only one I have to answer to, and I'm the best boss.

And I realized that I felt this way too. It is scary and it is certainly not easy, and who the fuck knows if I'll ever be a successful writer? But I want to be, I've always wanted to be. And wanting it is important, but doing it is more important. Choosing to fight for it, that's the key. Choosing to try, choosing to fail and stand back up, choosing to love yourself whether you win or lose; and they're all cliched, but they're the key, the piece of the puzzle I've been missing.

So consider this the beginning of a very long and exhaustive tunnel that I'm carving the walls out of as I go.

1 comment:

  1. Well, to quote my father, your grandfather, "Goddamnit, if you're going to write, then you have to goddamn write."