*Image from http://www.ilmfruits.com *
Right before I left for Arizona, I received a few cards with notes inside. One family member wrote:
“… None of us get to start life over, but we do get to write new chapters in the Book of Life. So I wish you much health and happiness as you put pen to paper (or keyboarding) with the creation of your novels, and the continuation and growth of the Book of Angela.”
I still tell people I’ve come to Arizona to start life over, but I have to admit it feels like a new chapter. Maybe not quite a new chapter; more like new scenery and company, but still the same goal. I think it’d feel like an official new chapter if I’d actually start getting somewhere in life. I feel so ashamed of my lack of having anything to show for my efforts that I apologized to my maternal grandfather for it. He gave me some money each of my first four years of college. I in turn worked hard on making the Dean’s list and such, and after seven years of college and two years since, I still have no job to show for it. I wanted him to be proud of me and be glad he helped, but there I’ve been, stuck living with my mother, like 70% of all college grads, and this mountain of college loan debt just accruing ungodly amounts of interest while in forbearance.
When I said my apologies and such, he dismissed them. He’s proud of what I’ve done and knows I’ll continue to work hard, knows I’m not some freeloading leech (something along those lines said in his own words; I don’t remember what was said, just how I felt). So yeah, his reaction threw me. I don’t feel as bad but I wish I knew how to feel as proud as myself as my family does.
Life is about the journey, not the destination. Life is about the journey, not the destination.
Well, this leg of my life’s journey fucking blows.
Anyway, this leads up to another note I received before Arizona:
“I say that I am a weaver and a gardener and an editor and a researcher. Those are things I choose to do, that I enjoy, that help define me. But, at some level, they are just things I do. On another level, I am a wife and a sister and a friend. These are roles I inhabit, some voluntarily, and some as a birthright. Beyond that, maybe deeper than that, is who I choose to be, the impact I choose to have in the world. I have chosen to love and learn, to walk lightly on the earth and to have joy in my presence. These are things i can experience no matter what I am doing, no matter who I am in a relationship with, no matter what is going on around me.
I know, I know, just fascinating. I tell you this because all any of us can know is our own experience; I can’t know what you’re going through. But I hope that, in addition to finding a way to make a living as a writer, you will pay attention to who you are and who you can become–those things that include your writing but are not limited by your writing. […]”
I’ve been mulling over these words on and off over the past two months. I’m reminded of a class exercise I did for Theatre in undergrad, where we made a circle, then one person stood in the middle and declared an “I am” statement. You could say anything. I said, “I am an observer.” The person in the middle then says “I am” to each person in the circle while the circle finishes the statement. It was a surreal experience. By the end of it, everyone remarked on how dark my eyes are. I struggle with holding eye contact, so that exercise was very challenging for me.
I am… well obviously I’m a writer and author–a no-name author, but I’m working on getting four books out, then probably pausing to promote them. I don’t know how describe how painful it is to watch something you’ve put your heart and soul into just get ignored by the rest of the world. It’s going to be a full-time job marketing those damn things. It has to get done.
I am a sister, a daughter, a cousin, a niece, a granddaughter, a friend. Gamer, nerd, thinker, learner, problem solver and motivator (more for others than for myself), and beyond that not much else. It feels like there’s a huge piece missing. Sure, you could add “wife” to that list but good luck with that. I lack the motivation to get my jobless ass into dating, just to look like a gold-digger. Just no.
I guess I’ve been snagged on this letter because I don’t feel like I know who I am. I’m almost 30 and I feel like a ghost. I have so many hopes and dreams but I feel so disconnected from the rest of society. Everyone else follows this pattern, but here I am, this broken piece getting lost in the murky unknown. I don’t care to be one of the flock, but I still yearn for my niche, to have a meaningful life. Just gonna keep at it with my writing and hope something pans out.
Does anyone else know this lost, disjointed feeling?