The old legend goes that the gods of blogging strike down anyone who dareth post meaningful content on a Friday.
It’s treacherous. Unheard of. A day reserved for pictures of cats, nail polish, and playlists. Akin to wading into a swamp pit knowing full well that you will meet your demise. Surely, you will.
I don’t really understand that rule about blogging. Or any rule about blogging. And I don’t even play by the rules when it comes to you. You and me, we never needed no rules. And so it’s Friday and I am here. It’s Friday and I am curled up and waiting for you.
I come bearing no gifts.
You can search my pockets and see for yourself that I haven’t concocted anything perfect to say. I haven’t assembled any prose poetry to water your limbs. I am just here, almost like I am writing a letter home to you, almost like I am standing at your door in the middle of the pouring rain, banging on the side of the house hoping you will think to let me in. You know me, I’ll wait here all night.
I haven’t been in my blogging corner as much as I would like lately. Life has been busy and I constantly have to remind myself that this blog is a place of joy for me and I can’t apply the pressure when the inspiration ain’t hot. I’ve been writing my little heart out lately, working on a book proposal with my agent that is the epitome of my heart coming to live in your arms in the form of paper and words, and I am exhausted by what this past year has been.
Beautifully, beautifully exhausted.
Twelve months have come & gone.
I quit my job one year ago. I packed up my cubicle, took the letters down from the filing cabinet drawers, handed in my laptop and Blackberry phone, kissed and hugged people goodbye, and walked away from security to look for a life that fit me better.
The question of “What if I fail” suddenly lost its power when I released the pressure and walked away. Like the day those piggies wised up and built a brick house that wolf could huff & puff at no more.
And here’s the little secret behind that, friends: People will always, always, always ask you about failure but no one will ever think to turn their head, look you straight in the eye, and ask you how broken your heart would be if you never even tried. No one will ever ask you that question but you still need to learn to live within a life where “What if I never try” is plastered on the walls in red.
It’s an important question. I think you should ask it to yourself often.
For me, that question, and the thought of a child of mine asking me one day, scared every ligament inside of my body. Because there will never be a right answer for that that won’t teach them to be petrified, and worried, and so afraid that they decide to just stay in one place and look down at their shoes. All the excuses I could have mustered in my head– I’m too young, I have too much debt, there isn’t enough time, I won’t make it, my idea stinks– paled in comparison to the thought of never getting to tell a single soul that I am doing what I know I was created to do.
So that’s all I really have to say today.
No poetry. No ruffles. No frills. Just thinking about trying & attempting & doing instead of failure for once. Make a day to dream of it and let your mouth water over without hesitation.
And take a break sometime. Take a real solid break. Shut down your life. Pack a bag. Just leave. Buy a map. Learn to notice the trees on the highway. Listen to poets laughing on a Friday night. Go somewhere where no one knows your name, and the things you’ve done, or the person you’ve become. Go there and trace your bones. Find wraparound porches. Hear more stories. Be young. Be reckless. Be bold. Be shades of red. And white. And blue. Be all the things Elton John sings about, and feel all sorts of eloquent for being only those things today. Not a worrier. Not a mess. Not nervous about the future or the way life will turn out. Just a tiny dancer. A blue jean baby. Pretty eyed with a pirate smile. A ballerina dancing in the sand.
Stop planning life long enough to just follow it. And see where it will be take you. Just stop thinking. Unclench your fists and stare up at the sunlight.
Let go of things. Big things. Little things. Clean out a junk drawer. Burn a diary. Tell him how you really feel. Clutch someone’s face and kiss them hard, as if smooches could give bruises. Have the courage to close the door. Cry, baby, cry. When it’s over. Because you thought it would last. And it didn’t. And I am sorry for that.
Forget the rules. Screw expectations. Just snap on a trucker hat and let your hand flap from outside the window. Deliberate hitch hiking… or not. Forget to take all of this so seriously and you’ll soon realize it wasn’t all that serious to begin with.
It’s been real folks but I am scooting down to Georgia with one of my best gal pals to sip sweet tea, love on people, sit on porches with a bible in my lap, and just be. And I can’t take you with me (unless your on Instagram. Then you can follow the madness here). Otherwise, I’ll be back to blogging in mid-July. My syllables will cry for you every night. And when I watch the fireworks I’ll sing Fievel Goes West songs for you. And we’ll be together one day soon, I am so sure.
And none of that made last paragraph made any sense. And it sounds kind of desperate. But I going on vacation and that’s that and no one ever had a clue what Emily Dickinson was talking about all those years so you just go right ahead and interpret everything I just wrote how you want it. As for me? I’m peacing out for a roadtrip & some Chik-Fil-A.