So, we know I am a proponent of “do the thing.” And I’ve done many such things in the last few years like become a runner, get a major role in a musical, speak my truth in very public forums, file for divorce and bear the brunt of that pain…
And in years prior to be honest. I traveled to far flung places, got malaria, traveled some more, dated wonderful and horrible men, quit my job and moved to Guatemala (cause why not), got married and started on the whirlwind adventure that brings us to today.
We know this gal’s got no regrets. 99 probs (eleventy million actually) and regret most definitely ain’t one.
If it’s in your heart, you have to go for it. Like, we do actually only get this one shot on this go-round, so what the fuck are you waiting for? Sometimes we forget that we have options.
This summer, while I was on my grown-up time out and literally doing NOTHING except taking care of myself, having long lunches, languid afternoons and dating someone I really shouldn’t have been (but OH it was fun… until it wasn’t)… I read a book (I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around) by an author I had Twitter stalked and sort of started crushing on from afar, Ann Garvin.
She tweeted weird shit like I do, seemed hilarious and scattered in the right ways, loves her dog more than humans, is a single mama, and also did Listen to Your Mother. Clearly meant to be; she just didn’t know it yet.
She has this writing class thing and I was all, huh, her book was fabulous and people keep telling ME to write a book and I typically average one crazy bucket list item a year, so why not. Why the actual fuck not.
K, it was maybe more deliberate than all that and I did check like my budget and travel schedule and really do some soul searching on said book and my ability and commitment to it … but like, kind of also? Why the actual fuck not.
So last weekend I went to the Northern Tundra Many Miles Away Where Layers are Required for Survival. Also known as: Chicago. First, yes it was really fucking cold. 6 degrees is so very few degrees, really. But I bravely bundled up and did the thing.
I had NO IDEA what to expect when I walked into what is actually the most gorgeous loft I’ve ever seen. Complete with exposed brick, a hidden spiral staircase lit with fairy lights, a giant disco ball in the main space, comfy couches, nooks and crannies to write in and a long, serious table beneath a twinkly, perfect chandelier. In short: writer’s paradise. Also, copious amounts of coffee all day and wine appeared regularly at 5 o’clock. I mean, really, what is this place and can I live here for all the days?
And I sort of thought I’d be like “hi nice to meet you weird writer types” and then peace out to my own corner or dinner plans or SOMEthing, but we never left because we were all just so THERE. Ann and her Fifth Semester partner Erin Celello are literally the dreamiest, funniest, friendliest, and smartest people– and they created a space so safe that when people read their word babies out loud for the very first time, you could feel them softly landing in front of each of us. We received them with care– but we also pulled those suckers apart and helped each other be BETTER in doing so.
Friends, I do not know what this journey will bring (probably my damn book cause Ann is also a little terrifying and I wouldn’t dare miss a deadline of hers), but I can say that the sun rose and fell and rose and fell for 3 days and I never even noticed the passage of time because I was so IN. I wasn’t bored, I wasn’t over it, I wasn’t trapped; I was in the zone. In a zone that made sense to me. Finally.
Of course, I was all “I’m not a writer, no YOU’RE a writer, no YOU are” cause I couldn’t possibly accept a comment or a proud title gracefully… but I’m learning and when I shakily read my first scene, people were like GIRL YES YOU ARE A WRITER. So I am trying to believe them.
Just like running, which is one foot in front of the other, writing is one word, one decision, one vision, one idea in front of the other. So, we begin.