It’s a few minutes after four in the morning, and I’ve already been up for an hour. The first half-hour was spent trying desperately to fall back asleep. The second half-hour making coffee, firing up the text editor, and drooling over Instagram and Twitter (why do I keep mindlessly checking those apps?). It’s cold enough to open all the windows; I can feel the hint of the thickness that will increase as the humidity does. For now, though, it is a beautiful morning.
I have not written since my last post. I have read, I have meandered, I have watched Netflix with a mindless zombie stare, I have coded—without any substantial accomplishment—and I have built things with wood. I bought a chair-and-a-half, and I have spent more than a few hours curled up with a book and the Pugger on it. But I have not written.
It is a sad state of affairs. The ability to finish anything seems to have left me in my older years, eh? I’ve gotten soft and pliable, letting any little hint of a breeze sway my resolve and focus. Or perhaps I have never finished anything in my life. A college dropout, two failed businesses, a shitshow of a marriage ending in divorce. Looking back through the puddle of my history, all I see are unfinished actions and good intentions.
My best friend said something to me this past week. I don’t remember the exact words, but she said something to the effect of every time I’m with you, I dream more. I have always talked in the future; it is one thing that drove my ex insane. The present hasn’t held anything but angst and not being where I want to be for most of my life. Looking back through the past was—and is—an exercise in discomfort. The future is what holds my gaze. There’s possibility there, a break from the mundane and tiresome present, a reprieve from the reality of my surroundings.
There are those that do, and there are those that dream. I am finding out that I am a dreamer. This is not the camp I want to find myself in. If I look back on this site, which has only existed for six months or so, I see the common thread of unhappiness. Looking back through my journals, I see it as well. If every sign is pointing me in the direction of go west, young woman, why do I stay still? I tell myself it’s because of a good job, good money, good friends, and family close by.
Yet, in reality, it’s just fear. I am finding the truth in this, and it is big, like unearthing a human femur bone from ancient dirt only to realize it’s a mastodon’s tooth. The fear of falling, fucking up, fumbling, and failing is mammoth, and I don’t understand why it has grown so ominous. Sure, I have been scared before, but I never let it stop me. As much shit as I give myself, I have accomplished great things (well, mediocre to some but large and bulbous in my own mind). I pushed through the fear, the naysayers, the detractors and dicks. Why now does it cause me to pause, especially in knowing that the mountains and the west fulfills my soul in ways that New England has never been able to?
Two thoughts are running through my head whenever I question moving back west. One is that nothing great came from playing it safe. And by great, I mean a good life, nothing as grandiose as publishing with the Big Six or making millions in a start-up. The other is that a good life is not about making the right decision as much as it is about not making a stupid one. This is the conundrum I find myself in presently.
Tomorrow, in less than twenty hours, Camp Nanowrimo begins. In July, I will write and give myself permission to stop thinking about my plans for the future. I will stop weighing pros and cons of moving, of a new job, of a smaller salary, of not having friends and family close by but the mountains, oh the mountains, close enough to spend the day among their peaks. I will write (is it a coincidence that my novel takes place in Colorado?).
I will DO this month instead of dream.