Putting It All Out There: A Retrospective and Elated Look Ahead
In the past fourteen months of the single life, I have figured a few things out.
1. I do not want to play pretend girlfriend.
2. I do not want a married man. (Really, at the time, I could only write about it in the third person.)
3. I think women are beautiful. Sometimes I meet one worthy of this Josh Ritter song lyric: “All the other girls here are stars, you are the Northern Lights.”
4. Sometimes, I remember the ex, and it still hurts.
5. I don’t want infatuation. It takes too much headspace and energy. I seem to use it to entertain myself, rather than nurture myself.
6. Marshmallow kisses don’t necessarily mean anything.
7. Eskimo kisses don’t necessarily mean anything.
8. I don’t want, um, a quickie.
9. I don’t like cheaters and liars.
10. Bad dates are, well, bad.
11. Sometimes, I can just be.
12. Sometimes, I dream
What prompts such reflection? The leaves are turning and so am I; turning a corner, that is. Today was the first day of Fall Concentration at the craft school and I will work Monday through Friday 12-6pm at the coffeehouse for the next two months. This is as close to a “normal” schedule I’ve come in the past fourteen months. I remind myself of these experiences because my time is limited. Mornings will be for meditation, exercise, MFA studies and writing from 6am to noon. Evenings will be for more homework, guitar playing, singing, staring into the distance. But probably mostly, the homework part of it.
Is there room for love in all this? Room for infatuation? Room for flings? Probably not. I will attempt a solid rock existence for these two months. I will concentrate on my work, the work of self-care and creation. Sometimes, especially on a Sunday morning or a Friday night, I will roll over in bed and feel the ghost of someone who is not yet there. Sometimes, especially on Saturday nights or if I’m feeling alone in a large crowd, I will wish I had a make-out buddy. Someone for long, full-body kisses and baby-I-missed-you’s. Someone to hold hands with. Someone to miss back. Sometimes I will think ahead to that cabin, that man, that simple life and that simple future and maybe even my own wedding and all great loves coming together into one and maybe, just maybe, the freedom to write for the rest of my life.
This is not a vow of celibacy. It’s a promise to myself that I’ll remember these lessons I’ve learned and weigh them against the integrity of my own well-being and my writing.
Because sometimes, I dream of that book I want to write. Sometimes? No, almost daily. I dream that it happens quickly, that someone who can publish and furthermore knows how to market a book gets a hold of me and the rest is history. In these dreams, I never dare to think that it gets any easier. I know enough already to know that the writing life is not about anything getting any easier. But I do dare to think that it will happen. I do dare to think that someday, I could pull a few hundred pages together and kick some literary ass. I even dare to think that I could do something different – that my style of writing would have some quality to set it apart from others.
Daring to dream. That’s where my motivation is rooted. I’m hoping my foundation is firm enough to set the length of my dreams into reality. Here I am universe, falling like the leaves into a bed of my own dreams. Help me make them come true.