“Your greatest awakening comes when you are aware about your infinite nature.” – Amit Ray
How is that every time I think I know what I want,
How can half my life be devoted to one thing
And one thought can upset an entire dream?
I want to write
But what to write about? What for?
I could be a screenwriter,
A writer of films.
I’ve always loved movies. Why not?
I could write children’s books,
the next J.K. Rowling.
I like kids. Kids like me. Why not?
I could write textbooks,
The How-To of life.
I hate textbooks. Better job security. Why not?
I could write reviews for a magazine or paper,
Ebert for a new age.
Maybe they’ll give me free things. Opinions are nice. Why not?
I could be a film director, photographer, artist,
But just maybe on the side.
I don’t know enough about those things to do them for a life.
I could work in a bookstore,
Just to get me on my feet.
What if I end up liking it? Owner of a bookstore. Why not?
I could be an editor,
Of a magazine or for publishing.
But really that’s not writing at all.
And what I love is that I love to write.
And despite all these questions, that’s what I want to do.
But how do I know if what I’ll write is right?
Will it make me happy
And if I finally do decide on a job, where will I be jobbing from?
Probably in the same place
Where all the jobbers go.
What about books? That’s what I’d always planned to do,
Is it bad to have these thoughts,
To feel like I’m cheating
on my dreams?
And what is it about college,
where you’re supposed to
that makes you question
I thought fish really loved pots.
But not just any pots – pots with holes in them. Pots which are actually more like vases with holes in them.
And I thought this not because I felt that fish necessarily appreciate the ornate designs of mock-shattered vases, but because I thought they liked to sleep inside them. In fact, all my hours of research clearly pointed to one solution: buy a pot. Fish like to sleep in them.
For those of you who haven’t read Fish, Love, and Companionship, you should probably know that I own a little veil-tail betta named Hemingway. I’ve had him for about four months now, and despite my inexperience as a fish-mom, I’d like to think that I’ve taken pretty good care of him. I mean, I bought him a pot after all.
But what I’ve really learned in my short time with Hemmy is that fish, like people, need room to grow. When I bought Hemmy at the pet store, he came in a tiny little plastic container with barely any water or space to swim. I thought I was doing him a favor by buying the largest glass bowl that store offered (which wasn’t much), but he wasn’t getting any happier and I soon realized that he needed more space.
So Hemmy got to move. I went to a different store and bought him the biggest bowl they carried, which was a one gallon globe with a light. After some adjusting, he took to the new size really well and enjoyed all his extra space. Four months and several battles with fin rot later, Hemmy required another move. He was probably happy in that globe, content even. But, I knew he was never going to reach his full potential in a space he had clearly outgrown.
More research and careful planning led me to a 2.5 gallon tank with a gentle filter, light, and enough space for a pot (bonus). It’s only been about a week, but I can already see Hemmy’s fins growing back together. He’s much more adventurous now, exploring every inch of his new home (having been kept in globes all his life, he was really perplexed by corners). He swims through his plants, sits by his filter, and seems to love life in his tank. However, he hasn’t once gone inside his pot.
I’ve been pretty distressed by this. Of course, I thought he would love the pot instantly. I imagined him seeing this new huge thing in the middle of his tank and immediately rushing to swim through the little holes and openings. I was so excited by my new purchase that I forgot he might actually be scared of it. He needed time to adjust. But I’m impatient.
So yesterday, when I saw him approach the big opening in the front of the pot, you can bet I was there eagerly watching to see if he’d go in. He didn’t. He stuck his head in a little bit, looked around, and then slowly backed out and went about his business. Though disappointed, I was happy he’d made a little progress. And then I had this mini-epiphany about life which is actually the real purpose of this post.
I need a bigger tank.
I’m at that point in my life right now where transition and change is good. In fact, it’s needed. If I don’t move on to the next stage of my life, I’ll start to feel cramped and all my fins will start to fall out (metaphorically, of course).
Granted, it might take baby-steps to finally find the right fit, but once I find where I’m supposed to be, everything else will fall into place. That big pot, that dream that I’ve always wanted, will be right there in front of me. I might be scared to approach it at first, but I have to try. I need to. If I don’t, it’ll still be there, but in a taunting you-never-achieved-your-dream kind of way. I can’t let that happen. I can’t work so hard to get to my own 2.5 gallon tank and then never explore all of it. Even the pot. Especially the pot.
And a special note: I just looked over to Hemingway’s tank and watched as he successfully swam through a hole in the pot. He finally did it.
Now it’s my turn.
Right now, there are about 44 unread novels collecting dust on my bookcase. On my nightstand there is a pile of The New Yorkers, one for each week since mid-February. Accompanying these are 70 “to-reads” on my Goodreads list and another 20 on my Barnes & Noble wishlist.
And I haven’t had time to read a single one.
Even now, I’m trying to scramble together some form of coherent thought while planning what outfit I’ll be wearing to this ceremony in an hour and a half.
Yet I somehow found the time to count all those books.
Anyway, lately it’s been feeling like I’m always racing, racing, racing. And all I can think about is how I want to go back to that time when I felt like the world couldn’t move fast enough, and I had ample time to relax, relax, relax.
But that’s not the way of life, is it?
Yet somehow authors are expected to be well-versed in all manner of books and genres. We need to be eloquent in our replies and have that sophisticated air about us that just reeks of cool collectedness.
But who has time for that when there is life to be lived?
But who has time for life when there are books to be read, worlds to be explored, and art to be created?
It seems to be a generally accepted rule in the writing world that the more a writer reads, the better a writer writes. Yet I would like to meet a writer who has time to juggle family life, personal life, and the writing life, who has mastered this balance so easily.
I would like to ask how they did it. I want to ask because I want to be them. I want to sleep all day and read novels and write novels and get lost in my head and attend fancy dinner parties with other like-minded artists and I want to live.
I want to be immersed in the kind of world only book characters have the pleasure to live in.
But I can’t. I can’t because I’m the writer and I create them. I create their perfect world and their perfect lives because I can’t but I need to. Somehow.
But who has time for that?
(Note: Click here for more Mind of an Author)
At what point does something become home? It doesn’t seem right that a place which seemed so foreign before should now seem more real to me than the place I grew up in for the first 18 years of my life.
But in the short span of eight months, I’ve become accustomed to the (somewhat less than typical) independent college lifestyle. I embody a more mature adult now and have obtained an older soul.
This place will be known to me as the place where a new retainer gave me a slight lisp for two months, where I went out to dinner by myself for the first time, where I bought my first fish, and gained the confidence to forge new friendships.
But have all these new experiences obliterated old memories entirely? Why is it that I find myself referring to two places when I say “going back home”? It is a difficult task to remember a kind of previous life when you’ve become so immersed in a new one, though I believe remnants of it will always withstand time.
And when I inevitably leave this home and move on to the next, will my count of homes rise to three? Will each new step in life become my home while the past fades into a distant memory? What is home?
Home is where the _____ is.
Just something to consider.
In celebration of my tenth blog post (hoorah for milestones!), I wanted to share something with you all which I think is highly controversial. I know I’m not the only one like this. In fact, I believe most people will be able to relate to what I’m about to say, especially those who hold positions of extreme power.
I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.
I understand if you’ve hit the Unfollow button or have already fled to the exit nearest you, but if you did decide to stay, please allow me the chance to explain.
I guess what I meant by that statement is, I honestly don’t know how any of this life stuff will work out.
Sure, I can pretend that I’ve got all the answers, that I’ve been intentionally making all the right moves in order to achieve the best possible outcome. But in retrospect, how much of where I am right now was due to my own conscious decisions?
I’d like to think that my life has been a compilation of my choices; choices I knew were going to catapult me right over the wall of my dreams and into the future I’d planned for myself. But that doesn’t make any sense, does it?
How could I catapult myself? That sort of thing isn’t usually a one man show. The best I can do is make the decision to get in the bucket.
And that’s what life is then, huh? It’s rows upon rows of catapults, each row representing the next stage of progress. All you have to do is decide which bucket to climb into. You can never be sure which catapult is the right one (is there a right one?). They all look relatively the same. You have to let yourself be led by your gut instinct, which at this point is the only bit of control you have in how you’ll advance to the next stage.
So, you get to make life choices, sure. But how far will they fling you? In what direction will you fly? I don’t think there’s any real way of knowing. You just have to understand what you want, and go with what feels right. Pick a bucket, climb in, and just…hope for the best.
Did that even make sense? Does life make sense? Let me know your perspective on this in a comment. I’d love to hear it.