Just days shy of one year ago, I had a serious conversation about writing, and by extension, life. On a Saturday night over our mugs of coffee, I was asked what I write, why I write and who I write it for, why I wanted people to read it – and why I thought people would read it (I didn’t know). Less than a month until my departure to Europe, a four-month-long adventure with no itinerary and just a flight in December from Barcelona I had to catch, I was asked what my goal was with the trip. What I wanted to get out of it.
And I said something lame like “To see new things. And meet new people. To learn.”
Learn what, he pressed.
And I didn’t know, but I felt like I should. I felt like I should have a better answer. Goals. Purpose. Something to work toward to guarantee I took something away from the trip. Made the most of it. And beyond the trip, made the most of each day.
One year later, this has been the longest stretch I’ve been away from the blog – 18 days, now – since that conversation. I’ve been tired. I’ve had dinners, and laundry, and obligations. But being busy is a cop-out. For the first time since that conversation, I’ve had writers’ block.
Because I’m not in Europe seeing new sights every day, and I can’t get by reporting the day’s adventures. I don’t blog about work, and though it is the world’s worst-kept secret I’ve fallen madly in love with questioning also-writer from conversation above, I will blog about it in the smallest of doses, lest he get a big ego boost and try his luck elsewhere. And far more seriously, because that part of life, love, is importantly personal.
I don’t have insights, and opinions, to share everyday, and on the occasions I think I might, I rarely feel qualified to share them with any authority or conviction. In the months that followed that conversation about writing, I’d get anxiety when I didn’t blog. After being Freshly Pressed twice, I worried without frequent posts, I’d lose followers. People would lose interest in this, my personal blog about my life.
And in feeling the pressure to write frequently, the opposite happened. Drafts of ones gone unpublished in recent weeks were cliche. I felt as though I was trying too hard to be meaningful, important, smart.
But that was never supposed to be why I wrote. That certainly wasn’t my answer to his question – why, for who, what.
I just wanted to tell fun stories. And that’s all it ever was supposed to be. No pressure. Write a story, hit publish on the first draft. Move on. Keep living. Make silly stories happen. Share. Hopefully, put smiles on peoples’ faces.
That’s the why.
I want you to giggle at the thought of me being on a roller coaster named Goliath with my boyfriend, screaming with terror, in shock afterward he’d still reach for the hand of his girlfriend, her eyes watering, voice hoarse, hair matted as she wiped the scream/roller coaster-induced drool from her left cheek with her free hand.
I want to tell stories of neighborhood kids getting admonished by their mom on the stoop of their house. “You guys have to love each other. You’re all you’ve got.”
And at times, when the world shows its ugly sides, I want a place to write. Ryan and I walked into a gas station last night for coffee and directions, seeing upon entry the large angry man, hands cuffed behind his back, eye swollen, cheeks bloodied. He’d pushed an old woman and gotten jumped by five guys just minutes before.
And after a nerve-wracking two minutes, we got in my car, and got home safely.
And promised to get myself out of drafts.
And share good.