Tonight I knew I wanted to write, but once again found myself at a loss in front of this screen, still ignoring the 24 one-line/link e-mails I sent myself in the past week or so. I decided to get my mind right. I decided I needed to do it outside though. Since it's chilly out and I have crumpets in my apartment (who actually has crumpets? Me, that's who) so they obviously needed to be consumed alongside hot tea, autumn air and brain vomit. And as cliche as it is, those damn Starbucks pumpkin spiced lattes get me going-- even just seeing the sign for them. In fact, I remember trying one for the first time during the break in my three-hour poetry writing class freshman year of college.
Oh, poetry. As much as I adore the thought of poetry, most of the time I don't get it. I feel like I'm just forcing meaning into something completely arbitrary and whatever I got out of it was probably wrong anyway because maybe I'm just not deep enough. And when I was writing it for class, I kind of just embraced the fact that I was writing something arbitrary and that others would assign meaning to it (because they had to in order to pass the class).
In real life, though, people assign meaning to poetry because it speaks to them, right? And what does it actually matter if it was meant to evoke the feelings that it did or not? I suppose it doesn't. I often view classic literature this way, too. I always loved discussing symbolism in class, but most of the time I wanted to call BS on it (Really, Ethan Frome? What's sexy about a pickle dish?) But there's definitely a sense of inadequacy engrained in me. It's "emotaling." It claws at my brain whenever I attempt to write about anything besides the ridiculous pick up line some douche used on me that day or how ridiculous it is that I fall every time I try to go running. The funny thing is, I did have feelings while I was writing poetry for the class but some how when I wrote them down I still felt like a phony. And another thing, people in class did assign meaning to it, and a lot of it was spot on. Eventually my teacher met with me encouraging me to submit my work in order to take higher level poetry courses, too. I didn't. I still felt like a phony. I kind of regret it now.
I think that's how I felt when I went into panic-mode after college when I couldn't find a writing job. For those of you who didn't get to witness the pandemonium, let me fill you in: My "About Me" section used to say something along the lines of, "I'm going back to school to be a physical therapist!" This was a product of me injuring my knee and not being able to run, going to PT and living with my parents for the first time in four years. While it was a great idea in theory, I couldn't shake the thought of how weird it would be to read about a physical therapist's dating life on her personal blog. This is not the Mindy Project, you guys, or Hart of Dixie for that matter (and if it was, I'd be totally okay with being in med school right now). These are professionals and let's be real, I'm not into the whole straight-laced-hide-all-your-shwastey-faced-photos-on-Facebook thing, and apparently I had already grown pretty damn attached to this little corner of the internet. And even though a part of me thought I wouldn't actually make it as a writer (that aforementioned phony complex), I decided I felt better about serving tables and bonding with people through the interwebz than I did failing chemistry and panicking about one day having to cut open a dead body (provided I passed chemistry).
I went for it and I'm glad I don't kind of regret not trying it now. I certainly don't think I've made it as a writer and there are tons of things I want to do, improve and try in order to become better, deeper, more "intellectual," but at least now I can try to figure it out (and in California for that matter). Who knows, maybe a year from now I'll have another life crisis and decide my true calling is yodeling, but now it seems like I need to write. Even if it takes driving to Target to get a fold-up chair so I can be outside in the chilly air, terrified of the skunks lurking about, in order to do so.