5 Random Things: Where Am I Going, Where Have I Been
Posted on 15 July 2015
1. A few days ago, I was on a bus in Oregon sneaking glances at the young woman writing in a notebook in the seat in front of me. I watched her write this: “Hello, new journal. It’s nice to meet you. I look forward to seeing where life will take the two of us. It’s been a while since I really got into the habit of writing. I find the more I don’t write, the harder it is to get started again. To slow down enough to get my thoughts onto paper…” and then she turned the page and I couldn’t read on. I didn’t feel guilty about reading those words, or writing them down, or typing them here, and maybe that says something unflattering about me, but really I felt so bolstered by what she wrote, so simply hopeful and glad.
2. Yesterday I was waiting in line to buy dinner in an airport when the woman ahead of me said into her cell phone, “You never call me back. I’m starting to think you don’t want to be my friend anymore,” and this moment highlighted such a parallel in my own life that I lost my appetite.
3. Last weekend, I dressed up in someone else’s clothes and wore a wig and a face mask and danced in a gloriously crazy parade, where I sweated and smiled nonstop and made eye contact with strangers partly because I was asked to and partly because how could I not.
4. I finished my MFA. Or I am finishing my MFA currently, because I’m on a summer fellowship and that means I’m taking one final online workshop. But mostly, I’m done. I moved out of my half-time hovel in Bowling Green. I’m still working on my thesis, a collection of short stories I believe in and am more excited about than anything else I’ve ever written, maybe aside from my current novel in progress. I’m not done with either project yet, but I’m working hard. I am getting somewhere for sure.
5. I’m not attending any writing conferences this summer, but I did stop by Tin House this week when I was in Portland to visit my friend Jennifer. She and I both attended Tin House in 2013, and I miss it, but I miss her more. She gave me a purple necklace and we talked about writing and books and submitting our work. The visit was far too short, and I’m kicking myself for not getting a picture of the two of us. Now my trip is over and I’m at home. The cats are sleeping next to me. I am writing. I am reading. I am back, and I am on my way.
Photo: Benjamin Chan