Tuesday, July 08, 2008
I haven’t written anything for nearly nine months. “Why do you only write when you are traveling my friend,” my Disney roommate asked when we returned from Chile. It hasn’t been for lack of material, I have had plenty to write about; segway tours, working at Rain Forest Café, happy hour at Pat Obrien’s, Susie’s wedding. Maybe these topics aren’t as intriguing as “My Chilean children love torturing their teachers,” but I love making something out of nothing, that is what I do, that is what I feel I have a talent for. I mean, one of my previous blogs was about knives in the kitchen attacking me! How much more of nothing do I really need? But if not material then what?
I have noticed a pattern in my writing habits and it has to do with when I write and when I don’t. I do write when I am traveling, even when there are stressful events that can squeeze enough juice to make lemonade. I don’t write when I am at home, distracted by the mundane, the ordinary, by the computer and my email. I don’t write when I am unsure of where my life is, or what is happening. Sometimes when I have thoughts that I want to filter from the public, a wall is built rather than a net. Ideas are completely barricaded and imprisoned in my mind where they tromp around causing havoc. After banging their head against the wall for hours and/or days, they sit down and give up. They still want out, but the wall is strong and tall and laziness or dejection sets in. I want to release my thoughts but I am afraid. I am afraid I will let too many of them go. I am afraid I wont know how to control them or mold them to hold the meaning I intend them to. Anxiety plagues my mind holding it hostage, squeezing my heart until it hurts. Fear is what holds my tongue and my actions; the fear of failure or being viewed as a failure. Fear is a dangerous emotion if we let it control us.
One reason I have such a strong desire to travel is my fear of an ordinary life, routine that sets in early and becomes life rather than just being an aspect of it; sitting in an office, staring at a computer screen, daily monotonous chores, mindless yet addicting TV and ending the day with much needed sleep, too tired to explore something new or too bored to search out fun. I am afraid of those grey, rusting metal bars impeding my growth and creativity. I am listless when I am home, hindered by something I don’t understand; I need adventure, I need to know I am alive, that my heart is still overflowing with love and curiosity, Travel slashes the bondages of uncertainty, because although my life is still uncertain and I still can’t read the compass, my heart and gut whisper, no not whisper, they sing on the tops of the mountain that I am on the right path. I am not ok with the slow trickling of a spring dammed by grey, oblong guards. The clean crystal clear spring water has the power and desire for the freedom to gush out of the ground and out into the world to do what it may.
I was afraid to write because what if I wrote about our wonderful and exciting plans, told the world what great adventures we were planning for our life, and for some unknown reason, it didn’t happen. How would people look at me? I don’t want to be the girl who didn’t live up to her dreams or potential. How could I write anything when my fingers were tense with anxiety, blocking the flow of creativity; the sharp and rough rocks that dammed the beautiful spring. I didn’t want to give too much for fear of loosing too much. I don’t want to be afraid anymore, I want to face the world and untie the ropes binding my tongue and thoughts. I have held them captive this nine months, but in this moment I release them to do their worst. No, that is untrue, I am still guarded, and self-conscious but until we walk off the plane into South Korea, my heart will be my own, hiding behind my ribs, waiting anxiously for that heavenly release and the sound of flowing water.