So, the sun rose today... It was a little cloudy, a little windy, and awfully cold. There wasn't much to see at all and then, a flock of birds flew past as I snapped a picture. It wasn't a great shot, but it was mine. That moment with the sun and the birds and the wind. My memory. Part of my life.
Every day, I write a story, an essay, a reflection on something happening in my own life, and every day, I struggle to find something to say. As my mother recently noted, I have covered a lot of topics, and in 9+ years of mostly daily writing, one is bound to do so. Something like 3,338 published posts (outside of this one) live on this site.
When I started 9+ years ago, I did not set out to write 3,338 posts. At that point, I grappled with the idea of writing just one. And then another. And then another. Three thousand three hundred and forty eight days later, I am still wrestling with the idea.
Part of the problem, as I have written before, is that there are things in my life that I just don’t want to share. Some things, I just want to keep to myself. Relationships. Family. Things that involve other people because their stories are not really mine to share. Likewise, I am not comfortable writing about work. This is not the appropriate forum for airing my professional life; though, I can say that I do love my job. I feel very fortunate to have found it… Have I ever told that story?
Almost 13 years ago, my roommate at the time (who was dangerously close to becoming my common-law wife because we spent so many years living together and whom I haven’t seen in more than a decade) decided to celebrate her 30th birthday in her favorite place: The Bahamas. She and friend were seated together toward the back of the plane, and I was on my own near the front and seated beside a woman who looked decidedly nervous.
Determined to distract her from whatever made her clutch the armrest so tightly, I started talking to the woman, the stranger. As it turned out, her discomfort was warranted a million times over; she and her husband were headed to his son’s funeral. No parent should ever have to bury a child.
We talked for a while in the short space between National and Charlotte where we both changed planes, and I think that maybe I made her laugh just a bit. (Despite the heavy topics I frequently cover, I am really quite funny.) She smiled, at least, and as we disembarked, she turned to hand me a business card.
“I don’t know you. I don’t know anything about you. I don’t know if you’re happy with your job, but I think you’d be a great fit for our company.”
She was right. About a month ago, I left that company (the one my seatmate suggested) to take a job with my client, doing the same work as a direct employee. I had been there for more than 12 and a half years. I still love the work.
Maybe I have written that story before. Almost everyone who knows me has heard it once or twice or so it feels – familiar, worn, like a favorite pair of jeans. I try not to tell it that often, though. I don’t want to wear a hole in the memory and again, I like to keep some things to myself.
In the past 9+ years of writing, I have found myself talking less, telling fewer stories, and listening more, which is funny. I almost always have thoughts on a subject. There are always things I want to say. Granted, I have started to slur and stutter, which is incredibly frustrating when trying to speak, but more than that, I figure I ought to get over myself and let someone else talk. I can write my stories later.
Then, I sit at a computer and wonder what in the world I can say. How can I be interesting? What would I want to say that anyone else might want to hear? Read? Consider for the amount of time it takes to get from Once Upon a Time to The End?
I start typing.
Somehow, as I write, stories form. Lately, it seems that all I write deals with big heavy topics like health, money and an uncertain future, but when I look at the screen, I really just want to write light, happy things. I smile a lot. I think the world is truly a beautiful place, even with illness, with war, with helium
and clown shortages
Lately, I have considered how much my life has changed in the past few months (with 100 happy days) and the past year and a half (with my diagnosis), but I don’t know that I have ever really written about the past 9+ years or how the writing itself has shaped my life.
Writing is considered a healthy habit. It helps people express their emotions and think through situations and experiences. Studies have show that people who write sleep better and it’s possible that they heal faster
, too. Physically. Outside of the health aspects, though, telling stories every day has meant that I have needed live a life worth telling. I have done more, seen more, lived more than I ever imagined. I have written from all seven continents including the use of a fairly expensive satellite phone from Antarctica. I have grown up a lot.
A million stories live inside my mind. Some are n0t really worth a post of their own. The smell of caramelizing onions, cornbread, roasted squash with sage and thyme that I bought in Uruguay fill my house, head and memory, but I don’t know how to weave them together in a tale. Not yet. I can only write about answering letters from prisoners so many times before I start to sound like a broken record, even to me, and regular long walks and long talks on gorgeous autumn days don’t necessarily warrant mention at all. They just make life better.
Life is not all sunshine and sausages, but I am up before sunrise every day now and it still seems a marvel. Every single day. I don’t think I can write stories about it for the next 3,348 days, but I imagine I am going to sit behind a computer and try awfully hard.