I don’t know much, about blogs. When they got popular? When or if they have climaxed? I am late to the game. For years I told myself, start a blog, write everyday, take these ideas and put them somewhere. Weeks, months, and years passed. Creative writing was put on hold in graduate school, and then after graduation it was excuse after excuse: “I just spent two years on my computer, I deserve a break,” “it’s too late to start, if I had started three years ago it would be different, but now, whats the point?” “once I start writing daily, then I will make the leap.” It didn’t seem to matter how much I wanted to write, my self-talk denied my every action. Living in a cycle of “nexts” (next week, next Monday, next year) I never actually reached one. It became an elusive goal post that vanished or inched away as soon as I came near it.
Last January I bought a new notebook (I have six journals in which less than half of the pages are filled because the intention of writing everyday or filling the book fell upon that intangible next). I vowed to fill it with daily musings, paper ideas, statement of purpose drafts, letters to friends or crushes I’d never send, imaginary allies. . . .I think it lasted five days, like many goals gone by it petered out. I took a trip, or worked an eight hour shift that turned into a bender, that escalated into a hangover that deserved a day in bed, which turned into a grub-hub ordering frenzy which left me guilty yet satiated yet incapable of doing anything but laying in bed freezing my mind with reruns of shows already watched three too many times. Next morning I would wake up, rush to the gym to sweat out the Chinese food, and by the time the toxins were out and I had showered, the notebook was lost in my desk’s abyss, another project half finished, half started, awaiting the next next that would never come.
How many nexts are we waiting for? What do we hold off today, because tomorrow feels even closer? Why do we place more emphasis on the possibility of the future, rather than taking hold of whats possible right now? Why are we so fucking good at holding ourselves back?
This blog, creating the website, dedicating my time to my words and voice, is my end to waiting for the next. I’m tired of relying on the tomorrow that gets pushed back every morning, I’m tired of letting my ideas dissolve, because I tell myself they can wait. I’m over biting my tongue because my friends want to “just have a chill night where I don’t try and save the world.” I’m sick of scrolling and digging into people’s lives online instead of saying hello in person. I’m over not saying what so desperately needs to be said so as to not make someone uncomfortable. I am done with putting who I want to be off until a more convenient time.
No more tomorrow, or next week.
And the point? Because like most of the amazing souls around me, I have a lot to say, and no outlet to say it. In graduate school I wrote and wrote and wrote, and may never look at any of those papers again. They were, for weeks on end, my everything; they dictated when I got up, when I went to sleep, what I ate, how I felt, what I read, who I spoke to. Energy and time all put into neatly spaced twelve point font pages I would never look at again. I do not regret it. What I regret is pouring so much of my voice into something that doesn’t follow me each day, into something no one else can share with me, in something so individual it made graduate school even more of an island. The only people who understood you, who read your papers, who shared the late-night-lights of the library were your academic peers, your cohort, your professors. It’s a beautiful island, but it engenders an essence of solitude. And I wouldn’t change my experience but if I could go back, I would take the time to write more for the places, people, and issues beyond the academic shores.
Higher education, particularly graduate school, invites you to deeply understand the world we live in, it also beckons you to join it. Because, for me, the more I learned the more I yearned to be involved. And yet, I have no writing that shows this. Sure I have a gothic paper on Jane Eyre’s liminality, a conference paper on the homogenous treatment of animal flesh and women’s bodies in the western world, a thesis on the mechanics of consumption in Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy, and a final paper on Nabokov’s use of metaphor to transform or mask the grotesque. What I don’t have is an article divulging my thoughts on the power and the importance of the feminine spirit. I do not have a passionate blog post about the importance of being good to each other. I have no written evidence of how much I hate water bottles and how desperate and angry I feel about climate change. I have no .pdf gushing over my deep connection and reverence for mother nature. No word doc examining the love and heartbreak this city has both offered and taken away from me. Nothing to show for the funny stories I tell myself, or the myriad of voices in my head. No piece about the female body, her voice, her destruction, her power, her rage. No short stories or quips about the vast run-ins I have had with strangers, gypsies, stalkers, and misogynistic men in this seven by seven bubble. No piece that screams at every paragraph, comma, and exclamation point: who I am, why I am here, and what I stand for.
For someone who fiercely protects their words, understands their power, and is grateful for their constant presence, I have little physical evidence to show for this. And I am not okay with that. Too many women hold back their voices, or let themselves be talked over. Or feel it isn’t the best or right time to speak up. They smile when they don’t feel like it, or laugh to cover up boredom. Starting at Mills and continuing thereafter, I have devoted time to experiencing and thinking about what it means to be a Woman. I have taken the time to not only observe but feel my feminine truth. I no longer stay quiet out of comfort for others, or say yes when I mean no. I am not afraid to tell you I am beautiful, powerful, proud, or when I feel sad, ugly, fraudulent, weak, or weary. Thanks to the books I have read, the women I have come across, the relationships that changed me, the men that scared me, the heart and soul aches that have come and gone, I have found the right size inside myself. I not only like the way she fits, but am ready to share her with you.
I find this important for many of reasons, but one being my conscious decision to stop waiting. In my humble opinion we spend way too much time treating our present moment as a means to an end. We continually wait for a “better” time, or an easier way, or a less rocky boat, and then unconsciously miss the best waves. Why? Because we are so focused on the next one, we forget to enjoy the one we are already riding. In October I decided to stop waiting, and take action. After getting my masters I spent almost two years in slow moving quick sand, pulling me further and further into the world of Wait. I had no idea why I was paused, but I couldn’t seem to hit another button. I craved a mix-up, a spark of inspiration, a signal on what to do, a sign. Ironically, what ended up pushing me forward wasn’t merely the opportunity that revealed itself, it was my choice to actually take it.
My cousin offered his own story of transformation, his plunge into the world of life coaching, and although I tried to make excuses or hold myself back, instead of describing and managing all the reasons why I should or shouldn’t do it, I said yes. I had no idea, and still don’t know where this road leads, but every day instead of waiting for the next, I am in motion. I declared to launch a blog and website, and here we are. I declared to become a certified Life Coach, by the standards of the ICF (International Coaching Federation), and I am well on my way. And this blog represents not only the space in which I vow to share my words, it is the result of getting out of the burdensome cycling of nexting.
My intention is to share my thoughts, hiccups, breakdowns, break throughs, anecdotes, and stories with whatever you is out there. This will include my opinions on politics, gender, human and environmental rights; my experience as a woman; my successes, failures, and insights as a Coach; my time here as a friend, lover, daughter, sister. I think a woman’s voice–her inner spirit, soul, divinity–will, and has already changed the world. I am not suggesting I am any more special than the next, only collectively can we hope to build the world we want to live in. And in the world I imagine–a world based on love, goodness, critical thinking, patience, compassion, and justice–women speak out. Our voice will be heard around the world, and only by using my own, can I support this vision. I do not claim to have anything better, wiser, or funnier to say than another, I only hope that by taking ownership of my own voice, space, and body, that others will do the same.
I invite anyone who reads this to give up waiting as a state of mind. Join me in action. Stop lingering in, around, and for the next. Bask in presence, and stand in joy of yourself.
“And if there is not any such thing as a long time, nor the rest of your lives, nor from now on, but there is only now, why then now is the thing to praise and I am very happy with it. Now, ahora, maintenant, heute. Now, it has a funny sound to be a whole world and your life. Esta noche, tonight, ce soir, heute abend.” –Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls