500 Words, 31 Days

I’m already distracted.

This probably isn’t the best way to start, but I’m starting here, and now, because if I don’t, I won’t ever.

The Clipper game is on and they need this win against the Bobcats desperately. Or maybe I do. I need this win desperately.

The Joe Pass record is also on, and it skipped exactly where it always does – in the middle of “It Ain’t Necessarily So”. I’ll always remember that skip, and I never really mind. I believe that was the song that came on as I was proposing to my wife.

This is going to be a challenging commitment.

I signed up for a new project – 500 words, every day, for 31 days. Most, if not all of this, will end up on this blog, unedited. That’s one of the stipulations for this project, to really write freely, without care for error, but to do so consistently.

Maybe this can serve as a return back to how this blog even started. Initially, I set this up as a means to just get down my ramblings on, anything. Looking back at some old entries, I really had little clue where I was going, only that I needed to begin.

Eventually, I started seeing the semblance of a pattern, which was, that I particularly enjoyed writing about finding purpose, discovering one’s vocation, or at least, searching for it. Many of my writings had to do with finding the meaning behind everyday occurrences, extracting the truth behind the most mundane of things. Whatever the truth was, to me.

So, it seemed to me that I had found what I’d write about. The journey to meaning.

It’s not that original. Everyone’s on this journey, whether they know it or not. Many writers, of course, live in a world wherein they are perpetually philosophizing, attempting to make sense of themselves and the world around them. This isn’t anything new – only for me.

Sort of.

I’d been writing on and off my entire life. When I was in middle school, I remember taking a stab at writing haikus. By the time I got to college, there apparently was some sort of spoken word poetry movement going on among young, “progressive” students, and I wanted in on it.

Then, I had some of the toughest experiences of my life. I finished college on a high note, only to find myself unemployed for a year from 2007 to 2008, when one of the worst economic crises in history began.

I had little clue what to do with myself – and so, naturally, I moved to New York City.

Depending on the day, I view this season as both the most exhilarating time of my life, as well as the most discouraging. But for whatever it was worth (and I’m still sorting out that that is) it was a season I had dedicated to being creative – I shot a lot of photographs, I blogged for several websites, and I indulged in the arts so readily available in a city as richly diverse as the Big Apple.

There’s no place quite like New York City, and I believe, there may not be a place as competitive, and in turn, as soul-crushing either.

I moved back to California with wounded pride, but pride nonetheless, like a defeated fighter that lasted until the end of the bout but hadn’t won a single round.

I wrote because I had to make sense of what happened to me there. Where things had gone wrong. What might’ve gone right. Eventually, I didn’t want to keep digging up my memories – they weighed too heavily on my already fragile self-confidence.

So I stopped being creative.

I worked on making life as stable as possible. I worked on renewing my commitment to my partner, who is now my lovely wife. I worked on building up a unique community of friends with whom I could be my absolute most vulnerable.

Still, life didn’t need to be “better”, per se. But perhaps, it needed to be different.

Long story short, my wife and I took an opportunity to move abroad for an indefinite period of time, so we packed our bags and headed to Malaysia, her homeland.

After my contract for work was up, I was back at a place I was all too familiar with – unemployment.

I’ve since picked up gigs here and there that allow me to work from home. I have a comfortable office in our comfortable little condo overlooking the ocean one side, and the mountains the other. It’s a sweet life, considering I’ve hardly earned any of it.

But also considering how much time I now have at my disposal (though these days, it isn’t as much as I had thought), and how much flexibility I have with my schedule (perhaps to a fault), I felt it was time to dust off the writing tools and get at it again.

Truthfully, the process of embracing that nagging part of my soul that longs to live a writerly life is a longer, more arduous one than I’m willing to elaborate upon here…

Except, that’s the thing though. It’s a process I’m presently in. The writing is the processing. There is no other way.

For me, writing always feels like a new beginning, even though I’ve been writing, my entire life.

So here I am again. Another goal for another year, though maybe my most daunting one yet.

But the TV is now off, and the record finally stopped playing. I guess now, I’ve already begun.


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