Thursday, September 22, 2011

for whatever reason, today

For quite some time, I had nothing to write.

I always have plenty to say, so much so that I sometimes have trouble settling into sleep, for all of the monologue running through my head.

But sometimes, I don't have anything to write. For extended periods of time. I settle into life, and life takes its hold of me, and I neglect to push myself to sit here and write. For sometimes, writing is a compulsion, something I have to do. I imagine, possibly like that addict that needs their next fix. They have to get their drug of choice. It doesn't even feel optional; it's like breathing, except that it stays on their mind. Generally, I imagine you don't really notice your breathing until you think about it. Nevertheless, much like the addict searching for their next high, when writing is a compulsion, I think about it, and think about it, and search for somewhere, anywhere to write; I search for something, anything to write on. Sometimes, it's like that.

But there are other times when writing is not a compulsion. Sometimes, that urge to write hits, and I think about it, think about it, think about it, and then let the urge go. Drop it back into whatever place it came from, as quiet as its kept. And then I keep it moving. Sometimes, the urge hits, and I say, "I'm going to write about this," and then life takes its hold of me, and nothing comes forth. Sometimes, writing is a thing I would have to make myself do, if I wanted anything to come from the urges that swell and recede, like ocean waves against the shore.

Writing has always been a friend to me, but just like with old friends, sometimes, you lose touch. You know that old friend is still living in the old neighborhood, and you tell yourself all the time that you'll pass by, that you'll say hello. You look at your phone and tell yourself all the time that you'll call. You make empty promises to yourself, halfway full of hope, and halfway full of knowing that you won't visit that old friend when you say you will. You pick up your phone to check your messages, but you know you're not going to call that old friend when you say you will. Writing can be like that for me.

I haven't posted a blog entry since July, and I haven't posted anything substantial since before that. I'm explaining my absence to you, but really to myself, because I feel like saying "I just didn't have anything to say" simply isn't enough. I said that last year, and the year before that. Truthfully speaking, with summer seems to always come a lag in my writing. Does life simply happen faster in the summer, too fast for my writing to keep up with?

Regardless of whatever time vortex may exist in the summer, I don't have to explain why I was denying my old friend a visit, though I will nonetheless.

Life happened, in a manner that seemed to be even a bit ridiculous for my taste. In short: I quickly fell in love with someone, and found that a lot of things I used to say and feel no longer existed for me. No longer was I the advocate for singledom, fucking before being fucked, and existing within the pain of that which had happened to me, and that which I allowed to happen to me. I was in love, with someone who was wholly in love with me, for none other reason than the fact that I was, simply, myself. (I'd never really experienced this before.) Suddenly, my relationship with this person had gone from business, to friendship and love, and I found myself gaining perspective and closure that I didn't know I was searching for. I found myself holding hands, spending nights, crying on shoulders, sacrificing without struggle, and feeling within myself that the thing I knew I'd been searching for all the while had come to me, as quiet as a shadow in the night.

I fell in love, and all else fell away.

It no longer mattered that the "love of my life" had moved on and didn't even leave a return address. It no longer mattered that the victory of a recent "conquest" rang hollow like the inside of a gutted log. It certainly didn't matter that an old "friend" found fault with me for not coming to pick him up during a visit so we could have an empty quickie, presumably, in my vehicle, and it didn't even matter that the ex I gave two unofficial years to moved back to the land he wanted so badly to fit into and didn't even return my Facebook message. In fact, everything became rather comical, because all of the mistakes I made and all of the experiences I had led me right to the front step of the man who now took my heart and spirit into his arms and held them tightly.

So, I fell in love. Became a girlfriend. Became a friend. It's been a lovely journey that I sincerely enjoy, but you understand, this kind of journey takes time and dedication. Hence, putting off that visit to the old neighborhood for yet another day.

And then, everything else happened. My roommates and I moved out of our condo. (There went my consistent internet access.) I was supposed to move to California. That didn't happen. (I'm never ruling you out, oh California fantasy of mine.) My City Year came to an end. I found a job with another AmeriCorps program that didn't start until a month after my City Year ended. So I had a job, but didn't have a job. My only sister graduated from high school and started college. After my roommates and I moved out, I didn't have another location set up to move to. (This time around, I will start looking for a new apartment when I still have six months on my lease. I've learned.) I took on two housesitting jobs for about an entire month. I stayed with the boyfriend. I moved the majority of my things into my future boss's house. I ate. (A lot.) Put on a little thickness. I cut my hair again. (Natural round 2.) Boyfriend and I made the commitment to start locs together. (December, I'm ready.) My car decided to pitch a fit and scrambling had to be done to ensure it would be fixed. Started new job and found myself dissatisfied before new job had really begun in earnest. Food stamps ran out and the office conveniently didn't get my paperwork. Finally found an apartment that was bug infested. Had to move into said bug infested apartment because roommates wanted to rush things. Job sucked. Was making no money. Struggling. Had bills. Struggling. Spent plenty of days lamenting the decisions I'd made (or hadn't made). Wondered why I couldn't just want to do something lucrative, like handle people's stocks or cut people's chests open. Wondered why I hadn't just stayed in school forever. Hated the city I was in. Wanted to go home but knew that wouldn't solve my problems or feelings. Prayed, prayed, prayed

for a resolution.

And then, the boss I never really connected with fired me on some bullshit logic and shady business practice. Surprisingly, the resolution I'd prayed for had occurred, but I was not in the business of realizing such. All I could think of was how livid I was that an employer lied in order to find a reason to fire me. All I could think about was how everyone that worked there or had something to do with them sucked, and how I shouldn't have trusted anyone. All I could think about was the fact that I graduated from a relatively big deal of a PWI*, in three years and cum laude, at that, and this job, that I still performed for even though it didn't matter to me nor my future goals, this job that wasn't even a real job, but an AmeriCorps placement fired me. I've never been fired from a job, barely received as much as a reprimand, and I'd been fired from a joke of a job on some 1984 shit. (Big Brother is real, ladies and gentlemen.)

But: I'd wished I could have time to actually read. (In my absence from writing, I also unfortunately hadn't been reading either. Completing Steven King's It clearly took its toll.) I'd wished I could be outside in the sunlight rather than stuck in a small cube. I'd wished I could make more money. Wished I could be doing anything other than what I was doing. And now, I sit here, in the middle of the day, writing, watching the sun shine on the palm trees outside this Barnes and Noble, beginning to feel slightly dizzy from the focus I've been giving this screen for the last half-hour, but I'm free. Free to do all of the things I'd been hoping I could. God may not answer the way we want Him to, or expect Him to, but He does answer. He does.

So, all that being said, I haven't written in a while. I've been passing the old neighborhood by, saying I'm going to drop in on that old friend, but every time I find the time to stop by, I find something else that needs to be done. Like plucking my eyebrows. Or taking a third nap. Or checking my Facebook.

I haven't written in a while, but today I got tired of passing that old neighborhood by, and thinking about the old friend I've been neglecting.

I'm sorry I took so long.

*--Predominately White Institution

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