Quarterlife Crisis Revisited

Last night, procrastinating as ever, I randomly opened a folder of old Word documents saved from my old computer.  I read through part of my masters’ thesis and laughed at some appalling beginnings of short stories.  I read some letters I’d written to God and one to my future spouse (for an exercise we did in my girl’s Bible study, as I recall).  I found some free-verse poetry that was really enjoyable to read, and I realized how dormant that part of my brain has become.  I still value words highly.  “The pen is mightier than the sword”, etc.  But I’ve left creative writing on the back burner the past few years to pursue social work and Spanish and other endeavors.  I miss it.  I want this blog to be about real stories, but now and then maybe a bit of creative writing will creep in.  For instance, check this out…(circa 2004-2007)

Drizzle

The melancholy rain

Suits me these days.

As it blots out

The blaring sun

My eyes tune to the grey.

It’s droning rhythm slows the world

To match my pace.

Cold, colorless drops gather

To stagnate in muddy puddles.

I rather like them, as co-conspirators

Against all things perky and productive.

Fickle

I try not to believe in signs

Wilt in your presence

Settle

It cannot be captured

In language

Never

Stop chasing me

Tell me why

Save me

I’ve got to get up

And go

Across the world

Live in my head

Always

Just beyond

The actual words

And permeating

My consciousness

Don’t glance

Don’t look away

Stay

Out of my way

Today

Hold me

Be quiet

Say what I want

You to say

Surprise me

Blind me

In slow motion

This time

Losing Count

There’s a bomb

In my stomach

And a half-smile

On my lips.

I might just

Rub off my face

And leave it

In a gravy boat

Drive to Mexico

And sell my delirium

By the ounce

‘Cause tai chi

at sunrise

won’t unwind

my tangled kite string

but distractions

can bless a simple

soul.

[What in the world does this last one mean?  I’m not sure I knew even then.  I promise I wasn’t on drugs.  I was just reading a lot of Billy Collins.]

I realize I’m making myself vulnerable by sharing this, and I understand if it’s not your thing.  It just fascinates me that my brain was once capable of this type of weirdness.

When I think about this time in my life—the “Quarterlife Crisis” if you will, I remember feeling like my future was a sea of question marks.  One essay that I wrote my senior year of college described it as “living in the ellipsis of my life story”.  It’s overwhelming–the thrill of possibility and the agony of isolation.  This phase (coupled with the writing classes I took) inspired a lot of creativity.  The classics that you read in high school and college were mostly written by depressed, suicidal alcoholics.  I’ve never been one of those, but I was wrestling with some heavy thoughts about life at the time that I composed a lot of my creative writing.

Nowadays, I am pretty stable and pretty happy.  I don’t think this means that I CAN’T be inspired like I was then.  It might just be more difficult to access that part of myself and look different when I do.  I want to go ahead and formally accept the challenge of finding creative inspiration despite the fact that I have less question marks in my life now.  Can one be a happy person and still produce interesting writing?  Yes!  (Do you like how I give myself these little pep talks?  Oh yes, it happens often.)  And I am by no means normal (the previous sentence is proof enough, is it not?), so that will help.

It seems that so far my posts about love/relationships/intercultural marriage have been the most popular.  This is good news for me, because I love writing about these things.  I’m considering writing down my entire Love Story in chapter form and sharing it here.  It is an unconventional story in some ways and also sort of sounds like the plot of a romantic comedy at times.  Until then, thank you for joining me here.  Now let’s all go out and write a weird poem or compose a song or paint a canvas–just for the heck of it!  🙂

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