Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Challenge 4: Regain My Footing

Lately, I have found myself wanting to write about everything.  So much has happened in the past three months.

I graduated. I crossed the stage, became an alumni of Hope College and received my diploma in the mail (in that order).  I experienced a loss in the family- no one freak out, but Zeke died- and we’re all dealing with our loss through dark humor and denial.  I got a job offer and now I work in the same building as one of my best friends. Corporate world, 8-5.  I traveled half way across the world and back with my family in less than one week. The jet lag was brutal but spending time with all five of the Dawsons in one place was wonderful and refreshing.  I signed a lease to a townhouse and my two closest friends and I are officially going to be Holland residents for a fifth year (not to be mistaken with fifth year seniors).  I attended a wedding and am currently preparing for a best friend’s bachelorette party.  May, June and July have flown by and in less than a week from today it will be August. My summer has been defined by paddle boarding and tennis, great friends and fresh fruit, reading on the deck and living out of my car, falling in love and getting the tannest I think I’ll ever be capable of.  And all along the way I’ve been trying to keep a level head as I experience the highs and lows of transition.

Throughout it all I’ve felt this strong urge to write, to document this time in my life.  I’ve been keeping a mental check list of all the things I want to write about. 

I want to write about identity and the loss I feel from no longer being a “college student”.  I want to write about family.  I want to write about defining who I am by the person I am to the core, not by how I spend the hours in a day (namely, 8-5).  I want to write about being content versus being happy, and which of the two is a better and more realistic goal to strive for.  I want to write about self-worth.  I want to write about transition and friendship and changing relationships (together or separate).  I want to write about my faith.  I want to write about cooking and reading and photography and growing up.

I want to write. But I haven’t.  And I’ve narrowed it down to two reasons why.  The first - mainly - is procrastination.

Let me try to explain - every time I sit down at my computer to write, I end up going in circles.  I can never finish anything I start.  I have a collection of sticky notes around my office and in my purse of lists and quotes and ideas. I’ve drafted out the same blog entry for over two months.  Nothing seems to be clicking.  So after a while, I just give up and blame it on writer’s block.

However, it’s been three months and a lot of failed attempts at writing an essay.  So I’m starting to realize there’s something else going on here.  This leads me to reason number two why I haven’t been writing: I need to allow myself more time.

More time to reflect.  More time to process.  I’ve been under the illusion that my writing needs to have a conclusion- that what happens in my life needs to have a conclusion.  I’ve anxiously been going in circles all summer long trying to get a hold of something- anything- to provide myself with a false sense of security.  I thought that if I could compose a well written essay (with a conclusion and learned life lesson) and post it on my blog than I could prove to the world that I do, in fact, have everything together, and receive an A+ in life.

But I don’t have everything together.  And my life is more like a B+ right now.

Shauna Niequest wrote “writing is more about learning than telling, more about discovering than reporting, more about revealing than pronouncing.” Substitute the word life in for the word writing and I think we’re on to something.

I need to fight the urge to tell, report and pronounce and be content with learning, discovering and revealing.       

It would feel really satisfying to be able to say: this is what my summer has taught me.  Here's what I've learned about myself and about my friends and about having a job.  But the truth is, I'm not quite sure what I know.

Transition does that to you.  It knocks you off your feet and leaves your vision fuzzy and your knees wobbly.  I'm regaining my footing, or at least trying to.  And I think that's just enough for right now. 

1 comment:

  1. Case- I was just thinking about this... and I think maybe you should get a twitter! That way when you think about these quotes, ideas, etc... you can tweet them and expand on them later or just put them out there for other people to enjoy/think about/attempt to make their own conclusions :) I would personally enjoy it a lot and selfishly I want you to do it!!