May 26, 2015

On Decisions, Transience, and Faith.

(Dan and I, Brooklyn, Summer 2014)

I've never been very good at making decisions. A big part of this is simply that I'm a creative person, and the world is endlessly fascinating to me. My brain and my life both move quickly, and when I find myself standing still, I get bored. But I'm noticing my friends and family struggle with decision making and commitment lately, and while many of them are artists, some aren't, and they're still struggling.

There are so many options and opportunities for my generation, especially for those of us economically and socially privileged to have been born as white, middle-class Americans. It's a privilege to have choices, and one that I think every human being should have, but lately, it has also felt debilitating. For our grandparents and even our parents, the choices were simpler, and the definition of "success" more polarising and particular. Now, I can imagine and achieve so much. The world is smaller and experiences are more attainable. I'm constantly distracted not just by social media or Netflix, but by the idea of a tent in Hawaii, a commune in Canada, a train in Boston. I've always wanted an adventurous life, and I've had one. I've lived all over the country and the world, and I've been daring in my relationship with myself and with others. But I'm reaching a moment in my young adulthood where I feel trapped between the desire to continue to live adventurously, and the need to live responsibly.

The longing to create a home, to have my own space and life, is seemingly at odds with my longing to see the world. As it is, I'm stuck somewhere in between. Ann Arbor is a stop along the way for me. That would be okay if I felt that there were a destination. I've got "a stop along the way" stretching out before me without end.

Most days, I feel completely lost. But I've been taking a lot of comfort in these words from Amy Poehler: You can only move if you are actually in the moment. You have to be where you are to get where you want to go.

So, I'm practicing that. I'm taking hope in the idea that life always leads to more life. Every stop along the way is meaningful and worthwhile in its own right, but every stop along the way also propels us forward.

I would never have moved to New York for university if I hadn't done a summer internship and lived in Manhattan as a high school student. I would never have gone to Belgium four years later if I hadn't done that summer internship with the same company. I would never have gone to Canada if I hadn't read a book about L'Abri in a college class.

Life leads to more life, and I'm looking forward eagerly to what "more life" will look like in the fall.

In the meantime, here's to what life is now: a bicycle with a basket, four jobs, a front porch, an empty closet, a little homesickness, and the sweetness of learning to walk by faith.

May 21, 2015

New Things.

In my continued efforts to revamp this blog into something a bit more eclectic and inclusive, here's a bit of a personal life update.

Working here: Hobart: another literary journal
Attending this: Anne Carson and Anne Waldman
Reading this: 100 Years of Solitude
Listening to this: Lurid Glow

(Brooklyn, April 2015)

May 10, 2015

Joy - Ludington State Park, Michigan

May 8, 2015

Holland, MI.

I was right about the warm weather.

It makes all the difference to smell the grass and honeysuckle again.

Georgia had little for me. But Lake Michigan makes me miss the gulf.

Maybe its all gotten to be too much. Montauk last summer, the river in Antwerp, the canals in Amsterdam, the Seine in Paris, the briny Pacific off the coast of Vancouver. It's all beautiful, but it only makes me feel far away.

I'm rarely homesick. But this week, the thought of Savannah makes me want to cry.

How do you be in love but be apart? My feelings for the South mirror my feelings for him: heady, lazy, thick. Everything I want to leave and everything I long to return to.

I can't distinguish the line between theory and practice.

I keep taking things too far, but never finishing the task.

He was right when he said "We talk to much. We think too much." My only response was to climb out of the car and pack my bag.

I haven't unpacked since.

But the weather is warm, and Joy and I are going camping today.

If growth is happening, its happening in these simple tasks my dad never quite taught me to do: chopping fire wood, driving the highway, pitching a tent, loving and not leaving.