I can’t believe it is already September. I can’t believe a lot of things, but the idea that there are four more months left in this year completely blows my mind. Where did all the time go? Why, on school of course, and a few chunks (a month or so) went on work. Sometimes this journey I’m on makes me feel like I’m on the inside of a Gusher. You know those supposedly fruit-filled (Lord only knows what’s really on the inside) gummy snacks we ate as kids? The inside is probably squishy with multiple flavors that get sticky when exposed and the gummy outside is like a little pouch that holds it all together.
For a few months now I’ve been trying to squish my aspirations to become a writer (a big portion of which includes being an MFA student) and desire to become a productive member of society (having a “real” job) together into the gummy pouch otherwise known as life. Sometimes I found it easier to just work on one flavor for a while so I devoted July to work, because (1) I was needed and (2) I was suffering from “I don’t think I really know what I’m doing” syndrome which meant I didn’t get a lot of writing done. Since I was exhausted most of the time from the one flavor I only tormented myself about not writing during the times I was supposed to be sleeping, and then before I knew it life was back to normal. A new semester started and I was once again in employment limbo. For all intensive purposes I still have a job – sort of. Let’s just say it falls into one of those “it’s complicated” categories people use to describe their relationships and move on.
When I don’t analyze it I’m grateful for the time and wisely throw myself into school, focusing on completing assignments. This semester I have eight books to read for my literature class, not including the ones I have yet to buy for the upcoming (unidentified as of yet) research project which will be due, a novel to read for my book review and numerous submissions from budding authors like myself (although they seem to have made more progress) who would like to be published in our literary magazine. When I’m not reading I’m supposed to be writing – that is fine tuning the stories I’ve been working on for my upcoming thesis. So, it is not like I don’t have enough to keep me busy. Still sometimes I can’t help but feel a bit disconnected. The goal is to merge the flavors to create the “flavor explosion” they are always talking about.
I’ve been saying for a while now that I need a vacation. I’m living proof that it is possible to sometimes need a vacation from your vacation. Lately it seems as if I’m operating within constraints when I really just need to breathe – maybe then I will feel more like writing. It’s there I know it. These past few days there have been moments when I know I need to sit down with pen and paper or get to the computer, but there has always been something else that needed to be done as well. I would like to escape from those constraints or at least keep them in check.
There have been times lately when I have said yes to people who have invited me to do things when I really wanted to say no. I wish there were a better way to deal with the outside world when it comes to writing. How do you say I’m sorry I can’t or I’d really like to, but not now without them thinking you’re robbing yourself of life or something or worse – being selfish? The life of a writer is generally solitary. If they are around people all the time how are they supposed to get any writing done? I have the hardest time getting this point across and realize why many lock themselves away.
A road trip about now would be a nice diversion – even a tiny one, but I will have to wait until the new year. When that comes I’m sure I will be traveled-out. In January it’s back to KY for my thesis residency, then towards the end of February we’re off to Seattle for AWP. It will be my first AWP conference and my first time in Seattle. More than anything I would love to do a road trip on that one because there are so many amazing sights to see, but time will most likely not permit, not to mention my pet sitter (my mom) will have a cow if I am gone longer than expected so that trip will most likely be a flight. After that in July, I return to MSU to finish up my program and hopefully successfully defend my thesis. Needless to say these trips will most likely be a killer on the pocket book so the only road trip I’m getting between now and then will be back and forth to the grocery store – if I’m lucky.
I haven’t submitted anything recently, because I haven’t focused on anything lately besides the stuff for my thesis. I know I need to – I will, just not today. If anyone knows of any great spots in TN (parks, campsites, retreats, etc.) that I could possibly make into a great writing spot please let me know. It has been a little over a year and I’m still “new” here when it comes to exploring.