Photo By: T.J. Beach
The very first installment of “Braving the Days” was published on December 2, 2016. I must admit that I am none the wiser, but that doesn’t take me out of the running to have become a better woman. I believe I have become a better human being in many ways. I also believe that I am learning: in life, less can be more. I didn’t tour all over the world this year, but I’ve been to the local zoo. I didn’t play a big concert, but I played a house concert in front of 10 friends. I’ve held a three day old child in my arms, I’ve read a lot of books, I considered having surgery then decided to learn more about holistic health.
I didn’t end up in a profile in The New Yorker but I saw Ravi Coltrane play his mother’s music in New York City. I love a man who introduced me to a little Prince who adorns half his DNA. I didn’t do anything fancy, but I’ve eaten a bunch of ice cream, pushed swings at playgrounds, and had girls nights at jazz shows and museums.
It’s been a good year. Last year around this time, I had just turned 3o and I was confused and depressed, desperate to make a change, to slow down. So, I did.
My first post of the column was called:
Braving the days using a few words devoid of superfluity.
And I asked the questions:
“How would one do that or how would that sentence be acted out in real life? Yes, this is how my brain works. Between my thought journeys I write notes. I scribble thoughts and ideas and sew them together hoping to God they make sense. Who in God’s name would give me the opportunity to write free form? Should a messy thinker like me be permitted to write without direction from an editor or without a tightly fleshed out theme?”
I think I’ve gotten myself together since last year. I don’t think I’m a messy thinker or a writer without direction anymore. Since that post, I’ve written vigorously, taught many classes and workshops and read at least 51 books. I’ve calmed down, stopped being so down on myself and focused on my health and my family – and now here we are.
To the minute.
I’m alive and well. I still hope to use a few words devoid of superfluity. I don’t want to be superfluous, but it’s okay to be simple. It’s okay to grow and actually come out doing better than you were before. Being a good writer doesn’t mean you have to live a tragedy.
Being an honest writer doesn’t mean you have to ooze emotions every moment of the day and have climactic events more times than you have a good night sleep.
I guess it happened for Bukowski, but obviously I am not him. This is not to say that next year won’t be full of turmoil, but I doubt it.
Life is what you make it and being an adult can be about making a place for yourself that can last. I don’t own any running shoes…Happy New Year.
You’ve gotten to read me here for a year. Thank you. And thank you TERSE. For a providing a place for my journey.