Have you noticed that I’ve been kind of…quiet lately? Online, I mean.
Well, two major items have filled my waking hours this month:
- I moved. I’m in California’s Bay area now, like the place I’ve been talking about relocating to since I started this blog. My mom and I actually drove out here from North Carolina. It was pretty epic. (I’ll blog about it later, mainly because it will give me an excuse to post some awesome pictures.)
- I’ve owed Joanna a new draft of Ever After 2 since Christmas. I did part of my revision when I was in Montana for Christmas, part of it on the road, and part of it when I arrived here in Berkeley.
Ten points if you can spot the ghost of the ms literally looming over this scene!
(It was on the dashboard.)
Yesterday, I finally finished and sent it back in.
My immediate thoughts were: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!! I have free time again! I can sleep in! Read books! Explore the area!! Do research for my next project!!!
Less than an hour later, when the euphoria ebbed slightly, a few other facts sank in:
- I just moved. To someplace far, far away from everything familiar in my life.
- I only have one job. (But it’s an awesome job. So awesome that I was tempted to write I don’t have a job – it seems too cool to be work.)
- I don’t have a plan.
- I don’t have a long term apartment.
- I don’t even have a place to stay past next Tuesday.
Some people might call this “reality,” but I tend not to like those people.
Anyway, I had a brief freak out. That’s natural when you realize you’ve made a change you can’t back out of. You second guess yourself no matter how long you’ve been talking about taking the action you just took.
But I realized something. – This is exactly what my 2012 resolution is all about.
Have I mentioned my New Year’s resolution yet? I don’t think so. It’s not really a typical one. It’s more like a mental habit I want to work on – something that will make my brain a more enjoyable place to be. I did a similar thing last year, which actually made my brain a more comfortable place.
Here my resolution for 2012:
You can’t control where you are. You can only control what direction you’re heading.
Enjoy the whole trip.
Yeah, I know. It’s a long one. And also the kind of thing you would see embroidered on your favorite grandma’s pillow amidst cute thread-stitched kittens.
2011, for me, was marked with impatience and frustration. Most of it stemmed from me being dissatisfied with where I was – whether that be how far I was in a revision/draft, how much blogging I’d accomplished, the place I was living, and being impatient to move onto the next stage.
Here’s the underlying belief that caused both the impatience and frustration: that if I reached –insert some sort of achievement here–, then I would finally be happy.
Here’s the truth: I will always be able to freak out about something, to be dissatisfied with something.
Great book too – The House of Spirits sparked an Isabel Allende reading frenzy for a whole semester in high school.
But honestly, I have a great life. I’m reasonably healthy (although I would appreciate not being allergic to half the planet). I drive my favorite car in the entire universe – past, present, and probably future. I have my dream job.
Also, I only get one life. Okay, unless I’m reincarnated, which might be cool. But definitely, only one life as Shelby Bach. I need to enjoy it RIGHT NOW. I need to appreciate even the stuff that scares me, because the only constant thing about life is change. I won’t always have this.
So, this move – It’s something I want. This is something I’ve wanted for a long time.
This map has been hanging in my bedroom for the past year,
reminding me where I want to go.
(It was a gift from a very dear friend.)
I am going to enjoy it.
Because it will only happen once.
And I’ve basically decided to just have an awesome life. 🙂