Tag Archives: letting go

Letting Go So I Can Move On

Today is the day I allow my Victoria blog domain to die. Now it’s just another lowly wordpress.com site.

Writing-wise, it was like a bad pair of jeans. Sure, it gave me something to write about, but it would always feel wrong.

Despite that, Victoria has been where I’ve reconnected with writing after losing my inspiration for nearly five years. I’ve tried on many genres of writing while here — for money and otherwise.

With both paid and unpaid writing, I now feel that life is too precious to spend it earning money doing things I don’t love, and even less worth it when money ain’t involved. I haven’t figured out the secret to only getting paid to do what I love yet, but I’m getting closer. I can feel it.

Girl checks out the sunset on Victoria's Dallas Road. By me. Some rights reserved.

Girl checks out the sunset on Victoria’s Dallas Road. By me. Some rights reserved.

I was never gonna be the Victoria-it-place girl. I’m glad the one blog post on about lepers got a lot of recognition and was reprinted in the Huffington Post, but the rest of the blog, I found it hard to give a shit about it.

Learning that it’s the genre and type of writing that was bumming me out is a big thing. It’s the opposite of inspiration, that. Other people can write about food joints and place trends, but it ain’t me.

I’m now learning the writing I want to do can’t be done in one spot. It’s like an REM song — I can’t get there from here.

I can’t explain it to you, but you’ll know it when you see it.

I shot this on day five of living in Victoria. March, 2012. Sunset at Victoria's Ogden Point Breakwater. I will miss this place and its special feeling after I'm gone.

I shot this on day five of living in Victoria. March, 2012. Sunset at Victoria’s Ogden Point Breakwater. I will miss this place and its special feeling after I’m gone.

In future adventures in writing, I see more observational, contemplative work. That’s my jazz. I also want to try fiction again, which I’ve only written for classes before, but that I may have a knack for. After all, inside my brain is a dark and bizarre world at times. I’ve begun cobbling out the plot for an unreliable memoir of a serial killer, for instance.

I’m sure there are those who’ll scoff at the notion that I can know what my “missing piece” is and where I’ll find it, but there aren’t a lot of times in our lives when we have an unmistakable pull telling us where to go, what to do. For those of us lucky enough to decipher that code, there’s this weird undercurrent of certainty that battles the fear of change.

I may be terrified of my five-year world-travel plan, in some ways, but I’ve never had more certainty that a risk I was taking is the right one. Believe me, I’ve thought of all the freaky what-ifs, but the core of certainty remains.

“Certainty” is an iffy word for it, but I can’t find a better one.

It’s like that scene in Donnie Darko where Donnie sees that strange orb of pre-destiny extending from other folks’ torsos, in that split moment before they commit to a direction or action, affirming for Darko Dr. Roberta Sparrow’s theories on time travel.

The global nomad thing just feels that way for me and my writing. What I seek, it’s out there. It feels almost like I’ve accidentally mislaid a piece of my soul and need to go retrieve it.

I remember when I was younger I used to think relentless wanderers were people running away or seeking something. I know it’s more complicated now. Today, I feel like some of those wanderers are plugged into a bigger picture, they’re not running from anything — they’re embracing everything.  “Wherever you go, there you are.”

Abroad, writing will become a kind of clearinghouse for me. I will absorb, process, and relate everything I’m experiencing in the moment. Like French cinema, I may not get it when I’m in the theatre, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy the imagery and I’ll appreciate it more in the days to come.

I look forward to trying all kinds of writing exercises, seeing what fits and what doesn’t. Same with cultures, landscapes, and cuisines.

So today I allow one more thing to fall away from me, a passing of my time here in Victoria. In ways that will remain known only by me, that blog was part of how I came to realize my nebulous dream of being a global nomad was absolutely doable. It was how I learned my limits, that living on, and writing about, life on one island was not gonna be enough for me.

Milestones are cool. For me, this is a good one. There’ll always be the WordPress.com version of the blog anyhow.

And so the slow goodbye to Van Isle begins for me today.

Letting Life Drive

Some of the best experiences in my life have come as a result of deciding life might be better at the wheel than I am, and making the choice to let it lead my way a little.

I’m doing that now, kind of have been since day one of my unemployment, and the ride’s getting increasingly fun.

There’s something about not getting locked into your expectations.

I can be really guilty of that sometimes, but I’m also hip to the roll-with-it ways, too.

It’s funny, I’m sitting here smiling and thinking of an old friend who used to try and autopsy my writing.

“Well… you’re having trouble with the conflict again. Maybe you’ve just had too much conflict in your life and you can’t willingly create it anymore,” she wondered.

That always struck me as a kind of omniscient saying. Maybe I was constitutionally opposed to conflict now. Maybe my inner-United Nations issued sanctions against literary conflict. Maybe I was all Gandhi up in the head now.

A year or so after that, I stopped trying to write about conflict. I gave up the quest to write fiction, and instead wrote about what was, the status quo. I took a non-fiction turn and cracked the inner-thought nut.

Writing and creativity came back to me. Sure, I don’t write fiction these days, but I suspect I could if I really wanted to go there. Right now, I’m happy where I’m creatively at.

I’m also enjoying riding the wave of life to see where it takes me. I think it’s throwing the odd obstacle before me, but they’re the kinds of challenges that make you think about what your values really are, and what matters to you at this given moment in time. For me, it’s involved making choices about what’s more important to me right now — and they’re sort of along some of the life-lesson paths I know I’ve been trying to learn about.

Have the skies parted and presented me with my dream life because I stood back and said “You drive” this week? Well, no, not yet. Am I suddenly wealthier? Nope. Did I get laid? Not even close.

But every morning I get up and, in some small but real way, my life’s taken one more little step toward something that feels right and good and full of promise.

Every morning lately.

All I do is, I get up with a list of a few things to do to try and get closer to where I want to be. The rest of it, I leave to chance. Then I see where my day takes me.

I think my days need to get into the tourguide business, ’cause I love where they take me. Seriously.

Everything In Its Place

I sometimes forget I’m a writer. I get out of practice, and then it doesn’t occur to me that, to be true to who I am on any given day,  I should be playing with a few words. Sometimes I forget that wrestling hands-on with my experiences and my past is what makes me the person I am, and it’s best undertaken in writing.

But it doesn’t always need to just happen on the page. My Sunday was an infinitely illuminating day, and just the beginning to what I think will be a strange but profoundly fulfilling experience.

I’m undertaking a MASSIVE restructuring of my home. Continue reading