Did you know Paul Anka has an album out called Rock Swings with covers of songs like Smells Like Teen Spirit, Wonderwall (one of my fave songs of all time), Jump and Eye of the Tiger? Yeah, I know. Eye of the Tiger. If you have iTunes, charge up the Apple Store and listen to some samples. I’m speechless. And not necessarily in a bad way.
I wasn’t going to write about this but screw it. I did totally officially quit writing the weekend before last. And it was simultaneously heart-breaking and liberating. I’d also been in the process of a pretty determined run at law school and I gave that up too. See my touching story in [cheezy women’s magazine] “I gave up all my dreams on the same day.”
But you know what? This is great. It’s all good.
You need to break it all down before you can build it up again and I need to figure out how to see myself in the world without writing or something intended to make up for it.
I’ve got a great life and work I like and I only have to be there 4 days a week and I don’t have kids and I have an independent husband so I can more or less write my own ticket. And when I think of the things I want to do: garden, cook, yoga, draw, photography, learn German — and so forth. It’s all making things and learning. The other afternoon we had an afternoon rain shower and Bob and I were on the back porch inhaling that incredible fresh smell and I danced around like a little kid: “And I’m going to be an interpretive dancer, and an artist and a photographer, and master chef and a … .”
I’ve spent so much time not doing things because I was preserving time to write — which often, I did not do. So now I’m doing those things. Like yesterday I went to Araline’s for the annual work party. I was berry vine woman. You could argue that I won, but I am covered from wrist to shoulder and knee to ankle in berry scratches. It looks nasty but I’m sure it’s meaningful on some symbolic level.
In the meantime, if I get a yearning to tell a story, I can always drop everything and start writing again. And I do tons of other writing that I like so not like I’m really “quitting.”
This past weekend I cleared off my bookshelves and dumped about 90% of my writing books and cleaned out some notebooks and files of saved articles. It’s like breaking up with a worthless boyfriend. Toss all that shit. Good bye and good riddance.
Seriously. It’s good. Chuck it all right now.