Every October, I pay the fee and remember that I have this place on the interwebs that I pay to use. I certainly don’t have to; nonetheless I continue to and have it. In a sense, it’s good. It reminds me to write, something that may never pay the bills but is essential to my well-being. Learning to be a more open person and share what I’m going through with my friends has been an important point of development for me in the past few years, but I still manage to work out some of what’s on my mind best when I sit down, in front of a keyboard or with a notebook. It has always been and always will be a necessary action for me to process things. Whether I share that with you or keep that to myself.
But sometimes life gets too full, and even writing for myself goes by the wayside. It’s never the best decision, but again, it gets back to what is necessary. I know you’d like to think I’m a single person with piles and piles of time at my disposal, but I get the same 24 hours you do. Perhaps I have different responsibilities and privileges which mean I have more of an opportunity to determine how to use that time, but that is a different discussion. The older I get, the more I try to take care of myself, the less time I feel I have to do it. Put in your eight, get in a run, bake something good, find some time to get to the shows I must get to, and figure out how I can make it all keep going. There’s a degree of prestidigitation to it all. We keep going because we must. One more mile, the next load of laundry, whatever it may be. But then we stop. And that time doesn’t just sit there. Stop running, stop cooking, stop reading, stop writing, and something will fill that space.
The challenge, then, is figuring out what to do, or put another way, what is right for you while balancing that against what you must do. After all, most of us have to figure out how the rent or mortgage gets paid, and we have to figure out how to get enough in our pockets to make sure. In that sense, how do I put writing back into that? What goes? What stays? Recently, I started playing trivia more regularly with some friends. It’s great. It’s something I’ve missed. But that means that’s one less night a week at home to make dinner easily, or make sure the laundry gets done. On the other side, it’s a good excuse to sneak in a run beforehand, not having quite enough time to get home and do anything. Or to explore SoMa a bit more and find a new favorite bar in the neighborhood (Local Brewing Co. if you’re keeping tabs).
At times it feels like perpetual motion. But that’s a mirage, too. At some point, even all this worrying will stop. At some point, time must have a stop. I don’t say that to be morbid, I say that because it’s true. In the meantime, what can I do better today than I did yesterday? How can I make more of what I do have? What do I want to do with the energy previously spent on all the obnoxious paperwork that goes along with being trans now that I’m almost done (one more trip to the SSA…)? How do I fit in volunteering to try and give a little more back? Do I want to be as serious a baker as I joke and you cajole? What do I want to do to make sure I’m getting in three or four runs a week? How am I going to fit watching hockey into my schedule now that it’s back? Will I ever read a book again (don’t answer that)? Am I going to be smart enough to realize that I want to do a lot of things, but sometimes I do just need to sit on the couch and watch mindless television? Sometimes it’s just using the space a little bit better. I was able to sell a ticket to one show and buy tickets to another all while milling around Hardly Strictly thanks to my phone. Modern life is pretty nifty sometimes.
It’s important to ask questions, to ask yourself if you are really doing what you want to do, or at least doing the things you need to do that give you time to do the things you want to. I don’t think the questions will ever stop. No more so than what needs to be done, at least. At a certain point, though, you have to set that aside. Or at least I do. I could spend your entire life trying to think of an elegant solution that I may never come up with. I am one who does better doing, no matter what it is I’m doing. It doesn’t always work out. Nor does it mean I don’t plan things (I do, occasionally excessively). It just means sometimes what looks so well planned and executed to you is just happenstance. Sometimes it fits together because I was just spinning it together as I went along. Social media makes it look neat, all well-prepared meals, good beers, great bands, and beautiful vistas. But that is curated. Life is overcooked lentils, warm shitty beer, terrible sets, and worse views just as much. Life is messy. Me? I’m just out here trying making the most of this mess.