Thinking in opposites is a trick I learned in college. When struggling in lit classes to explain any given piece, a professor might say, "Explain it by first explaining what it isn't." A little obscure, perhaps. But insightful.
So opposites. What if I didn't have this stressful job? What job would I enjoy that would not be stressful? Hmmm . . . maybe running a little craft shop, teaching classes in embroidery. That sounds dreamy. And what if I were not just always talking about being a writer, but actually had the iron will to sit my fanny down and write? What time of day would I write? Would I type or use a new pen? And what if instead of cobbling something together each day to eat, I actually took the time to plan out weekly meals? That would be healthy and probably more economical. And maybe, eating the right foods, the inflammation in my back would go down.
No, I'm not exactly curing cancer here. But I did realize something sadly obvious: I don't have a vision of what I want my life to be. I have certain flash glimpses, and I have concepts. But there's no clear end goal in mind.
|"The Awakening," Washington DC. Photographer: Ryan Sandridge|
So what the hell is my excuse? My only dependent is a nine-pound cat missing most of her teeth. I'm saddled with school loans. I have ongoing fears of being a bag lady because times were tough when I was a kid. And I like to have a good time and not worry about money. Okay. But that aside, why don't I have a vision of what I want my life to be? It means I have no goals. I am just existing, but without a spouse, house, and child's love to keep me feeling fulfilled.
|Copyright Alexandra de Steiguer|
The thing about New Hampshire is that it's very . . . settled. Almost everyone I know is married, has kids, etc. They are living their lives. There's not as much time to think about options. And I've been alongside everyone, year after year, existing. But I think I like the sound of a cape. A quiet life of creation.