So thrilled to be over at my friend Morgan’s beautiful blog today, Living A Page Turner writing about when life does not go the way you planned it. Morgan is a thoughtful, funny, and gifted writer, and I think that anyone who stumbles across her pages immediately feels like a dear friend! Be sure to check out her blog for some awesome reading material.
I stare at the pieces, spread out at random across my blue and white checkered tablecloth, absentmindedly turning around in my fingers an orange piece that could be part of a fruit, a flower, or a hat. I stare at the clock. I have been at this for ten minutes and already I am restless.
I’m taking the advice of a professor here in my MFA Creative Writing program. She takes her advice from M.F. K. Fisher: “When I can’t write, I read. When I can’t read, I bake.” In short, this means that focusing on something else for a while is going to help my writing. I think sitting at the computer is what is going to help my writing.
I grew up learning and teaching myself that the world around me jutted out in singular and straight lines in all directions. I fed myself strong on the mantra that I could do or reach anything and that the world was my oyster. There was a right way and a wrong way to do life, and I was going to put myself in all the right tracks to get myself in the winning train.
Maybe that works for a while for some of us. We take all the right classes in school, get into the right college, meet the man or woman of our dreams, get the dream wedding, get the dream house, and have the 2.5 perfect children while still nailing that dream job. This is what we are conditioned to crave: this is the American ideal.
For most of us though, life begins to unravel somewhere on that path, and suddenly, instead of watching our lives fall perfectly and happily into place, we realize we are watching a giant jigsaw puzzle scattered on the ground in front of us.
This is not what it should be, we think, kneeling down to pick up the pieces. This is not what life should be spent doing. Desperately, we try to put pieces together, and become panicked when we realize college and dream job do not fit together next to each other. Cancer is not supposed to be a piece in our puzzle. Confusion and questioning should not fall into place around the edges.