16 February 2011

7 adventureland


we have reached a point where i am, for the first time, facing the very great financial cost of what i want to do.

in a perfect world, jackie would pay for herself. in reality, it is unlikely she ever will.

this isn't entirely unexpected. you don't spend a small fortune to get a degree in writing and imagine yourself rolling in millions. so long as i can afford a bottle of andré and the occasional betsy johnson from the resale shop, i'm truly more than pleased.

but this goes against pretty much most everything everyone will ever tell you. this idea that it is better to do what you love than what you should and what is safe. in talking about jackie with people, i am repeatedly reminded that, despite my "romantic" notions of being a writer, i still have to eat. and have a home. and "settle down."

i had this boss once, who began nearly every discussion we ever had with the question, where do you see yourself in five years?

at the time, i found this terribly daunting. i think it downright foolish now.

if you'd asked me last february, when the world famous biographess and i sat under the train tracks at istria drinking hot chocolate and talking booths, whether i would, in one year's time, be doing what i am doing now, i would've laughed. because, in all honesty, it is something i would have never thought to do.

we, as a culture, put so much stock in having an end point- some mystical time in which our lives will fall together and look exactly as we want them to be. i detest this. i struggle with it daily, but i detest it all the same.

because there is no end point. no job or marriage or baby or home that's going to make you a better you. there is simply life. we none of us know where we're going and, in thinking we do, we miss so very much along the way.

i am writing a jackie book about the jackie book that i am trying to write but likely never will because it is becoming increasingly apparent that there is simply no there there.

which brings us to my mother. who, in the middle of a prolonged discussion of the benefits of organic, grass-fed meats, says the most maudlin thing ever, which is, nonetheless, the exact thing i needed to hear. she pauses, inhales and says: you know something's going to come of this right? this jackie stuff? you'll get there when you get there, but until then, God, what an adventure you've got.

7 comments:

Linda said...

aw.

(and I had this thought that it is probably a good thing that you don't have a sibling somewhere who is all settled and not having adventures. don't want to give the parents any ideas for comparison.)

oline said...

wow. thank you thank you for putting everything in perspective. that life would be SO much harder!

Acer Negundo said...

The thing that drives me most mad about living in Regina is the mentality that life's a destination, not a journey.

Ireland? The opposite.

LONDON BABAY.

oline said...

YES!!!

kjd said...

beautiful!

Osutein said...

Bravo

oline said...

thank you, lovely people.