I aspire to be glamorous like Kat Williams and La Carmina: to wear vintage dresses and get paid to travel the world. To make magazines. To go on adventures with kindred fa(t)shion spirits in party dresses, petticoats, and pink hair.
I aspire to inspire other fat girls and women like Tess Munster. To create badass images of fat beauty. To show them they, too, can be beautiful.
I aspire to walk in the woods, full of wonder, like Mary Oliver. To live by the ocean, to wander the tidal flats, to dive deep into the blue mystery that is life.
I aspire to tell my truths, like Cheryl Strayed. To crack hearts open in the best way. To write with both brutality and kindness.
I am still struggling to integrate these visions, these dreams, the many different ways I see myself.
Sometimes they feel mutually exclusive. It’s hart to slow down and get into the mind-space for writing when I’m constantly thinking about peplums, spikes, neon, flower crowns, glitter headbands. When I’m constantly planning outfits and scouting photo backgrounds. Likewise, it’s hard to care about all things sparkly when I’m in the woods, sweaty and sometimes mud-caked, in a t-shirt and yoga pants. When I’m surrounded my Queen Anne’s lace, invasive-but-lovely purple loosestrife, the grace of a heron. Cinnamon-scented beach roses. Bright yellow goldfinches. The rubber-band-snap of a bullfrog.
My brain doesn’t easily shift between these modes of operating.
(Not to mention the struggle just to get enough nature while living in the city without a car. That would be a whole other post, the clash between my bright city-love and my need for quiet green spaces.)
On top of all this, I am still looking for a job. I’ve spent the last sixteen months working temp jobs punctuated by periods of unemployment. I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes, gone on dozens of interviews, commiserated with my many friends who are in the same boat, cheered on the Occupy movement in its efforts to create change.
I’ve researched careers from massage therapy to urban planning. I’ve read everything I could get my hands on about non-traditional ways to make a life. I keep coming back to writing: the fire that burns strongest inside me.
But there are also layers and layers of asbestos to rip through: to force my ass into a chair and a pen into my hand. There are a million distractions (including, sometimes, this blog). I take it day by day.
I think I have a plan, sometimes. To keep looking for another admin job, a job with good people. (When I’m not working, I miss the co-worker bonds, the everyday interactions, getting to know people.) A job to give structure to my days, to pay the bills while I write, experiment, listen.
And then, in two or three or four years, to go back to school for a creative writing MFA. To immerse myself in words, a creative community. To dig deep.
Then, maybe, to teach. The thought of it terrifies me in the best way–the way that lets me know I’ve stumbled onto something important. Academia or freelance workshops? I don’t know. I plan to point myself in the general direction and then go where the road takes me.
I still fantasize sometimes about adventure, seeing the world, teaching English abroad, or just packing up and moving to Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Asheville…but I think I’m in the right place for now. I’m not ready yet to leave my Boston-shining life.
So, this is where I am. Dreaming, planning, struggling. Living.