Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'll take a huge plate of Life, with a side of Enjoyment and lots of Awesome, please.

Have you noticed that I've been kind of...quiet lately? Online, I mean.

Well, two major items have filled my waking hours this month:
  1. I moved. I'm in California's Bay area now, like the place I've been talking about relocating to since I started this blog. My mom and I actually drove out here from North Carolina. It was pretty epic. (I'll blog about it later, mainly because it will give me an excuse to post some awesome pictures.)

  2. I've owed Joanna a new draft of Ever After 2 since Christmas. I did part of my revision when I was in Montana for Christmas, part of it on the road, and part of it when I arrived here in Berkeley.
This is Red Rocks Park in Arizona, pic taken in car.
Ten points if you can spot the ghost of the ms literally looming over this scene!
(It was on the dashboard.)

Yesterday, I finally finished and sent it back in.

My immediate thoughts were: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!! I have free time again! I can sleep in! Read books! Explore the area!! Do research for my next project!!!

Less than an hour later, when the euphoria ebbed slightly, a few other facts sank in:
  1. I just moved. To someplace far, far away from everything familiar in my life.
  2. I only have one job. (But it's an awesome job. So awesome that I was tempted to write I don't have a job - it seems too cool to be work.)
  3. I don't have a plan.
  4. I don't have a long term apartment.
  5. I don't even have a place to stay past next Tuesday.
Some people might call this "reality," but I tend not to like those people.

Anyway, I had a brief freak out. That's natural when you realize you've made a change you can't back out of. You second guess yourself no matter how long you've been talking about taking the action you just took.

But I realized something. - This is exactly what my 2012 resolution is all about.

Have I mentioned my New Year's resolution yet? I don't think so. It's not really a typical one. It's more like a mental habit I want to work on - something that will make my brain a more enjoyable place to be. I did a similar thing last year, which actually made my brain a more comfortable place.

Here my resolution for 2012:

Life is a journey.
You can't control where you are. You can only control what direction you're heading.
Enjoy the whole trip.

Yeah, I know. It's a long one. And also the kind of thing you would see embroidered on your favorite grandma's pillow amidst cute thread-stitched kittens.

2011, for me, was marked with impatience and frustration. Most of it stemmed from me being dissatisfied with where I was - whether that be how far I was in a revision/draft, how much blogging I'd accomplished, the place I was living, and being impatient to move onto the next stage.

Here's the underlying belief that caused both the impatience and frustration: that if I reached --insert some sort of achievement here--, then I would finally be happy.

Here's the truth: I will always be able to freak out about something, to be dissatisfied with something.

True Story: I found this in Books-a-Million last October.
It made me laugh and send it to my best friend.
Great book too - The House of Spirits sparked an Isabel Allende reading frenzy for a whole semester in high school.

But honestly, I have a great life. I'm reasonably healthy (although I would appreciate not being allergic to half the planet). I drive my favorite car in the entire universe - past, present, and probably future. I have my dream job.

Also, I only get one life. Okay, unless I'm reincarnated, which might be cool. But definitely, only one life as Shelby Bach. I need to enjoy it RIGHT NOW. I need to appreciate even the stuff that scares me, because the only constant thing about life is change. I won't always have this.

So, this move - It's something I want. This is something I've wanted for a long time.

Exhibit A, evidence that I've wanted this for a while:
This map has been hanging in my bedroom for the past year,
reminding me where I want to go.
(It was a gift from a very dear friend.)

I am going to enjoy it.

Because it will only happen once.

And I've basically decided to just have an awesome life. :-)

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