Whenever I have a tiny little idea, I always seem to entertain the thought of, “oh, I’ll write that down and flesh that idea out when I’m in my WRITING PERIOD! of life,” as if some magical time will happen where responsibilities are lessened, I have no deadlines or day job, and I sit with a brand new Macbook Pro, blank document opened in Word and cursor blinking eagerly, and type out a masterpiece. I’m clutching a big mug full of dark roast coffee, wrapped up in a drapey oatmeal-colored sweater with thick black-rimmed glasses, hair perfectly “writer-messy-bun” styled, a warm dog (or 7) curled on my feet, and just the right amount of sunlight pouring in through the window, and I put together every great idea I’ve been harboring for years in perfect prose. Suddenly, looking up from my pages and pages of great words, I check my email to see that I’ve been offered a book deal, and my tv pilot spec script got picked up by Lena Dunham and Chuck Klosterman and it’s going to be directed by Cameron Crowe, and I just smile like I knew it would happen all along.
But I don’t think I’m gonna get there, and I don’t think that’s the point, anyway, except to point out that I have an overactive imagination. I think for now, writing using my broken laptop that has to be typed on slowly and gently and opened not too far or it dies, while halfway laying on an air mattress and reheating the coffee from that morning, occasionally crippled with anxiety, forever missing college, and always editing my work 12 million times will have to suffice.
I feel like my twenties keep telling me to stop waiting. Stop waiting to get comfortable to express your feelings, whether it’s in written words or just in life. Stop waiting on the perfect dream job to call, keep hustling and working in the progress. Stop waiting to try a trend, just dye your hair a ridiculous color, go on a weird diet, listen to strange music, flirt with the guy who just “isn’t your type”. Stop waiting for things to fall into place, just pick up those pieces and go, because a handful of broken pieces that still have the glue wet is better than no handful at all, and gosh, any other metaphor is probably better than that last one I made, but still.
Stop waiting to get settled, and LIVE. Stop waiting to magically have time, make time, and drink a cup of coffee to stay up that extra hour to accomplish what you really wanted to get done that day. Stop waiting to write perfectly, and just write. Stop waiting til you’ve seen every great photograph to take one of your own, til you’ve heard every great song to write the best one, til you’ve read every great book and blog and heard every story to tell yours. Be inspired by others, yes, but stop waiting for them to do the work for you.
Here’s my promise- I’ll stop waiting and keep writing if you do, and I’ll meet you in ten years, when we’re all successful and accomplished. We’ll just laugh at our old insecurities and our old bogus excuses, while we look back on all we’ve created, smiling just like we knew we’d make it that far all along.
I’ll be the one in the oatmeal sweater.