March 7, 2012

RTW: My Life In a Title

Road Trip Wednesday is a 'Blog Carnival' where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic:

NAME THIS LIFE: What would your memoir be called?

First off, let me just say that discussing my imaginary memoir makes me about as twitchy as deciding what I want on my tombstone or signing the 'donate my organs' line on my health card. Turns out I may be a little superstitious about one or two things (or twenty). Maybe that means my memoir should be called something like Worrywart. Think Bossypants only far more stressful and whole lot less funny.

Truthfully, if I were to sum up my life thus far in a title, what jumps to mind instantly is: 

WAITING For WHO Knows WHAT
  
Waiting. Always waiting. If I could count the number of times that I've said internally or aloud, "It'll be better when [insert better-making event here]." I am the queen of always looking ahead to when my life will magically be all shiny and so much better than it is now. It'll be better when I graduate and have a teaching job. Wrong! It'll be better when we move to such and such a place. Not! It'll be better when blah blah blah raspberry sound blah blah. 

The point of this is not to go all Eeyore on you, grumbling and moaning about my less than shiny life. Because I actually have a pretty darn good life, if I do say so myself. Everything may not have gone as I planned (when does it ever?), I may have accumulated some regrets and just as many I wish I hads along the way. BUT I have also made many good decisions and am the recipient of some really great things in life, not the least of which, a wonderful and supportive husband and family. 

And yet, with all of my It'll be better whens, I'm completely letting my life pass me by. Here I am in my early-ish 30s still waiting for my life to start. Newsflash: Your life started more than 30 years ago. I think this is at least in part what prompted me to take control and start writing with hopes of someday (maybe) getting published. Following my dreams begins with me. It's not entirely dependent on my circumstances.

Which is why I've started organizing my life a little better. I've made a Monday to Friday schedule for myself that will hopefully make my life more "streamlined for maximum efficiency and to increase optimal results".* It's also why I've taken the bull by the horns and signed up for Change Write Now Round 2. My life is only as good as I make it NOW. If I keep waiting for when it'll be better, I'll end up looking like him:

It's definitely time I started enjoying my 'box of chocolates' as nutty as it might be, don't you think?

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* From Crossed by Ally Condie (p. 10).

Picture Sources: Waiting For Snow by *StudioQube on deviantART (And I'm so not waiting for snow. We have more than enough, thank you very much.) and Skeleton Waiting for a Bus from here.

31 comments:

  1. Good luck and enjoy the chocolate.

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  2. So the *new* title of your memoir could be WAITING FOR ME! :) Good for you for taking the proverbial bull by his horns and grabbing the box of chocolates!

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    1. Great new title. So much better than mine :)

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  3. Love the 'Waiting for Snow' picture! So sweet.
    Good luck with the schedule, I hope it works well for you. :)

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    1. Thanks, I hope it works too. I need a little discipline in my life :)

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  4. Take the plunge: enjoy the chocolate :D
    I understand both the "waiting" concept and the "superstitious" one...the thought crossed my mind when I saw this week´s prompt :D You´re not alone in this and I can tell you once you dive, the waters can be rough but the swim is definitely great :D

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    1. I'm trying to stay focused on now instead of getting caught up in looking too far ahead. Tough, but so worth it :)

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  5. I can totally relate to waiting. I'm waiting for so much now that university's ended and I'm starting an independent life with bills, work etc. I'm waiting for my student loans to be paid off, to earn enough money to afford studying for a PGCE and learning to drive, to move from a flat to a house... there's a whole list of things. It's interesting to see which dreams happen and which don't, making sure you're not too sad about them if it doesn't work out. :)

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    1. It always seems like there's something to wait for, or something to overcome on the way to where you want to be. It's alright to look ahead, but not to allow that to keep you from enjoying and getting the most out of life right now. Hard to remember, though sometimes :)

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  6. So I'm really curious to see your schedule. That is such a good idea. I just bought this color-coded dry erase calendar that I think would pair nicely with something like this.

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    1. You can see it here but bear in mind that I am currently not employed and have no other responsibilities bogging me down. I feel a little embarrassed sharing it for that reason. There are still areas of my day that I feel are taken up by activities that are less than ideal (like watching TV), and I want to try and slot better habits in there (like writing) when possible.

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    2. P.S. The word 'here' in that first line is a hyperlink. I thought it would underline, but oh well.

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  7. Oh wow I hear you. I do that all the time. Things will be better when I...you name it I've said it. Yes we have to make the most of now and not wait for things to be perfect because life isn't perfect, if it was then there wouldn't be any fun to it.

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    1. It's far too easy to stress about or look forward to what's ahead and not just enjoy and make the most of what's going on now. I never seem to be content enough with what I have, which is a major problem.

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  8. Oh! I love the new look of your blog! It's wonderful! I feel like I've been gone a lot longer than two and half weeks...haha :) And I only WISH my memoir could be half as funnytaining as Tina Fey's. She's my hero.

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    1. Thanks, Bailey :) We've missed you around these parts! As for Bossypants totally 'funnytaining' as you say. She's a very funny lady :)

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  9. I hear you, too. We've moved around a lot, and I used to think that life would start when we settled down in one place...I remember turning thirty and realizing, this is my life...and around forty, I realized I'm happy it's happening this way.

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    1. Ah yes, settling down. That drove me nuts for so long and now I've finally reached the point where I realize that not necessarily being settled can be a good thing too. It sure makes it a lot easier to pick up and go wherever opportunities take you. I've also given up caring as much as I used to about things like buying a house ASAP, having kids ASAP (it'll happen eventually), and all of those things that others have that I don't. I have things that they don't too. :)

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  10. I feel like my title would need "waiting" in it, too. Also worrying. BOSSYPANTS takes the cake, though, for best memoir title ever.

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    1. Such a good memoir :) I'm reading Stephen King's On Writing right now and it's pretty good too. I find myself laughing fairly frequently while reading it.

      As for the worrying and waiting, it sucks the life out of you, wouldn't you agree? It would be interesting to know just how many seconds, minutes, hours, whatever I'm cutting from my life just by giving it to those two things.

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  11. I think we're all familiar with the 'It'll be better when...', especially us writers. It'll be better when we've got an agent... a publisher... a bestseller...

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    1. Preach it, sister :) You are so right.

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  12. Even when I knew I wanted to be a writer at a young age, I always felt like "I'll start that novel when ___(insert some optimistic event here)____ happens" so I know what you mean. Fortunately, brushes with your own mortality cure you of that really quickly. The first time was when a good friend (who was a budding writer and artist) killed herself; we had so many similarities in our backgrounds, and it made me do some hard thinking about what made me able to go on when she couldn't and take inventory of my blessings.

    The most recent one was my cancer diagnosis, treatment, and "all clear" last year--they all happened pretty close together. Lately I've been wanting new clothes (just didn't have the energy before to shop) but I put on weight and decided "I'll wait to buy new clothes until I"m the perfect size again." But today I decided "Screw that--I'm getting some 'I kicked cancer's ass' dresses!" So I found three today that totally rock my curves.

    You really can't wait for stuff; you don't know what's around the corner. Now if only I could apply my newfound casual attitude to waiting to hear back on queries!

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    1. That is an amazing attitude to have! I'm not sure why I so easily forget to notice the many ways in which I've been fortunate. Probably because I've never been in a position to have that all taken away. Scary thought.

      As for buying new clothes, I say do it! You deserve to feel good about yourself :) You kicked cancer's ass!

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  13. I do this all the time myself. I look toward the future when I am doing 'blah' and 'blah' because then things will be exactly how I want them to be. (not) I think the few times I haven't done that (as much) were when I attended SCAD or when I really felt I was where I wanted to be. I need to be productive, social, goal-driven or I'm not as happy as I could be. I'm trying to learn to be content no matter what situation (social life lacking or goal lacking) I am in.

    At least I don't have many regrets!

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  14. I love this post, and I love your title! I, too, suffer from, one-day-whens. Good for you for making a schedule. Us artist types have a hard time with routine, don't we? I try to keep to a schedule - or at least schedule time to write/play/sleep - and when I actually stick to it, I get much more accomplished! So best of luck!

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  15. I'm the "it'll be better when" kinda girl too. My hubby was in the Air Force so I always thought the next base would make it all better. Needless to say, we have moved every two years since we've been married (9 years). I have tried to tell myself that "when" is now. :) But the other day I started saying the "it'll be better..." and my hubby cut me off! I think he's learning the lesson faster than me!

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  16. Oh! And I tagged you in the Lucky 7 Meme. Can't wait to read your work!

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  17. Ah, I do that a lot, too. I guess there's always something to look forward at or wait for that it's such an easy habit to get into. This thinking is what made me wait so long to write the book that was in my head. Because, you know, it would be better when my day job wasn't so time-consuming. Blah blah blah. I love the new attitude: Take life by the horns and make it better instead of waiting!

    (Also, I love the new blog look.)

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  18. Great title, and the new attitude of taking charge and making things happen is a great way to transform from waiting for it to happen, to taking action and seeing the results you want!

    Ooh, I agree with Tracey. The new blog look is gorgeous!

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