Saturday, September 12, 2009

Starting. Again.

There's nothing harder than getting started.

Except maybe starting over.

I know all the steps. I know how much I liked it before. And every day another day goes by and I don't.

I've lost all my readers, anyway.

I'm completely out of shape.

Watching TV is always fun.

I'm in a rut, y'all.

I didn't expect this to happen. Actually, I was working hard making sure that whatever else I achieved (or didn't) that I would feel like I was *living* every moment. That I used every moment I had, and wasn't just treading water.

Almost exactly a year ago, I was in a bush taxi in Cape Verde careening around hairpin turns with a driver who was, by all available evidence, either completely drunk or else equipped with a death wish.

I've never been so convinced I was going to die. (Except maybe the time I was driving on mountain passes in a dark forest in pre-dawn Guinea in a bush taxi with no headlights.)

I was utterly panicked. My heart was pounding, I was desperately clutching the seat in front of me, slamming my feet on imaginary breaks, and dreading every uphill because they were followed by downhills, during which the driver accelerated on straightaways and didn't seem to find the breaks even for 270 degree switchbacks.

Until I stopped. Because I took a couple deep breaths. And I thought about my worst case scenario. We could die. The knocked-out guard rails on some of the deadlier turns proved that car crashes do happen, even in idyllic Cape Verde.

So... I didn't want to die. There are still plenty of things I want to do in my life.

But if that was going to happen, I couldn't stop it. And if I died, well, I was okay with that. Because I was utterly, completely happy. I was sitting next to the love of my life, a month past our wedding, having just had a lovely vacation, birthday, honeymoon. I had followed my dreams and was living in West Africa, earning my living as a professional journalist with articles that had been printed in things I actually read, on purpose, and not just because my name was in there. I ran two marathons. I had been to dozens of countries. I had met and befriended wonderful people.

And I knew that I had taken every opportunity I saw, and couldn't think of anything wasted or regretted.

So I grabbed Theo's hand, closed my eyes (and opened them again when I realized that made me carsick), and went for the ride.

I didn't die. Thank god.

But now a year has passed and if I were in that car today, I don't think I could find that same zen.

I hate freelancing.

I am not running.

I feel like I spend far too much of my time alone, on my couch, working (or pretending to) and wishing I was somewhere else. And when I have the choice to be somewhere else? It all sounds too stressful or tiring or, well, too much like not sitting on my couch.

I have watched all of Hulu.

I have read the entire internet. Twice.

I'm still married to the entirely wonderful and extraordinarily gorgeous Theo. And he's happy to see me even when I've only managed to get out of my pajamas a few minutes before he swings through the door from work at 10 pm. (I don't always tell him though.)

But happily married is not a whole life. (Groundbreaking, I know. I'm ready to join the feminists of the 1960s.)

So I'm working on it. I need to stop spectating and start doing.

That's a lot of words to say hi. I'm back. I missed you.