I’ve Reached Peak Earnest and I Like It
After reading my last post, a friend told me she’s been going through similar stuff, minus the shitting blood. Even though we hadn’t talked for more than a year, we went deep into our lives and into the political and cultural conditions that contribute to our discomfort in the world. (Even when we speak of suffering, we’re nerds. We can’t help it.) She also wants to get back to doing the writing that matters to her.
I asked her if she wants to do monthly check-ins where we set goals and cheer each other on like we’re Simone Biles in pursuit of five gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She’s going give alcohol the kiss off. Mine is to update this blog each week. (Which is going to be harder, saying no to booze or writing on schedule?) Next Monday, inspired by our conversation, I will post an essay called “I Quit Drinking and the World Didn’t End”. How do I know this? I haven’t had a drink since December 15, 2015 and this didn’t trigger a zombie apocalypse or all the bees in the world to drop dead at once, even though there are people who act like I’ve killed a baby tiger when I say no to a glass of wine.
One of the rituals I’ve implemented is an adaptation of Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages. I write without getting judgy until my hand gets tired, then I get grateful and make a list of awesome things in my life. I know, I’ve hit peak earnest. Past-me would snicker about this while having a third bourbon.
I do this as a warm up before writing, as well as if I’m feeling low and need to exorcise my pernicious thoughts. There’s only one rule: I never read over what I’ve written. When I am done, I shred the paper and and let go. This lack of attachment is freeing, like returning home and immediately going braless before flopping face down on the couch. It just feels so good.