Dated: October 7, 2005 Location: Plane en route to Atlanta

They say you should write when you’re “in the groove”, when things are coming easily for you – for me, that means when I find myself writing witty emails, profound work documents, and subtly brilliant one-liners. That happens about three days a month. The other days, the remaining twenty-seven or twenty-eight (or twenty-five, as it may be), I find myself mandated to put words on paper, waddling through the doubting self-loathing and over-critical nature that besieges many of us writers. Because there’s nothing harder than trying to write on a deadline – yours or otherwise – when you’re “off.”  And amazingly, again and again, my editors don’t tell me how sucky my “off” articles are, nor do they make a comparison to the ones I write when I’m “on.” This means one of two things: either I’m far too harsh a critic, or else it’s all mediocre crap.

Ruminating on anything, especially yourself, brings with it inherent an aura of insecurity. It’s as if you’re ignoring your initial thoughts, your intuition, replaced by a third party of doubt, whether justified or not. Analysis has its worth in most arenas, yet when enacted in second thought-ness, it takes on an air of desperation, as if you weren’t really sure the first time.

I want to proceed in my life resolutely, knowing (or at least thinking I’m knowing) that what I’m doing is right, or is about 97% there. But is that practical? Am I being realistic in wanting the dream, in imagining the “what will be, will be” type of life where I’m often guided by intuition, having the wherewithal to know when it’s time to abandon the plans and seek something else? Or is that folly coming from a 28-year-old gal who’s about to embark on the biggest change of her life?

Leaving is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Granted, my parents are living in the Midwest and Northeast (respectively, in reverse alphabetical order) and while they’re far, they’ve been just a 2-hour plane ride away. Tickets fell under the $250 mark even if purchased near last-minute. And now, ten years after I left my home, I feel like I’m about to do it all over again. I’m already anticipating the “first-day slump” that often accompanies a change like this; I cried myself to sleep the first few months in college, not because I wasn’t loving it, just because it was something, somewhere, different. And as I approach my moving day, I have a feeling this occurrence will soon resurface.

And just like it was ten years ago, I know in my heart that this is good for me, this is the right thing. It’s not the easy thing, mind you, just as leaving Ohio for the first time was far from easy, and yet I don’t question my motives. I’m steadfast in knowing that this is the right decision for me now, and despite the feeling of loss, of unsettlement, of outsiderness that will come complete with a cross-country move, it too – like most things – will pass. 

It’s nearly time for me to bid an official goodbye to Atlanta, and while I do it with a heavy heart and a tear in my eye, I know that when I walk into the proverbial sunset, I won’t be looking over my shoulder. It’s time to go, and head held high, I’ll keep my memories close to my heart, my friends close to my soul, and my sights set on the future, westward bound.

2 thoughts on “Dated: October 7, 2005 Location: Plane en route to Atlanta

  1. Hey Aubrey,
    4:00 am on a Saturday, couldn’t sleep, wanted to see what you’ve been up to these days! Last time I checked in I was excited to learn you just bought a new house! Now to learn you just moved to San Fran…wow..good for you! Maybe you will inspire me to make some big changes I have been hedging on for so long – and I just bought another townhouse last January, have been telling myself no way can I move again!!!! But, maybe I can, and it will help put an end to these sleepless nights…. (btw, this is Lyn, a long ago memory from BAH!)

  2. I’ll tell you what’s worse than when people don’t notice anything different about your “off” writing…when they don’t think so much of what you believe to be your “on” writing. What if what you think is good, they think is bad? How do you resolve that?
    Most of the time I feel more comfortable with handing in some off writing to an editor than i do to cranking out some off writing to a friend in an email. I mean I guess I’d rather be on with my friends on topics that ultimately matter to me than in some of the little literary postcards I write for publication.

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