While it would be a stretch to say I am in the process of reinventing myself, I can say that after I move to my new home in the Berkshires at month’s end, a very new chapter of my life will begin.
Many of us, it seems to me, put off the life we would like to be living, if not in its entirety, at least partially. I am of the latter ilk. I have never given myself permission to write as much and as often as I would like. The phone rings, an email comes in, something is amiss on the advocacy front (Something is always amiss on that front. Life never seems to run out of examples of people, companies and or systems denying equal rights to others).
I realize now, more than ever before, that the time has come to truly write as much as I want, unplug the phone, not look at email or the damned Internet, and have at it. It is not lost on me that what I write will, when all is said and done, be what, of any value, I leave behind. And I’d like to leave something of value.
There are, at present, a few short stories underway, the completion of the memoir is, thankfully, within comfortable reach, and the shape of two books are taking form and may, in fact, be blended into one book: currently one is a missive about what it is like to live in the world with a brain injury and the other is about what can best be applied to working with people in the healthcare and other arenas. Some years ago when I was one of 16 or so people that formed the New York City Chapter of Victims for Victims, someone very close to me told me that the arena of healthcare, of human services, attracts some of the most extraordinary people and some of the most emotionally dysfunctional folks you’d ever want to meet. Very, very true.
I am looking forward to setting up my new home. Recently I donated a bunch of things to the Salvation Army: furniture, five or six bags of clothing, three or four boxes of miscellaneous items, and about 15 boxes of books. Now I’m down to a mere 45 boxes of books (this is when you smile).
Once moved, the writing becomes priority. Daily blocks of time will be set aside for that and nothing else. Then, of course, one block of time set aside each week to send the work out.
Life is too short, way too short, not to live the life you want to live. Two quotes from Henry David Thoreau say it far better than I ever could: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined,”and, “Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.”