Remember when writing was a habit? I used to write blog posts somewhat obsessively in graduate school, almost as obsessively as I find myself poring over images on social media now, comparing my relative shortcomings and victories to people who have no affective ties to my life, really. For the better part of this year, I have told myself I will begin to write again. I will write so that my thoughts can run long distances instead of in circles on the wheel.
You wake up and you're 43. You're not fresh, you're not an ingenue, you're not going places all the time. You might never get out of where you are. This thought paralyzes you. Here? Just here. It's a pandemic, this doesn't help. You can't go to Bolivia and walk around for two months in blissful gaspingly beautiful anonymity until you almost disappear and your observations fill the space. Of course you're claustrophobic and trapped. You are connected to one place and a small community in ways that are approximating normal and this enrages you. You'll pull out hairs. You'll cut your nails down to nothing, just to watch something transform.
You want to write. You want to do something extraordinary still, when there's time here, in this thick stuckness of 2020. You want to grab the globe and throw it, take each of the pieces of land and reconfigure it, even it out, mix it all up, and know that you contributed.
Instead, you have a bit too much of the drink just to feel like something exciting potentially could happen at any minute, shifting the path of the universe in a flash, opening up a door from which you cannot turn back but that puts everything else in the category of before. Then you just sit. And nothing comes, but dark. And you feel guilty and worried that tomorrow, well, tomorrow will surprise you. And it doesn't.