Monday, January 21, 2013

What is beckoning you?

When I decided to challenge myself to write a blog post every day for the month of January, I assigned myself to write a poem on Mondays. All my brain can think of right now is that it was chilly outside today and that seemed to be all that anyone could talk about. I do not want to write a poem about a cold Wisconsin winter. My brain told me not to sweat the poem-thing and to wander around some files on the laptop. I came across one titled "Journal Entries".

On New Year’s Eve, 1976, I started keeping a journal. I think I filled ten notebooks over the years, mostly with teen angst, mind-numbing ramblings and various drivel about my boring life. At one point I started typing certain entries into my laptop, for no reason whatsoever. Here is the first entry I read tonight.

  Journal entry  08/04/1983
  Dearest Journal
  Way back when I was just a kid I thought the thing to do would be to go to UW-Stevens Point for journalism, get my degree and then turn to fiction writing.  When you see all these big time authors, their biographies always say they have a Bachelor’s degree (or sometimes a Master’s) in journalism or English. So I thought I’d maybe stick out four neat sweet years of college and then I’d be a writer.
   But there were so many things that got in the way, but mostly I got in my own way. All the signs were there telling me to keep going, to make something of my life. Everything fell into place, but I fought it all the way. And still am.
   Oh, dear sweet Journal, yet another door has swung open at my bidding and just inside is someone calling my name. But I’m not sure of the blueprint of the building beyond.
   When the mail came, there was a letter for me.  “I am pleased to inform you that your admission to UW-Madison has been approved.”
   But do I really, really want to go? Tomahawk will always be here and I’ll always come back when I am scared and cold and tired.

Seriously, that’s exactly what I wrote thirty years ago. The day that letter came in the mail, I had already completed two years of college at UWC-Marathon County and one year at UW-La Crosse.  In my heart I knew what I wanted to do with my life, but the rest of me was still stuck.

What do you think? Why do we always hesitate when that door opens and the unknown beckons us to enter?
I don't know how many stories and poems I typed on this old thing. 

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