yours, tiramisu

which roads have you taken to avoid your destiny?

Yesterday I was playing soccer with in the cul-de-sac and there was a kid whose shoelaces kept coming undone. Untied shoelaces aren't something you want to see playing on asphalt, so I stopped the game to make him tie them. After a few repeats of this, I realized that he didn't actually know how to properly tie his shoelaces, so I sat down in front of him and tried to show him.

For as little as I need to think to tie my own shoelaces, I couldn't seem to convey the steps that made sense in my head to him. I showed him slowly, narrating my steps, only for him to show me all the details I glossed over. One lace in each hand—no, not like that, look how I'm doing it, with the laces pointing up, not down. In the end he didn't manage to learn (whether for lack of effort or poor instruction, I'll never know), but the whole process just reminded me of a Bertrand Russell quote:

Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.

I spent this morning reading Ann Patchett's The Dutch House on the porch. It's been so long since I've done that, for no discernible reason (even if I was working before, it's not like I couldn't do so on the weekends), and I was only outside for a few minutes before the great "outdoors" reminded me how long I'd been gone. I'd forgotten the sound autumn leaves make when they hit the ground, the barely noticeable hum of the mail truck when it's a street over, and the echoing hoof strikes of deer as they sprint cross the road. It is a lovely place to be in the mornings, feeling the warm embrace of the sun and squinting to read in the sunlight.

In the afternoon today I'm planning on visiting what might be my favorite park in the area, which I haven't seen in more than a year. It's a little further than I'm usually accustomed to traveling on a weekend, but the views make the trip worth it every time. At the top of a little hill there's a metal bench swing overlooking the lake, and from there you can see much of the lake and the woods surrounding it. I'd spend all day there if I could, reading a book in the gentle swaying of the breeze and looking over at the families picnicking in the grass, losing track of time under cloudless blue skies.

I've been turning over another quote in my head that I heard in an interview yesterday:

A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it. ~ Jean de La Fontaine

I can't help but wonder how it might apply to my life. As desperately as I say I want purpose in my life, I've been turning away from it at every opportunity: when picking a college, then a major to study, and finally a job, I've constantly ignored how I've felt in favor of other voices. Perhaps this is my reckoning, a chance for me to finally get going in a better direction after so many years running away from what I want to do, and I want to grab it with both hands this time, even if it starts with small steps like picking the right part-time job.

One of the main reasons I've shied away from following my dreams is fear, which is rearing its ugly head again as I apply for jobs I might actually like. I thought about working part-time as a freelance writer yesterday, maybe writing some small stories for a local newspaper or something like that to start a portfolio, and I'm concerned that I'll not be good at it and finally be forced to disabuse myself of my writerly delusion. But that's no way to live, is it? Better for me to find out now than carry the regret for the rest of my life.

"And even if we fail, what better way is there to live?"

#english #journal #life #wordvomit #work #writing