why i write
Almost three years ago, I was sitting in my hometown’s library writing cover letters and wondering if I was ever going to get a job. I began reminiscing about the road trip I had just returned from, and instead of writing the next line of my resume, I googled “write a blog,” made a WordPress account, and wrote my first post. I decided I’d create a blog that recapped our trip. One post for each day, then it would be done with. If anything, blogging would give me a break from the unanswered cover letters, and let me relive what remains one of the most important and amazing experiences of my life.
I totally didn’t have twitter, nor did I really want to promote the blog. So I did the whole “hesitantly email some friends and fam the URL” and hope for the best. I even found the email (!)
When I hit Day 26, I remember I was sitting in my new bed in Maryland, which was in the basement of my best friend Danielle’s house. I also remember being pretty bummed — I had enjoyed writing about our trip, and was sad that the experience was now over.
I totally thought the blog would be a closed chapter in my digital life, signifying not only the end of our trip, but the end of writing. Yet… I wanted to keep writing. I felt like there had to be something I could contribute, even though I was no longer living out of a tent, no longer staying at raw-vegan homes in Arizona, seeing live country music in Nashville, or scrambling up red rocks in Utah.
So I kept writing. I figured that with my move to D.C., I’d have something to talk about that wasn’t just “all about me.” My fear was I’d only be writing about boring things and the blog wouldn’t serve any purpose. I wrote:
So, I decided I might try to keep this going. I think I got over my initial fear of blogs–just as long as I refrain from telling you about mundane, daily nuances, or start showing you pictures of my children on their first day of school (kidding). Those blogs are the WORST.
For me, movement has always meant progress. I paralleled travel with learning, with living life fully, and new experiences meant new opportunities — which had to be on planes, trains, and automobiles. Moreover, movement was a reason to write. If I was staying settled, what could I contribute? How could my life still be interesting?
Yet writing for the past few years while being more or less “settled” has taught me more than I ever thought. It’s a way for me to realize that life can be one really cool adventure even when I’m living in Brooklyn, even with my passport not stamped as often as I would like, my tent tucked away in the back of the closet. I’ve also become a better writer, and have become closer to finding “my voice.” And that voice has become a way for me to improve in general. I realize now that I write to become a better person – to work on the things I struggle with, to realize that life is fun and funny and not-so-serious and magical and…all that.
Two of my close friends and adventure partners-in-crime cornered me the other night over tequila. We were more or less very intoxicated, and I started going off about how I often feel misplaced in New York. But they gave me sound (albeit drunk but still awesome) advice, which was that New York can be just, if not more life-changing than a backpacking trip or a move to another coast. And that my writing is a place to ignite that excitement, to find the beauty of wanderlust not miles and oceans away, but just around the block.
And they’re right. And so I continue,