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False Starts

Photo by Gia Oris from Unsplash

False starts seem to be the theme of life for the past few years. Maybe the past decade...or two. I always wanted to start a blog to get into the habit of writing but it never really took off for me. I had a blog where I would try to do Pinterest crafts; I had a "serious" blog; I even had a blog where I would write a haiku a day. That's only seventeen syllables and that could not be done. The haikus were not supposed to be profound, it was just to get me in the habit of writing and putting myself out there. Alas, not one of these exist.

When I was in high school, I had to go to a therapist. I suffered from depression and was a cutter. I cut the top of my forearms; I was running out of room and I think I was working my way to the other side but I got caught. I believe if I made it to that point, things would be much different. Anyway, my therapist wanted my parents to join us. My mom refused but my dad went. I remember my dad telling the therapist that "I never complete anything. I always quit." Those words have stayed with me. I don't really quit the things I start-I mean, I finished multiple running races to include marathons, I finished college, I think I finished more things that I give myself credit for. But there is one thing that I never really finish and it's writing projects- actually anything that requires creativity and I always hear my dad say that "I never finish anything." I get all these great ideas for stories, for painting, or for installation/concept art; I start but then I don't finish.

Like this painting:

It still looks like this and probably always will; unless it gets painted over.
Photo by author.

In this painting, which I started quite a few months ago- a quarantine painting if you will, I attempted to paint the St Francis church in Taos, New Mexico. I drew it once when I was a teenager with a graphite pencil and thought I could paint it. Nope, I cannot paint it- it's frustrating to me to not be able to take what I see and use a paintbrush to make it a reality. (Doesn't the part in the lower right look like a penis? Or am I just a perv?) Which I think that is why I like photography better...but I digress, on to the blog.

What makes this one different? I really don't know. I feel inspired and eager, just like the ones before. Well, I am hoping it will be different. I am hoping that this is the one that I keep up. Maybe this is the one because I am coming to the point where everything is rolling downhill. I've hit the halfway point of my projected life expectancy and what have I done? Every time I go for a run, I think about writing; every time I drive, I think about writing; every time I read a book, I think about writing my own. I keep thinking about writing and this quote always comes to mind "If not now, then when? If not me, then who?" I am haunted by the Buddhist quote "The trouble is you think you have time." Then there's my morbid sense of humor that says out loud, "Well, if it's my time, it's my time," which is probably gonna bite me in the ass one day. (I would seriously regret if I died today and no one read anything that I wrote with the intention of the public being my audience. I have journals that I am sure no one is gonna read.) I'm really gonna try to do things differently- I've been reading all these self-help books, I need to put some of the stuff I learned to practice.

I believe that I have let fear prevent me from really getting into writing. I have read all the canonical books about writing and I still have yet to write anything! I am so scared that I do not have something worthwhile to say. I'm not some influencer, I don't live in a snazzy metropolitan city, I don't have the means to live an exotic life. I don't think I have lived a life worth writing about or maybe I have and I'm just falling victim to comparison. Well, I am gonna try to keep this going at least for a year. (Part of me wants to set goals on what I want to achieve from this blog but I won't- this is what happens when one reads way too many self-help books) So with all the confidence that I can muster, here's to a beginning of a new blog!

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