I have been thinking of the ideal writing place since I took a creative nonfiction writing class my last semester of college (which was not that long ago.) My professor urged us to find a place in which we felt safe to focus and write and to this day I’ve been trying to listen to still channel her voice and heed her advice to find a place that suits me. I’ve tried writing in bed, but my back aches and there isn’t much to look at. I tried a desk – far too stuffy and corporate feeling. I tried writing on the couch – the television is too tempting to my easily distracted mind.
And then it hit me. Wherever I have truly written anything I don’t mind (when I am home – as I adore writing in places that are foreign to me) I’ve been in my kitchen. I credit this realization to the thought of striving for a transient lifestyle which have been haunting my waking hours lately.
As I am writing this now I’m sitting on the floor of my kitchen, eating noodles directly out of the pan, chain smoking, and listening to music far too loud. To the casual observer this probably looks akin to squatting and a terrible attempt at focusing. Probably even to my own mothers horror she’d urge me to eat from a dish, to relax a bit more in a comfortable chair and let the words pour out of me. Yet, I’ve always known I was a non-conventional person and thus the writing process for me needs to resemble that. No, it doesn’t NEED to, but I prefer it to. I can focus in the kitchen. Every other room has too many distractions. Maybe that is because I don’t know what any appliance in the kitchen really does and thus there is little to be distracted with. Maybe because it’s a room people always come and go – they need to for basic survival and writing feels very similar to me. After a failed attempt at building a fire (I is no fire builder) in which I had hoped I would be able to sit aside and ruminate on possible things I wanted to write about, I, defeated and sad I couldn’t make fire (a damn basic element for chirsts-sake) I decided to take cue from one of my favorite writers and channel the acceptance of being lost.
There is a small (large) part of me that feels if I were to suddenly sell all that I own, save a few books, and disappear that maybe magically my life would be transformed and feel purposeful. Perhaps, if I leave all that I have ever known and get totally, totally lost I might find my true self in the flux of transitions. Yet, upon thinking about this a bit longer I realized I already am totally, totally lost. The only thing is that it’s not glamorous. I’m not Jack Kerouac on the road jotting down all of the debauchery I’ve found myself in. I’m not Cheryl Strayed hiking the PTC attempting to literally walk the line to salvation. I’m Logan and I go to the same job day in and day out, I barely make enough to live, I have a few friends, and I have a cat and boyfriend I hang out with around bed time – and I go to the same bar when I do go out.
And maybe I am lucky for this. Because for many of us it resembles this when we’re lost or in transition or dealing with the nagging feeling that we realize we want something a bit…..more. The feeling that things are a bit mundane, intensely unsatisfying at times, joyously comfortable other times, and a slow slip into accepting a routine. No, I probably won’t go out and sell everything I own and flee this town. It likely will be a few years before I travel with the magnitude I hope to (oh, but I assure you that WILL happen.) I probably am not going to do half of the things my imagination conjures up, but that humbles me and makes me a bit more of the common person struggling to accept that life is perhaps not always the way we think it’s going to be when we are younger with rose-coloured lenses resting comfortably upon our plump baby faces.
So when I sit home alone on my kitchen floor eating out of a pan and chain smoking, when I take my hour long break from work to drive out in the country, when I decide to get outside of my comfort zone and visit a new place alone it feels like a small and rebellious victory. I’m trying to learn the basic things like washing my dishes and underwear with a respectable frequency, but I’m also trying to learn to take advantage of this time of being lost to find myself. Find myself sitting on the floor of the kitchen. Find myself while stopping to let fawns cross the dirt roads. Find myself by campfires. Find myself in the pages of literature. Find myself in music. Find myself in smiles and conversations of strangers. Find myself somewhere very foreign in my own town.
I don’t necessarily mind being lost, because well frankly this is a shit ton of fun. However, any potential employer reading this, hire me. I also want money and to work for you. All of you. Any of you. I want a real goal plz k thanx.
What I’m trying to say is: Get your shit together, but allow yourself a space to sit on the hard floor, letting your ass get numb, drinking and eating right from the damn containers they come in, curse sometimes, and give yourself a place you can just breathe, be you, and fuck if anyone thinks there’s a better way to go about it. I’ll probably write in my kitchen until I die. Hemingway would probably scoff at this, but then again he did shoot his brains out…..