When I was six year old I told my mother I wanted to be a writer.
"Don't be silly," she told me in an instant. "Writers don't make any money."
It is only now I understand that those words came from a place of compassion
I've been asked to write a few new essays for an April 2019 paperback edition of To Be A Runner. I'm flattered by the offer. TBAR sold well in its initial release, but didn't enjoy the robust sales of the how-to running books, so I was always hoping for a second chance.
My story is simple: guy takes seven years to finish college, guy marries the woman of his dreams, gets a button-down corporate job, early excitement about said corporate job turns to boredom and disillusionment, guy starts writing tiny articles in running magazines, guy quits corporate job and becomes a full time writer. No plan. No genius. Lots of prayers
As stress reducers go, you would think that something so simple as planning the day wouldn't make much difference. But there are so many mornings I wake up overwhelmed. Before my feet even hit the floor I feel the burden of juggling all the things I want to do, need to do, and would maybe like to squeeze in. Sometimes, when things are really hot, all that juggling leads to a feeling of being frantic. Rather than get the whole mental list of activities accomplished that day, I just shut down. The governor has been reached and the machine dials it all the way back.
I don't know what triggered the memory, but the other day I was suddenly overcome with a wash of humiliation. Sometime in my early twenties, at that point in the wilderness years where I was so deep in the woods that I couldn't remember which way I came in and couldn't possibly see a way out, I decided that the most logical way to fix things was to . . . wait for it: join the French Foreign Legion.
Calm down. Trust yourself. You've just met the girl of your dreams and you know it. Be your best. Let's not screw this one up. OK?That means you need to finally finish college. You keep dancing around the finale because you don't know what you want to do with the rest of your life. You say that's the purist in you talking, but it's fear.