I love being surrounded by the written word. Whether it’s in book form or in the form of quotes splattered across my walls. My favorite Jane Austen quotes are inscribed on the mugs in my kitchen, my initials are found all over my bookshelves, and my favorite verses of scripture are glazed into my own unique set of dinnerware. In Hawaii, I had this particular quote made into a wall sticker:
It hung over my desk as a reminder that I only have this one life and that it is wild and oh so precious. It was a call to action on those days when I wanted to pull the covers over my head and watch Law And Order SVU marathons till my brain goes baby food soft.
I’ve been thinking about what to put up at the new place – a quote that will see me through the writer’s block and the edge of winter and the mundane moments that are inevitable each year. I was scrolling through my facebook messages and I came across a conversation between me and my best salsa dancing friend, BG. We were discussing our crazy lives in Germania and she said the following:
looking back, I think one of my best, most funnest, times of my life and this is gonna be heavy so hold yourself… It really was here in Germany when we were runners, and salsa dancers and travelers and lovers.
It’s true. I, the girl who no longer runs, was once a runner. BG and I ran every day at lunch up and down the trails of Stuttgart, yapping the entire time about our love lives and faith and whatever topic could fit between our rapid breathing. Rain or shine or German snow – we ran. And we danced every night at different salsa venues until 2 in the morning, kissing the cheeks of the salsa mafia, and dancing with boys in a language we couldn’t speak. I would leap into my bed after these nights, legs happily tired and smile my way to sleep until the church bells woke me for work. And we travelled because seeing new places fed our souls. We spent afternoons napping in Mirabella and nights in the amphitheater of Verona and we people watched at Lago di Maggiore, combining all of our obsessions at the shores of Catania. We even bought an armful of eggplants to cook in the Italian style for our friends. And how we loved during that time!
I look back at my time in Germania and I often laugh out loud. I lived in Germany – fully and with no regrets. It was a magical time in my life because I realized a very simplistic truth:
There were no prerequisites to meet, no knowledge requirements, no hurdles to jump through. I didn’t need any special outfits, or specialized training, or master’s degrees to do these things. I just needed the desire to do them and the will to see it through.
Sometimes when I doubt the path that I am on and daydream myself out of my everyday life into an MFA program in some exotic, writerly locale, I remind myself that writers write. That’s it. That’s the only thing that separates a writer from everyone else. Not publishers or number of followers, or paid jobs. Writers write. And dancers dance and lovers love and…you get the idea.
I think I’ll put up BG’s quote to remind myself of the time when we were runners and dancers and travelers and lovers.