Under misty puffs of smoke and kaleidoscope lights, I flipped through my most recent journal entry. My mind skipped from the message on stage and I fell into my own scribbly pages…
I have this notebook but I never write anything important in it.
I spent all morning flittering through the blog of Gemma Land [name changed], who featured one of my favorite bloggers today. Gemma started her own jewelry business from nothing in the year following her college graduation. She used it to pay all of her bills, which required $1000 a week in 2007. It’s 2013 and together, Andrew and I bank a flat two grand in a month. Somehow we make it.
My reaction is about 100-fold. Or maybe it’s just one-fold… jealous chagrin.
Why haven’t I started a business from the ground up that makes six figures? Why the hell do I care about making six figures!? The irksome thing about Ms. Land’s whole deal is that everything appears so awfully jolly, all the time. She mentions, twice, having hiccups in the road and steep learning curves… but otherwise, I am left to assume she delicately ingests flowers for breakfast. Purple, white and yellow ones, because isn’t that lovely?
It’s as if everything I read and saw had been sifted through the tightest of all sieves. And then diligently re-touched with cotton candy brushes before a glitter lamination.
It’s dishonest! As I read, I tried to fill in all the perfectly choreographed white spaces with the truth. With something real. Something itchy.
Makes me love Joan Didion even more. Lord, please please make me like Joan. If I know anything for sure, it is that I absolutely, positively never want to make another person feel the way I do now about my story/business/website/image. I’d rather be Anne Lamott!
The world has changed, it is changing, ever-faster. Growing ever glossier, whiter, and sterile.
I don’t want to keep up. Seems to me the best keeping up is reverting back–that’s where we’re all headed anyhow. Momentum always runs out. In this life, all things meet an end. Seems that anyone with half a thought could anticipate it… This pattern of life is soul-sucking and people are starting to notice. Charades are never fun forever, and for a seemingly few of us, they’ve never been fun at all.
I love my little house and my chicken coop. I love my cats and my kitchen. I love watching golf and drinking red wine for $2.89 a bottle. I love clean sheets. Making things. Food. The grass. Hot weather.
I loathe technology. I hate the way I feel after I’ve wasted an hour reading about Gemma Land! Or on Pinterest or Facebook or Amazon.com. Something sick in me thrives on it and can hardly pry away–but the realer things in me despise and revile the life-leeching side effects.
Yes, I like to order my health supplements online. Yes, I like to tinker on my blog. Otherwise, I want to be free. It can and does make my life easier, the world wide web. But it makes it shallow and barren too. Not just the internet, but the whole pulsing lot of innovation that drives us faster and mindless.
I feel a deep and brewing passion for something much more significant. I mean to live it. And I want to bring it to everyone else too.
Andrew and I are at camp with our youth group this week. We’ve heard some really great words and sung some really beautiful songs. But my favorite parts are under the the sky with an acoustic guitar. My favorite times are in circles of gentle, confessional tears.
The smoky mist and giant, radiating screens just distract me. It’s not a criticism, but a preference.
My journal entry is full of those, preferences and opinions. I don’t want you to believe the same as me, but hope you hear the realness in my words, the passion and bias and misconception that make me human.
We’re all just humans, trying our best, failing, and picking ourselves up again. There is immense beauty in the vulnerability of that struggle.