Thursday, January 14, 2010

"The Slower We Move, The Faster We Die..."

 A mere three days into a new semester, and 13 days into the new year, I'm exhausted. From the inside out.

I haven't had to do much in school yet, but my mind has been in overdrive. In Another Chance I wrote of pursuing dreams that I'd neglected. The plan included pursuing a multimedia communications program at a graduate school in Chicago. Sounds good, right? I thought so, which is why I wrote it.

In all honesty, that would be just another near miss. The safe choice. One that wouldn't leave me with a broken dream, just one unrealized. Right outside my grasp.

I saw "Up In The Air" this past weekend in which George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizer who travels the country conducting employee layoffs for bosses who refuse to do it themselves. One particular scene struck me deeply, as Bingham was trying to provide some perspective to an employee he had just fired, he reminded the man of his first love, which was cooking.

"How much did they pay you to walk away from your dream?" Bingham asked.

At that moment, I choked a little bit on my popcorn. I began to wonder when it was that I gave up, when I decided I wasn't good enough. Too scared of failing to try. The answers to those questions don't matter, they are just potential excuses.

What matters is what I do now. I'm 22, on the brink of my college graduation and facing my first major fork in the road. I can keep making the safe choices, protect my dream and live a comfortable little life, or I can be completely vulnerable, step out on a limb and hope that I'm not completely devastated by failure.

I know by now you're probably asking:  What's the dream? and I've been trying to bring myself to tell you (this is the first step in complete vulnerability). I'm inspired to do so by some friends of mine, who in light of the new year have shared their personal challenges and goals for accountability's sake. (Thanks, you all.)

So, the goal is to write, professionally.

What exactly, is still to be determined, though I'm drawn to creative nonfiction. Where, I'm not sure. All I know at this moment, is that  I must find out if I'm worth my salt.  If this one ability that I have can stand on its own.

On Monday I met with my favorite professor, who I've latched onto for guidance, and shared my ambitions. He has graciously agreed to help me and we are about to implement a intensive plan involving lots of research, reading and writing that I hope will help me  find and get into a creative writing program. Before I left his office, he repeated Hank Moody's words to me, in the most sincere way that these words can be spoken:
If you can do anything else with your life right now, anything at all, do it.
And I understood that completely, because I understand that writing isn't a fantasy world. I'm not even sure it's a world that writers choose as much as it is a state of being.

 He added, but if you can't....

So, onward I go. And if i fail, then at least I'll be rid of this haunting question.


Brad King said...

I like it kid. Putting it out there makes it real. I should probably stop using Showtime characters in my lessons. haha. (not happening.)

Tiffany Holbert said...

Thanks. As much as I didn't want to share that, I know I needed to. And the Showtime characters work! :) My gratefulness for you will be better expressed at later time. Wait for it, wait for it...:) But for now, I do hope that you know that I am incredibly grateful.

Brad King said...

I appreciate that, nugget, but the pleasure is all mine. There is a selfish joy I take in helping my kids find their voices.

akenia said...


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