I know I’m echoing the echoes of sentiment when I say that Coronavirus has thrown a wrench in things. For many of us, home and work seem to meld together like an odd mix of jazz and EDM music. There’s a time and place for both, but blending them feels odd. Some people enjoy it, while others find it icky.
In coming to terms with this craziness, some hobbies find more space in our lives while others ebb into the wake of the pre-pandemic past. I’m finding now is actually a great time for creativity to flourish. If you find you have space for a new hobby or two, I recommend a fantastic way to funnel this creativity in putting pen to paper. Try writing physical letters.
I love savoring the elation that comes with ripping open a letter from a close friend or family member. Sometimes I get a bonus sticker, sometimes a little picture, and most often great thoughts and reflections on life. In my reply, I get to slow down and tell someone about my own life in a meaningful way.
When was the last time you sent a physical letter to someone? If you need to delve deeply into your memory to retrieve the answer, I say give it a shot this week. It’s worth it.
Monday, the 8th of January. I write this sitting at coffee shop, surrounded by the hum of steady conversation and a soft munsell yellow blanket of light. One rather stocky gentleman with small white studs in his ears seems to take up the entire room with his laugh. I’ve put in headphones.
My random goal for this week is to write one blog post each day until this next Sunday. Should be interesting, seeing as I have no planned posts and creativity is somewhat of an elusive creature in these post-holiday times.
Today I was thinking a lot about the future. I know you “shouldn’t worry about tomorrow, for you do not know what it may bring” and such, but it’s so hard not to think about what my life is going to be like in this coming year. A LOT has happened this past 365 days, to say the least. Graduation, weddings, and a new job to name a few. I’ve made New Years resolutions this year, as I usually do every year, but this year feels different. I think I actually have the drive to succeed, and have been maintaining them thus far (a whole 8 days, wow!)
Anyways, I wish you all in the blogging community motivation and perseverance in whatever goals you have for the year. The stocky dude just laughed again. That’s my cue to head home.
Today I had a short conversation with a geology professor. We hadn’t talked in a while and began to discuss the weather (classic) before shifting to deeper topics such as post college choices he made and I would be making. He explained that when he was a young adult, after the little square cap had been tossed into the air and the celebration was over, he was quite glad to have immediately sought a job. He chose to take a deviation from the path of continuing education and broaden his horizons. This made me think. What are the benefits and drawbacks to specialization?
Look at any famous athlete, musician, scientist, or entertainer. These people have completely dedicated their lives to their trade and the world wouldn’t be what it is without them. They are respected and known for what they do. The expert is very good at one thing rather than being an amateur at many things.
Personally, I would like to live a life in which I get to engage in a broad spectrum of cultures, trades, and activities. This, to me, ads a spice to life that I think people who specialize in one thing don’t get to see. I may not be famous for what I do, but I am definitely satisfied with where I’m at. If you could be an expert in one discipline but sacrifice others would you?
I have two exams tomorrow. One at 8:00 am and one at 11:00 am. As I type this I am sitting in the basement of the Colorado State University Library. It’s quiet and people have their noses in their books (or phones).
Have I studied? Yes. Have I studied enough? No. Is this the end of the world? No. I got a bite to eat with a friend of mine for dinner. As we caught up and talked about our lives the conversation drifted from topic to topic, but it was great. We each got to share some of our opinions on life with each other.
I could have been studying during that time, but instead I took a nice little hiatus (well, two now with the blog post, but who’s counting?) from the books to spend time with a friend… And you know what? Time well spent. The chill time helped me recenter and now I can focus on studying for the rest of the night. Off to review more PowerPoints…
Here is a little snippet of a short story I started a little over a year ago.
Chapter 1: Vengeance
White. Not white as you would find on this page or the white of a cloud alone in a sea of blue, but an altogether different white. A blinding white that pierces the eye and sends shivers down the spine. This white cut like a ray of lightning through the small window of 33 year old Thomas Montrell. As his eyes slowly adjusted, he could barely make out a landscape of jagged mountains far below. Unlike rolling hills that rose and fell like the waves of a gentle ocean, this land seemed fierce and unwelcoming. The spectacle brought with it a sensation of fear and wonder that forced Thomas to sit back and close his eyes. Planes always seemed to play with his sanity. He thought of his quaint home nestled in a green meadow broken only up by the occasional maple tree. A portion of his conscience exposed the slightest feeling of regret. One split second decision and what was now near memory could become a reality again. He could go home if he desired. His eyebrows narrowed. No. he couldn’t give up after all this planning and preparation. This was it. There was no turning back now. The pain of the near past was too much. He needed vengeance. His thoughts were shattered as a hand with a glass bottle was thrust in front of his face.
“Another swig of scotch to calm the nerves?”
His excitement urged him to reach out and grab the bottle. He shouldn’t. This was a professional excursion of which he was the leader. He lifted his hand. “No, No thank you. We’re nearly there.” Thomas was right. The six seater plane shuddered as it cut through the freezing Himalayan air.
“Al right, fun’s over,” the pilot’s voice crackled over the intercom. “Let’s buckle our seatbelts and pray for a smooth landing. This runway hasn’t been used in years… Hope it’s still there.” Thomas made a lunge for the scotch.
Sure enough, ten minutes later found the bruised but still functioning plane parked at the end of a rutted runway. The cracks had increased over the past couple of years, most likely due to weathering from the snow. Thomas stiffly stepped out of the exit and stared around him. The peaks around him were high and numerous, resembling rugged claws of that now had him and his team tightly within its grip. He felt the familiar crunch of snow beneath his feet and looked down to see the edge of the runway.