Uncertainty and Beginnings

And so I begin the blogging process again. I’ll set out the challenge: blogging every other day, alternating with Em, for a full month. At this point I’m really not sure what will come of it. We’ll see whether or not we’ll even finish.

I think it’s fair to begin this blog within that context of uncertainty.  As a dreamer, an English major, a one-day hopeful writer of who-knows-what, I often struggle to get my words onto paper (screen?). There’s judgement in writing, as though expressing my ideas makes them more final. Writing down my thoughts allows other people to read them, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for that yet. My language is too stilted, too flowery, too imprecise, too childish to be put into the world. I don’t know what I want to say, or even whether I have something to say at all. Of course I dream that one day I’ll find a voice, but what gives me the right to rise above the din and be read and remembered and understood? How do I journey to become that writer?

And maybe that’s where this blog steps in. I can write and send those imperfect sentences out into the infinite blogosphere. Potentially someone I know could read them, but I doubt very many ever will (Em, Calais, I’m looking at you as the major exceptions. And seriously? You pick Calais?). Maybe with time I’ll become more comfortable in expressing myself beyond the limited scope of English essays and writing responses. Maybe I’ll set down some bits of my current narrative or find some insight. Maybe at the least, in thirty years, I’ll have something to pull me back to college days.

The day I turned 20, I had a conversation with a mentor about my goals for the next year. We talked about navigating within a landscape of uncertainty, and how the world has the potential to change us if we let it. It’s impossible to know how we will change or who we will become, but if we don’t open ourselves to that uncertainty, we’ll never have a chance to find out.  During that conversation, I thought back to four years prior, my 16th birthday. I had stood with my feet in the Pacific Ocean at exactly midnight, the soft waves lapping around my ankles and the California fog tracing lines down my skin. In that moment I had felt small, insignificant, connected, alive.  Something in the power of the ocean made me feel that I had no idea what would come to me in the next year, but I knew I was excited to find out.  Now, setting out into my third decade, I’d like to remember that California beach and allow myself to be changed by the world around me.

These days, uncertainty often makes me nervous. As much as I’d like to be mindful and live in the present, I get swept up in planning the minutia of my future.  I don’t like to acknowledge that I have no clue where I will be after college, no clue if I’ll find love or if I’ll be able to leave my own small mark on the world. I don’t even know where this blog will lead me.  Yet maybe that uncertainty is where I need to try to settle right now.  Each year (let’s be real, each day) seems to carry so much in it. If I hold to strongly to who I think I am and what I think I need, how will I be able to follow where the current leads me?

And with that I’ll send this imperfect, unfinished, hopeful first post out into the universe.