Well, I guess I’m off. Off to what, I have no idea. But, before I can put things together in my head, I get shot out of a cannon, out from high school and into the “real world” for a couple of months before I get hurdled into college. My summer has begun, whether I’m prepared for it or not.
I won’t go into much regarding my last day of classes in high school. To be frank, I drifted through the day, going from room to room, feeling very little. That’s probably from the fact that right up until the end I was working on serious, graded work, so I didn’t have much time to be sentimental. Or maybe it’s because my school, bizarrely enough, decided to have the last day be right after a three-day weekend. Whatever the reason, the day began and ended in a flash. That was a week ago and now I’m here, sitting in my house at nine in the morning on a Monday. I don’t have a job, a place in a camp, or a hotel reservation in a far-off country. There’s no “official” plans for me to do. But I do have something in mind.
These couple of months are my last opportunity to throw myself into writing completely (at least for quite some time), and I’ve done my best so far to do just that. The day after my last day, I wrote for three-and-a-half hours; the day after that, I wrote for five. That’s alright, but I’m not satisfied until I hit six, and six for several days in a row. In an idealistic world, I would be able to do that, but I live far short of ideal, as everyone around me has different perceptions and expectations of what I’m doing. From what I’ve heard so far, from various people, I’m expected to: 1.) have a full, completed manuscript by the end of the summer, 2.) sell my writing for money, 3.) get out of the house every day, 4.) be published on a regular basis from several publications, 5.) balance all of the projects I want to with a social life involving people who have summer jobs, vacations, and various plans, programs, and purposes this summer.
It’s not that these are bad ideas–I would like to accomplish all of them–it’s the assertiveness of these ideas, and the fairly condescending demeanor of the people proposing these ideas that tick me off. The assumption is that if they can see I’m on a laptop, I must not be working. It pains me to see a lot of my loved ones launch this upon me, especially given their support for my writing so far. But they have unfortunately drifted into the clutches of contradiction. They encourage me to write, but they don’t encourage me to write a lot. They want me to succeed in writing, but they see success as making money, getting my name out there, and having my text in publications, and not in developing my style, learning new techniques, and appreciating other artists. And so on.
So here I am. This is what happens when the organization you hope to work for one day doesn’t return your emails, after you send them your personal information four times. Her I am, in the valley of expectations. Ultimately, when it comes down to it, I have to damn the torpedoes and go full speed ahead. I am going to write a lot, every day, no matter what. If this is my last opportunity to seize this thing for a time, I’m going to take it. I’m going to embrace my craft, hone my ability, and fall in love with new stories and ideas. Whether I have fifty pages or fifteen hundred pages at the end, I’m going to advance myself, so one day, I can do this same thing all over again. I need what I do, I love what I do, and I’m going to grapple with anything that stands in the way of what I do. This is my summer.
Off I go.