I suppose it might be a tad unfair to label myself as a hack. In all honesty I rarely fulfill any preconceived notion of artistic greatness, but suffice to say I was once a writer. A writer in as much the sense that I’d spend countless of hours of free time dedicating myself to written self expression.
I was also once a functioning adult. I sat in offices that sucked the life out of me. I ate at the same time every afternoon and loathed my daily routines. I sat in breakrooms that hadn’t changed since the early 1980’s. Smelled the same overcooked noodles that were birthed from the same splatter-stained microwave. I forced myself to have conversations with the same uninteresting coworkers who would play the same daytime soap operas and I would try to read anything remotely stimulating to wake my mind up. I would look at the piles of paperwork sitting at my desk in the afternoon and timeframe how quickly I could run through it. I would do an honest hour’s worth of work before spending the rest of my shift storyboarding my next blog. Knowing that if I sat at a desk and typed with a stern look on my face that no one would question what I was doing. I’d commute home on the same crowded bus I’d always take out of downtown, take off my clothes, and smoke a bowl. Then I would write. Three to five hours, daily. That is, when I wasn’t busy going out with friends or laying in bed for days with my then-boyfriend.
Times have changed, I hate things less. Surprising, I know, but true. I hated so much more then but it also made me strive for better things. I was 24. I’ve streamlined my life to be less demanding in the last 6 years. Back then it was all about hitting the pavement, barely making the bills, killing the weekend, justifying everything I did by who I was sleeping with at the time, and dreaming about the day I’d have everything I’ve always wanted.
While some things haven’t changed entirely, I discovered what I was and wasn’t willing to deal with in life. I also harnessed a lifetime of non-commitment into a full time job. I traveled. A lot. So much so that the sheen of new experience began to dull and so did the passion and romanticism of my writing. It seemed like the more I was doing, the less I wanted to write about it. The more my life was going smoothly the less I needed to smoke marijuana and write about it.
I turned 30 last year. The buildup to it was a culmination of my accomplishments thus far in life and where I saw myself in a new decade. When that dial turned I stood back and realized that despite my new location I was a slave to myself. That turning another year older wouldn’t magically transform me into another person. While that is a story for another blog, it does bring me to my actual point:
Austin, holy shit, you make me feel inadequate.
Everyone here appears to be extremely talented In several ways. Had I moved to Austin when I was 18 I think my artistic soul would’ve been nurtured and highly developed by now. I had visions of myself living in crowded Victorian homes living as a bohemian in my post high school daydreams. Living for art and only the for the sake of it. It’s hard to get that back, other than to just do it. This is what this is, my attempt to just do it. Write for the sake of writing to an audience of zero (? well, for now anyway). The only problem with being an essayist is brazenly putting yourself out there. No filter. Someday I’ll master fiction and revel in my autonomy. Someday.