When Ben and I went out to Hops Fest (photos to come soon), we ran into some former classmates of ours that we recognized by face, but not name. They ended up sitting next to us while we chomped down on messy BBQ and listened to a live band. After awkward introductions, one of them remembered me (by name, not by face) for my contributions to our college's literary and arts magazine. I spent a lot of time working on the magazine as staff and as contributor and had a few poems published over the course of two or three years.
I majored in creative writing (poetry) in college after a lifelong passion with the written word, and I dedicated many many hours to writing on my own, publishing my work on an art/writing website, and then in creating portfolios for class. And though poetry had occupied such a large part of my life, once I graduated and stopped studying and feeling inspired daily, I stopped writing. It has long been a regret of mine that I let it slip away from me - let those books fall by the wayside, let my interest in reading new poems hide behind new hobbies, let my moleskines dry up.
And so at Hops Fest, when one of those former classmates said "I remember your poems and I always looked forward to reading them," I first felt a bit embarrassed, then flattered, and then I felt sad. And when I feel sad (and probably also embarrassed), I immediately look to how I can change that sadness into a solution. In this case, it's pretty easy - make writing a priority again. I think that we often lament not having time to do things without looking at the simple solution.
It is to make time. If you're not writing, like I'm not writing, set a book by your bedside and write in the 5 minutes before bed when you are normally looking at your phone's screen in the dark. If you are not painting, take one hour that you'd spend watching the latest episode of Scandal, and paint in front of an open window or on a park bench. If you are not sleeping, stop staying up late. If you are not cooking, stop ordering take-out. If you are not exercising, cut out that thirty minutes of couch time right after you get home from work. If you do not have enough time to do what you want to do, then your priorities are askew and only you can set them right again. To avoid making a giant and rude generalization, it is important to note that most parents (new or old) often truly lack the time to do some of the things they want to do (like sleep or eat or watch TV for 5 minutes). But that's because their number one priority has rightfully shifted.
In summation, my moleskine has been unearthed. My micron pen set to a new use. And we're on day two of my committed one poem a day exercise for the forseeable future. If I don't make time for something that I want to be a priority, it never will be. Here's to writing again.