From anonymous on New Year's
Upon leaving my apartment this afternoon, I saw this index card perched atop the call box outside the front door. The question seems to be posed in the spirit of the New Year and the new focus it can bring. If I asked your friends what you loved, would they know the truth?
I don't know who left the card, but I considered the question as I headed out to meet my writing groupmates Catherine Slaton and Claire Jackson for our weekly James Franco Day meeting. As far as the "what" of my love is concerned (as opposed to the "who"), writing is the bloody, beating heart, and yes, index card, my friends know the truth about the intensity of my love for this work, the way it hits the pain and pleasure receptors like my massage therapist's hand so deep in my shoulder I think she might snap my arm off.
My real question, tonight, is this: If I ask myself what I love, will I know the truth?
It is, apparently, time to make resolutions, blueprints for the year. I like the idea, though I know the practice is mostly useless to me unless the resolutions are based in what truly matters to me. I'll never manage to make it to yoga twice a week for the entire year because I just don't care enough. I'll never eat a salad every day. My heart does not bleed for salad. I'll probably go to yoga most Fridays and eat handfuls of arugula from a Ziploc baggie a few days a week.
I spent New Year's Eve with my friends Brian and Jaime, their two-year-old son, and my boyfriend Steve. I spent this afternoon with Catherine and Claire. I spent Christmas with my amazing family. If I asked your friends what you loved, would they know the truth? They would: I am unfathomably lucky to be able to share the things that I love with all of them. In addition to the many ways they are so important in my life, all of them support me in this thing that I love (even my toddler buddy, who, although he cannot read, is helping me get better at free-form coloring and construction with blocks, both writing-related skills).
During our afternoon writing group meeting, while I talked with Claire and Catherine about the coming year, I realized that I have a book coming out this year. It had not occurred to me until that moment, and I clapped my hands over my mouth, stunned. In just over eight months, I'll have a book. This is my love, and over the next year, I'll have more opportunities than ever to do readings, meet readers and writers, and work hard for my book.
I also know, in response to the question on the card, that if I asked my friends what I loved, perhaps their answers would surprise me. How much of my time, attention, and worry is devoted to what I love, and how much is devoted to things I don't love so much, but fret over?
I wanted to attach a post-it note to the card, but it was gone when I returned home. My response would have been: If they do, or if they don't—what then?