Tag Archives: writer’s block

Young Man Went East #5: Glorified Status Update

My first few months in New York were filled with long nights on friends’ couches, anxious phone calls to shady realty agents, and an uncertainty about the viability of finding a place to live. It was also filled with a handful of blog posts.

Five months have passed between this post and the last. I can imagine readers of this blog could have only come to one conclusion: my apartment-hunting venture was a failure, my friends kicked me out, and I’ve wound up sleeping in subway stations using a powerless laptop as a pillow. Despite how many interesting stories that turn of events would have produced, I can assure you that that is not the case. Jenn and I are living comfortably in a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, just south of Prospect Park. That fact alone is somewhat of an anecdote.

For some time, Jenn and I were subleasing a bedroom in an apartment in Queens while trading progressively less-courteous e-mails with a realty agent about a certain place that was possibly definitely ours. Then, out of the blue, Jenn received a message from a college friend of hers. That friend had been living in Brooklyn with her boyfriend, but they were moving to Rwanda and–familiar with our situation–offered that we take over her lease. The unusual fact that they were gallivanting off to Africa was overshadowed by the surprising fact that they were offering a better place than we were hoping for, at the exact time we needed it, for less than we thought we had to pay. With much gratitude, we had arranged to move in the day before Halloween. Hurricane Sandy pushed that back another day, interrupting our holiday plans, though a costume cruise didn’t seem like such a good idea anymore.

A miraculous offer. An end to a search. A historic hurricane. How could I not motivate myself to write for five months?

Simply, I thought I had peaked. My last post–a psuedo-sociological observation inspired by my girlfriend in style and subject matter–was a home run. It was deeply personal and broadly relevant. It also made everything came before it look like trash. Any time I had a slight inclination to write a follow-up post, I quickly dismissed it on the idea that it would be nothing more than a glorified status update. As I settled into my new abode, I grew comfortable not writing.

Eventually I admitted to myself that I can’t just sit around and wait for another awe-inspiring idea. They don’t just appear. I have to throw a few mediocre posts out, I have to just keep working it, until, one day I’ll find myself writing another home run. That’s why they call it creativity, because you actually have to work at creating something.

I could probably expand this idea of working hard and whatnot into a broadly-relevant life lesson, but I’m still easing my way out of my lazy phase and this looks long enough already.

More than that, I’ve already decided that this will be one of those mediocre posts I need to just throw out.

This is what else I "create" when I'm not busy writing.

This is what else I “create” when I’m not busy writing.

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YMWW #21: Feeling Settled After Seattle

This is only my second entry for the month of June.  Seeing as my New Year’s resolution was to do at least one entry a week, I’m staring at a 50% fail rating for this month.  Or, maybe it’s a 50% success rate.  I am an optimist.  Besides the lack of feedback on my last entry, I do have reasons (read: “excuses”) for not writing as much.

First of all, I was gone for a whole week. . . in Seattle!  For those of you who logged onto Facebook anytime between the 9th and the 16th, I’m sure you were bombarded with my daily photo albums.  I got quite camera happy.  And why wouldn’t I?  Seattle was a fantastic place to visit!  My family rented a model-perfect, two-story house in a neighborhood that reminded me of a clean Berkeley.  All the character and charm of my old college town without the hobo smell.  And just like Berkeley, we were within walking distance of  the main college drag: University Street a.k.a. The Ave.  Small, privately-owned shops and healthy restaurants lined both sides of this student-infested street.  Needless to say, I spent a lot of time walking up and down The Ave.

Downtown was a $17 cab ride away.  While our northeast neighborhood was a clean version of Berkeley, Downtown was a clean version of San Francisco.  Besides the lack of hobos (I’m sure the rain washes them away), Downtown Seattle felt like San Francisco.  The seafood was great, the shops were eccentric, and the street musicians were abundant.  I could have sworn I stumbled onto a hidden pier off the Embarcadero.  At one point I even smelled my city by the Bay.  The fact that I felt at home and at the same time knew I was traveling made my experience in Seattle special.  I was simply happy.

I am not going into detail about my day-to-day adventures in the Emerald City.  That’s been done through my Facebook photo albums (all the detail you could ask for. . . with pictures!).  What I will discuss, however, was how Seattle changed my view of Hawai’i.  While touching down on the runway at HNL Tuesday evening, it occurred to me that my trip to Seattle was my first vacation from the island.  I went home in December, sure, but that was “going home.”  This was “going on vacation.”  I came back with a sigh and realized I had finally settled in.

I have a routine here.  Sure, it’s not as tedious and repetitive as it was during my Whole Foods days, but it’s still a lot of the same.  Ride bike to work.  Ride bike back from work.  Watch TV with roommates.  Hang out at bars with coworkers.  I’ve lost that urge to “explore the island” every chance I get.  That little voice that motivated me to just walk around Waikiki during my free time has quieted to silence.  There’s nothing new.  Nothing exciting.  It’s just Hawai’i.  It’s just home.

Routine leads to lack of progress, lack of progress leads to lack of story, lack of story leads to empty blog.  And that’s my second reason for not writing as much.  I know, I know, it’s a lame excuse, but unless you want to read about how well my tables did at Forrest Gump trivia, you’ll be stuck with these bi-monthly routine rants.

Until, of course, I move to Seattle next year. . .

(Young Man Went North?  More on that next time.)

 

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