It’s been a month since I posted, and that means I owe a witty explanation that is honest enough to maintain integrity, yet endearing enough I might be forgiven. Not that I have illusions people hang out waiting for me to post, but a month of silence is still a deadly blogger sin.
When I found out I would be writing on this blog, my initial thought was to write about those whose impact my life from beyond campus…. rather than you know, the failed pancakes I made one night at 2 am, or photos of friends in cowboy boots at Barbarella.
My first few posts were about people I didn’t know – which were warm ups for a post about someone I did know — Winston, a server I work with at the Four Seasons Hotel.
That post was popular with people… causing Winston to become somewhat of celebrity in my circle. The impact was flattering, but also intimidating.
1. Writing about Winston was more rewarding, but more difficult. My responsibility to him was greater than say, homeless people eating a picnic lunch, or a research paper. If I screw up a research paper, I discredit my topic or personal credibility. If I screw up a story about Winston, I discredit our relationship. Yikes.
2. Being more thoughtful meant more time. The Winston post was two, five-hour days of uninterrupted writing and editing… not a sustainable practice in graduate school.
3. The combination of factor one and two led to writing anxiety, which took a hacksaw to my creativity, resulting in a large writer’s block lodged somewhere in my pre-frontal cortex (or at least that’s where I imagined it was residing.)
4. The writer’s block didn’t just extend to the LC blog. My personal blog, thesis writing… even text messages took forever to crank out. I picked up a Pinterest addiction, and started training for the Austin half marathon… all in the spirit of productive avoidance. Through it all, I still sat down to write each day – giving myself a massive headache a few times, driving myself into the arms of coffee flavored ice cream another, or melting into frustrated naps filled with fitful dreams about disappointing my thesis committee.
This past Sunday after a long run — my friend Audrey came over for a writing date at my kitchen table. As she began voraciously writing and sharing her ideas, I feebly alternated between a thesaurus the surfing my Facebook newsfeed. My roommate and his friend returned to make dinner, so I closed the laptop and retreated to the bathroom to color my hair…. productive avoidance.
Flat ironing hair to the sounds of friends was relaxing. As the smells of eggplant parmesan began to waft down the hall, I rejoined them in the kitchen. The scene was seemingly mundane, but a few steps into the room I found myself covered in goosebumps. Luckily an iPhone was in hand, so I hit record… albeit sideways… ahem, a videographer I am not.
It was 43 seconds of nothing and everything all at the same time. (Clicking green text takes you to see the 43 seconds of nothing and everything.)
It was nothing, in that you could probably enter any number of campus houses on a Sunday evening and find some combination of swing music, grating cheese, and laughing people.
It was everything, in that the swing music, grating cheese and laughing, did something to my performance anxiety.
Writing is just like hanging out with friends. You enjoy it much more when you love the moments, rather than fret the product at the end. Relax Borrelli.
So I did relax. I woke up the next morning and wrote like a boss. I was so rejuvenated that I brazenly incorporated cliche and uncharacteristic phrases such as “like a boss” into my writing. It was nothing short of magical. You would have thought fairies had descended into my kitchen. I can’t speak for others, but this what I want time at UT to be about… power in moments. Graduation will be in August. I want to know I squeezed love out of every drop of this experience.
Cheers to that, and another post to come in a few days. I have catching up to do.