Besides the “where do you get your ideas?” question that every writer ever gets asked (to which I usually respond vaguely, “Russia”), the number one thing I hear is “I want to write/create something someday.” And you know what? It’s kinda pissing me off because absolutely no one who has said it to me has followed through.
Now I get it – people have lives, they have families, they have responsibilities. That all should take priority. Take care of your kids, pay your bills, get your house in order. But don’t tell me you can’t find ten minutes out of your day to write down a few words. Don’t tell me you can’t turn on the dictation function on your phone and hammer out some thoughts and scenes. You’d be shocked at how quickly all those little notes start clumping together to form a book. Find time. Make time. Do it or stop fooling yourself that you will, because you will always find excuses otherwise. You’ll hammer out five hundred words one day and tell yourself the next, “Oh, I’m just too tired.” Well, too damn bad. Pick your arm up, grab a pen, and go to town. Writing a book isn’t about being in the mood. It’s about cranking out pages. And if you’re not willing to follow through, stop pissing in my face and telling me it’s raining.
That all ties into probably my most personal irritation with being blind – time.
The curious part about being on disability is that it’s left me with nothing but time on my hands. The hilarious twist here is that I live in a town with no mass transit systems, no public transportation, no real way of getting out of town to do the things I love without either begging for a ride (which is a small mountain on my damn shoulders when I know it shouldn’t be) or waiting for it to coincide with a doctor’s appointment or shopping trip. Both of those take up so damn much time that the thought of seeing a movie or hitting up a bookstore is fanciful and irresponsible on my part.
It shouldn’t bother me as much as it does. I have an amazing amount of things here to occupy my time, between countless books on my Kindle, games, exercising, or the writing. But it gnaws at me to know there are bookstores I haven’t visited, restaurants I’d like to try, movies I want to see in a theater where I’m not straining to hear every word on uncomfortable seats, live theater on a semi-regular basis, and above all else, new people to be met. I’ve never even gone to a live concert because of the planning it involves – finding rides out of town and back, possibly getting a hotel room near the venue, getting a ride to and from said venue, trying to find my way around at that place… it’s exhausting just thinking about it, but it’s something I desperately want to do when I can, when I’m closer to a venue. And there are a thousand other things I want to see, either for the first time or because I haven’t gone in years.
When my time is limited like that, every time I go to the same three or four restaurants/shops/outdoorsy areas to have the same three or four experiences, it’s almost like I’m slowly sinking into this inescapable quagmire of boredom. And that’s not to say that those places and experiences aren’t pleasant – I’m grateful for the opportunity to break out of my day to day in just about any capacity – but I want more done with my time.
Not to keep harping on the restaurant thing – can you tell I’m hungry? – but it ties into another question that’s more metaphorical than literal. What does it hurt you to try new restaurants? New foods? You might get an upset stomach? The risk of something you don’t like is well worth the off-chance you find something you do.
I feel like, at times, I’m living my life waiting. Waiting to go out of town. To possibly meet that special someone. Waiting to try some new experience – any new experience. Waiting to see something beautiful, something new, something I haven’t seen a godawful number of times before. I suffer from a delirious case of unfulfilled wanderlust, the absolute driving force behind my writing, when everything is said and done.
I write so that I can be free to be me.
That frustration tends to bleed over into conversations with other people. People tell me constantly “I want to go to X place on a weekend trip one day!” or “I really want to take that road” or “I want to try this new place” or “I want to see X thing” and I just want to fucking scream sometimes for them to go, to do it, to stop wasting time before it’s thirty years down the line and it’s too late.
Go. Because some of us can’t. Because some of us have to live our lives – for the moment – waiting.