Friday, November 25, 2011

Why I'm writing

My cousin got married this summer.

I drove from Kansas to Wisconsin with my older sister Emily. We were some of the last to arrive. My younger sister, parents and extended family were already at the lodge where the wedding would take place and where we’d be spending our next few nights.

The lodge was huge. It was actually several lodges in the Wisconsin Dells, and Emily and I struggled to find the right lodge and the right entrance. I called my mom and heard the evidence of my huge family in the background--laughing, yelling, and the general chaos that ensues when my mom’s family, which usually spans from New Jersey to Missouri to Wisconsin to Florida, finally reunites.

I could hear in my mom’s voice that she’d been enjoying the festivities, probably with a glass (or two... or three...) of red wine, if it was available. My dad’s garbled interjections in the background led me to believe he’d had a few lagers himself.

They did their best to direct us to the correct corner of the parking lot. When we finally got there, my parents and 13-year-old sister (who was then still a pre-teen) waved us into the nearest parking spot like air traffic controllers.

When we got up to the hotel room, I quickly saw I’d been correct in my estimate of the chaos.

The man who would be the groom and my cousin-in-law in two days sat on a luggage cart in the center of the room, his best man feeding him cashews. He spotted us and his face immediately lit up. He struggled up from the luggage cart, clearly in a worse (or better, depending on your estimation, I suppose) condition than my parents. The rest of my extended family, in varying states of sobriety, lined up to hug me and Emily.

Soon everyone settled back into small groups and pockets of conversation. Emily and I ended up at the table with my two very inebriated uncles. And, as we had both just graduated college only two months prior, the topic of conversation took a predictable turn.

What next?

We had no idea.

The thing is, there are a couple of times in your life you feel like every decision dictates the rest of your life. Your forever. And I’m in one of those times. And I was paralyzed with fear and uncertainty.

I studied English and journalism in school. I was a pretty good writer, and my family knew it thanks to a few papers my mom had sent around.

My uncles, Uncle Mark and Uncle Donald, decided together I should write a blog. (Well, Uncle Mark’s advice was emphatically to “F*** it.” What “it” is, I’m not sure. Life in general, perhaps. Society’s expectations of a college grad? But when Uncle Donald brought up blogging, he seemed to endorse the idea.)

“You have to have a thing to write a blog,” I protested. “It has to be a cooking blog or a mom blog. I don’t have a thing.”

“What are you passionate about?” Uncle D asked.

I didn’t know.

“Well why did you study journalism?”

It got me a scholarship.

“Why did you go to college in the first place?”

Because that’s what smart high school grads do.

“But what’s your passion???”

That conversation went nowhere but in circles. I went to bed with no intention to start a blog. But I suppose a seed must have been planted.

Through the rest of the summer I struggled to find full-time work. I was a temp, but I needed something more reliable. Every time I talked to my mom, she said the same thing.

Start a blog.

I brushed off the idea. How was I supposed to think about a blog when I could barely afford to feed myself?

I moved in with new roommates. My boyfriend came back from studying abroad. My best friend moved to California. Life went on.

One day, I was in the living room with my new roommate, Katie. She said, “You should write a blog.”

I finally actually considered the idea.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because I want to know what you have to say,” she said.

So I’m beginning. I still don’t know what I’m passionate about, so this will be an exploration. I’ve realized that I’m stuck with almost nothing forever, but that every day I’m taking little steps toward my forever. There may be no solid theme to this blog, except an exploration of life, of passion, and of where I fit in.

My sister, cousins and me in the photo booth at the wedding


SimoneC said...

I love it! Perfect name and Katie said it right, "I want to know what you have to say." and you say it so well. Love you!!

Abbey S said...

Thanks love!

Trucking Scrapbook said...

Nicely stated, finding one's passion is a journey, be patient and persevere, passion presents itself when you least expect it.

Abbey S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.


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