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On Starting

Two weeks after I secured the URL to this blog, picked a theme & wrote its description, I sat on a train ride home from a really great day in the sun and wondered to myself: “Why on Earth have I not started writing in it yet?” It wasn’t that I had writer’s block; in the past year I have written enough down to fill 5 and a half notebooks. No, the problem was starting something new and something public, sharing what I had spent too long keeping to myself. Starting something is not difficult in theory, but what people forget to tell you is that starting something simultaneously means ending something else, and it’s the ending something that is going to get to you, every single time.

My quote book, train book & journal

Starting this blog petrifies me, because it simultaneously ends my fantasy with what I imagined it to be. You see, I recognise now that I spend a large majority of my time thinking about any time but the present. I like to re-live past events, and moreover I adore fantasising about the future. If you ever catch me staring out the window of a train (where I evidently get all my epiphanies), you can bet your Benjamins I am successfully mis-imagining the cool, worldly roommate I’ll have when I’m living in New York City, or a 24-year-old me sitting at my corner coffee shop writing into a moleskine journal before I head off to my chic job as the editor of an intelligent magazine for women, or something equally corny and cliche. And one of my biggest fantasies is the one where I am a successful, empowering writer who documents my life & the philosophies it rides on; a writer who gets to travel around the world, learning new things and conversing with exceptional people about exceptional ideas. You can spend an unhealthily long time obsessed with a fictitious world if it’s as cool as that, trust me. But herein lies the problem with fantasies: they often prevent us from achieving them in the real world, because admittance to and pursuit of these fantasies inherently places us in vulnerable positions upon which, most of the time, we fail.

But as I sat on that train today, I suddenly became increasingly overwhelmed by the amount of people around me unapologetically pursuing their fantasies. My good friend Lilley found the courage to defer her tertiary studies in pursuit of a prestigious hairdressing apprenticeship, and she got it; another friend, Maddie, booked herself an Agent and actively takes time to cultivate her talents; Tom just started a graveyard shift on a radio station that is broadcast to anyone awake at 4am! All around me, girls and boys younger than I am are designing clothes and starting bands. They are creating DJ companies and sharing their photography and songs on Facebook. All around me, girls and boys are figuring out the fantasies they wish to pursue, and taking active steps to pursue them. Some might say there’s nothing impressive about that, they are just kids dreaming big & riding on their youthful optimism but to me, it’s seems scary as hell and I desperately want to do the same.

So I guess here I am, following the advice of every school teachers and spirit-guiding adult: “If you never try you’ll never succeed”. I’m trying, & for now I think that’s enough. I may not be at the level of handing out business cards, but my friends & the brave kids around me have inspired me to take a more active role in chasing down my dreams. I’m not exactly sure what sort of things I will write about yet, but since I already have a propensity to write down just about everything that pops into my head, I’m sure it won’t be a problem. All I know is that it’s time to develop these messy scribbles that I’ve collected over the year in those notebooks of mine into comprehensible posts, & here’s hoping this blog will get me there.

My Notebooks 2013-2014

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