So much has happened since I last wrote.
Let’s see. I quit my job. I moved back to Richmond. Which means I left New York and all its wonderful wonderfulness — something that still hasn’t quite sunk in. It is possible any moment now I will wake up in my too-small room with its too-big desk, the light barely peeking in from behind the too-long curtain just above the too-loud air conditioner.
Which might be entirely plausible were it not for photographic evidence that I somehow packed up my New York existence in this many boxes and that many trash bags.
But wait, you say. Didn’t you promise us getting started things a mere eight or so weeks ago, just before you unceremoniously implemented radio silence? How utterly, utterly rude of you.
Well, observant reader. Like I’ve said many times before, given my tendency to disappear without warning (I mean, who plans disappearances anyway? Would a kidnappee leave a note to say, “Hey guys. Don’t expect me home today. I gots evil things waiting for me”? Would my left sock tickle my sole ever so softly, knowing full well it would soon take up permanent residence in the crevices between the washer and dryer?), I am never truly gone. For there is Twitter. And Tumblr. And, to a lesser extent, Instagram. I am everpresent. And omniscient. And totally full of crap.
But there was good reason. The very next day after I posted my last entry, this happened.
This place can only be best described as one part ad agency, one part rogue M.B.A. program, and one part laboratory for experiments in 21st-century branding.
If you’re patting me on the back for that lovely description, don’t. I didn’t write it. This guy did.
So, there I was, sitting back down at my desk about to write me some legal copy after a run-of-the-mill trip to the bathroom, when I got the email. I’d been waiting for this thing for months. My reaction, of course, was nothing short of extreme euphoria masked as a perfectly composed journalist with Really Important Things To Write. Inside, however, was an all out mosh pit full of fist pumps as I fully accepted my transition to the dark side.
But wait, you say. Advertising? Wasn’t journalism what you’d been working toward since you started writing when you were, like, 8?
This is true, curious reader. It had been my dream to be a journalist in New York City — a dream only solidified by the Muppet Babies’ foray into investigative deeds using an old school typewriter. All I can tell you, without diving into a diatribe about the failings of modern journalism, my preference for big picture analyses over knee-jerk regurgitations, and my conflicting impulses to express myself creatively without defying journalistic objectivity, is that, well, I was ready for something else.
So, in five weeks, I left everything. And in those five weeks, my brain was unable, and is actually just now finally able to string together coherent sentences, to process the sheer absurdity, suddenness, awesomeness, sadness, gravity, and excitement of it all. I could not even read on the fucking train. And aren’t you happy I can say fucking now? All those years I was holding back because I wanted to be absolutely professional, given the reserved confines of education and law, when sometimes all I really wanted to use in place of a multisyllabic word was a four-letter one.
All in all, I just felt that striving for objectivity ended up suppressing a great part of what makes a writer a writer — at least the kind of writer I’ve always wanted to be.
While I can write about this now semi-succinctly, I can tell you it was not easy. It was actually kind of painful. It took months and months of reconciling with the fact that I was leaving a big part of myself so I could move forward. There’s so much more to tell, of course. There were many players and layers, many, many agonizing internal monologues. I can’t quite divulge everything right here in this instant, because I’m still getting used to this paradoxical writerly existence. That is, that writers, often among the most introverted, cannot truly write without revealing their innermost selves. It is at once terrifying and liberating.
Maybe it will all end up in a book. Maybe it will become an essay. Or maybe it will become the narrative to a really melodramatic commercial. For now, though, this is me. It’s probably a different me from the one you thought you’d come to know. Maybe it’s someone you really, truly like or no longer like or like right now but ultimately will dislike.
Whatever it is, this is me. And admitting that is a great first step to whichever direction I’m headed.